Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sonlight Blog Party

Well it's March already and so it's time for the next Sonlight Blog Party.  Last month, I blogged about how and why we started to homeschool.  If you missed it you can find that post here.  This month the topic is to: "Share the best homeschooling advice you have been given. What would you advise new homeschoolers".  When I started thinking about homeschooling I did not know a single person who homeschooled their kids.  Now that I've started I've met quite a few and I like talking about homeschooling stuff and I find that that other homeschooling parents enjoy it also.  Over time I have come across some very good advice and some very bad advice I tossed immediately.  Some of my favorite:

1. Rest Time:  Each day have a period of rest time in the afternoon where you and your children do not interact with each other. Continue this everyday indefinitely no matter how old.  I wished I knew who told me to do this because I owe them a debt of gratitude.  We started this when Hannah stopped napping at 2.5 and it is the only way I make it through some days especially days when I have a bad headache.  We homeschool and therefore we spend a lot of time together.  I love my kids and I love being with them but I do need space each day to think in peace or not think in peace.  Plus I have things I need to get done.  It's also when I nap or rest if I happen to need it.  So during rest time my kids are required to either play independently in their room with the door closed or nap.  Since we have been doing this for so long they almost never complain and most afternoons they are pretty good about actually staying in their rooms quietly.  It makes Andrew and I laugh to find Hannah in our bed during rest time listening to Adventures in Odyssey under the covers in her pajamas.

2. You can have a clean house, your sanity, or happy kids.  Pick 2 and let the other go. Again I have no idea who told me this but it is a good reminder to pick your priorities and to realize you cannot do everything.  Homeschooling is a full time job not a part time hobby to pick up and throw down when it suits you.  When you are home all day with 3 kids you house will not be clean all time (or at all).  That said I don't do this very well I too often pick a clean house at the expense of the other two and then none of it is done well.  Nathanael likes to trash the house while Hannah, Ethan and I are working.

Keeping Nathanael busy!

3. Make you curriculum work for you (you are not a slave to your curriculum.  I read it better said that your curriculum by definition is your course of study (ie math, language arts, science, music etc) your materials are your tools for learning.  You would never let a hammer dictate what it should build and neither should your chosen curriculum dictate how you should learn and teach. Sonlight has an amazing instructors guide (the IG).  I love that I can use it creatively to suit my goals for my kids.

My IG schedule.

My advice for new homeschooling parents:

Research, research research.  Make a plan but be flexible.

Sonlight Blog Party


Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day said...

That's really good advice! Some people I've spoken with want a plan but they want it set in stone...for the next 12 years! Flexibility is very homeschooling, in parenting, in life!

Kristina said...

Thanks Sheila!

Karla Cook @ Ramblin' Roads said...

All 3 points are very good advice! My kids had an afternoon quiet time until well into their teens, and it worked great for us. Thanks so much for sharing!

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