Getting out of the house and exercising need not be a chore. There’s a lot of activities that a homeschool family can take on, which can be fun and prove to be a complete physical workout for the homeschool students. Here are some options to consider.
A single basket ball hoop can provide hours of entertainment and exercise. The family can play together, the children can practice on their own, friends can come over in the evening to shoot hoops, there’s so much that can happen by getting this one sporting accessory fit. You will also need the basket ball and a pump to ensure that it’s not run out of air. Teach the homeschool students to care for their equipment.
Getting the family to go out for a long ride on the weekend is a good way to start a picnic. The homeschool students can also use their bicycles around the neighborhood in the evening. Friends can team up and have cycle races, and it is a good way for the children to learn to get around independently on their own. Ensure that safety equipment like helmets, knee and elbow pads and training wheels are available if required.
If the family sets out to explore local hiking trails, it’s a good field trip to study rocks, flora and even the smaller animals that may cross the path. It also ensures that the homeschool family gets a good amount of exercise as well as a healthy dose of Vitamin D by being in the sunlight. Take a look at the area around where you live, what are the best places to start exploring?
Improvise doing body weights with the homeschool students around the house. You do not need to spend on dumbells, just use plastic bottles of water in pairs. Squats, push ups and sit ups can be added to the workout. It can be done in a competitive manner by encouraging the homeschool students to do more repetitions than they managed to do the day before. Keep a record of how many each child manages each day.
The technological advances made in the last decade alone have created a generation gap between the current set of parents and their children. As gadgets allow the homeschool students to connect to the internet in new ways and gain more information, it’s imperative that the homeschool parent teach the homeschool class to use technology wisely.
Teach yourself before you teach them
There are a number of things that you can do using the internet, and new gadgets that you are probably not even aware of. For instance did you know that it’s possible to find an App to learn just about anything? Check out the ones that you feel will be helpful to your homeschool students and play with them yourself before asking them to try it out.
Teach them the limits and boundaries
There is so much to do, but they should have a limited time each day to be online. Makes sure that they understand basic security threats and how they should avoid them. Never ever allow them to give out their information online on any website without you being present. Plus educate them about malware and virus attacks. They should have a fall back drill for all such eventualities and you need to make sure that they remember them.
Supervise from a distance
Learn to set up filters for the internet so that your homeschool students don’t inadvertently end up on websites that they should not be accessing. Keep a check on the internet browser history to see what they are doing online. Ensure that they are being safe when they go online. Trust them, but keep a check as there are many kinds of threats these days.
Act as a role model
When you ask them to limit their screen time, ensure that you do it as well. If you are setting up a guideline for them to follow, educate them about how it works. Then ensure that they see you following the guideline when you go online or use a gadget. All children learn best when they imitate their parents, so it’s up to you to act as a good role model.
There is little that can be done without rules in the homeschool classroom. The homeschooling parent needs to make the rules very clear to the children so that they can be followed. Also important is to make the children understand that if the rules are not followed, there will be consequences. These must also be defined for breaking each rule. Here are a few house rules to get you started.
Be Respectful of Everyone
This means there will be polite behavior towards everyone. No fighting, no name calling, no biting, no punching, and no ill will created. Use the golden words of ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘You’re welcome’. If this rule is ignored, prepare the child to lose a privilege. The exact course of consequences will have to be modified for each child based on their interests, but these consequences should be communicated in advance.
Be Honest in Speech and Actions
To develop a conscience early will allow the homeschool student to do well in social interactions later in life. They need to be taught that they must always speak the truth. Not to lie by omission. To say what they really mean and not simply what they feel the parents want to hear. They should always follow through on their promises.
Be Responsible for Own Words and Deeds
The homeschool students should be aware that everything they say and do will result in some consequences. They should be able to take responsibility for the consequences that follow their actions. They should clean up the messes they create. Learn to ask for help when they need it. Think how their actions will affect others before they act. apologize when they have done something wrong, even if it was unintentional.
Be Full Of Gratitude
It is important for children to understand that not everyone has everything that they seem to take for granted. Make the homeschool students show their gratitude for their blessings. Have them help those less fortunate than them on a regular basis. Also a small thank giving prayer said at the end of the day for all the good things that happened would also be a good idea to implement.
Many homeschooling families have to get creative about how to make up for the loss of a second income because one of the parents chooses to stay at home and homeschool the children. Most of them come up with ideas to work from home along with handling their homeschooling responsibilities. This is easier with the many opportunities that are present with working online. However would it be possible for the homeschooling parents to both work away from the home and still do justice to homeschooling the children? Here are some ways that could make it work.
Work Different Shifts
By working around each other’s shifts it is possible for one parent to always be present at home. This parent then becomes the defacto homeschool teacher for the school day. In this way the children can be taught by both parents. Mom can handle the subjects she is comfortable with and Dad can do the ones he likes. Both are equally invested in the schooling of their children. This is easier to do when the children are somewhat older. Toddlers may still need the mother more than the father.
Get Extra Help
If both the parents are working away from the house, it would be a good idea to get more help with the children. A relative who is free to help out would be best, but it’s easy enough to hire someone responsible to be with the children while they are at work. This person could be given the homeschool schedule and made to supervise the homeschool student’s work while the parents are not there.
Independent Studies and Extra Classes
Another way to help the schedule is to have the homeschool children work on independent studies while the parents are physically unavailable. That way they are guided to continue learning even when the homeschool teachers are not present. Also extra classes for music, sports and other activities can be scheduled at the time the parents are at work. This ensures that the children are gainfully employed and learning something new, at the time that the parents are unavailable for supervision and teaching.
Words are a much more powerful force than we reckoned. It is an old idiom that the pen is mightier than the sword. The words we think and speak have a very powerful impact on the young minds around us. The choice of words can encourage them to try better next time, or convince them that nothing that they ever do is going to be worthwhile to us.
In addition to minding our own words when we are in the homeschool classroom, it is a very good idea to teach our homeschool students the power of words for themselves. It is one of the most important life lessons that you will ever teach them. Here are a couple of things that a homeschool teacher may suggest to their wards.
Monitor Self Talk
Words are all about communicating. There is no better way to check what we think about ourselves than to actually pay attention to that little voice inside us. Teach your homeschool students to listen to what their inner voice says and share it with you. If it is saying things that are negative and tearing down their confidence, teach them to cancel that type of self talk immediately. Then instead have them say a positive and encouraging statement to themselves. This small exercise when done once a week can bring about a huge positive change in their confidence levels and ability to take on new challenges.
Think Before Speaking With Others
Now that they are speaking kindly to themselves, have them monitor how they are speaking to their siblings, friends and other people around. Ask them to keep their words positive whenever possible. The idea is to teach them to take a second to say the sentence they mean to speak out loud and consider if it is going to hurt the other person. Make them think about what they really wish to communicate and have them consider the words that would best do so. This will have less fights breaking out between siblings and get your homeschool students to be more considerate about others feelings.
A homeschool family depends on one individual to provide all it’s needs. Be it in the homeschool classroom or at home in general. This means that the homeschool teacher, usually the mom, has a lot of pressure on her at all times to perform at her best. Here are some resources that allow a homeschool teacher to meet all the needs of her family in a stress free and organized manner.
Having a dedicated computer for yourself is an absolute must for any homeschool teacher. Set up a separate user account for each of your homeschool students so that they do not inadvertently destroy hours of lesson plans, schedules and more that you will be working on. The computer matched with a printer is one of the most important resources that a homeschool teacher will need.
A Library Card
Yes, there are a lot of books available online. Yes, you may own a kindle, but truth is that a visit to the library is more than just getting study resources. The feel of a physical book, the hunt for a new story that will be read out loud, or simply a couple of good who dun its for you to relax with, a library card can help with all this and more. A trip to the library is one of the easiest field trips that you can take as a homeschool teacher.
It can be a paper and pen one that you lug around or it can be online on Google Calendar. The organizer should hold all your appointments, chores, and schedule for the homeschool classroom. It can take a few hours on the weekend to update for the rest of the week, but it will save a lot of time and effort at a later stage. Since no two days look alike for a homeschool teacher, an organizer is an absolute must.
Membership to a Homeschool Support Group
There is a lot to be said for a support group. Meeting with people facing the same challenges you are, can be therapeutic as well as helpful as you learn from their mistakes.A homeschool parent will gain a lot out of a membership to a local homeschool support group.
There are a lot of resources that may be used in the homeschool classroom. Given here is a list of four resources that will make it much easier for the homeschool parent in the classroom.
A White Board
So much can be explained and done on a white board. It does not have to be very large, but it would be a good idea if it is hung up on a wall of the homeschool classroom. Ensure that you have white board markers in all different colors available along with a duster to wipe the board clean.
Art and Craft Supplies
No matter what subject you decide to make a project in, you will need all kinds of art supplies. It’s a good idea to invest in these scissors, cutters, colors, pencils, sharpers, glue and staplers in bulk. They do not spoil over time and they will always be used in the homeschool classroom.
A Laptop and Color Printer
Most families will already have a computer dedicated to the homeschool classroom. Having a laptop with an internet connection is such a basic requirement, that it need not even be mentioned. However having a color printer available at home is a resource that is quite invaluable. So many worksheets, lesson plans, notes and more can be printed out right in the homeschool classroom if a color printer is available.
A Lamination Machine
This may at first not seem to be a very useful resource to spend money on in a homeschooling family. However the sheer number of pages, documents, flash cards, and chore lists that you can laminate and save time on later will be well worth the initial expense of investing in a lamination machine.
Books are the best resource that a homeschool classroom can invest in. However physical books take up a lot of space, which can be in short supply in the homeschool classroom. They also tend to cost much more than their digital counterparts. This means that buying and using e-books is a much better alternative to spending on physical books. Plus with the Amazon Kindle, you have the option to use the Kindle Unlimited membership to have free access to hundreds of books at a very low cost.
Cutting down on expenses is not always easy when you have a classroom full of homeschool students. However there is always a way to stretch what resources you do have to benefit everyone. Here are some ways that you can do more without going bankrupt in your homeschool classroom.
Re-Use What You Have
Instead of investing in workbooks, invest in textbooks. These can be re-used for the next homeschool student who reaches the grade. Buy more unit studies as these will have activities and knowledge for different grade levels and experiences. Use educational games. These can be played with all the homeschool students and can be modified in difficulty levels as they grow older. The idea is to be able to use each resource that you buy for at least two academic sessions and with at least two of your homeschool students to make them more economically viable.
Inexpensive Supplies and Furniture
A lot of money and effort can be saved if you re-purpose what is already available within the home to use in the homeschool classroom rather than going for store bought supplies and furniture. Stock up on spiral notebooks in the month of August when they are cheapest. They can be used throughout the year for various purposes. Buy school supplies in bulk packages where ever possible to ensure that you get good discounts. Reuse school bags, pencil boxes and other material which is still in good condition. Buy something new only when the old breaks beyond repair.
Frugal Field Trips Combined with Errands
Taking the homeschool students on a field trip could often be combined with chores such as picking up groceries so as to save money on fuel. Also field trips can be made to places like public parks, town libraries and historical sites which do not have any entry fees. There is plenty of learning that can happen on such field trips as long as the homeschool parent plans the trip well in advance. Spending on food on a field trip can prove to be quite expensive, so make sure that each homeschool student has their own food packed from home.
Money is always a consideration when a homeschool parent looks into resources for their homeschool students. There are always surprise expenses that tend to throw the homeschool budget out of kilter each academic session. However that does not mean that the homeschool students will have to do without good study material. Here are some ways to homeschool effectively on a shoestring budget.
Don’t Buy, Borrow
When it comes to text books, buying new ones can prove prohibitively expensive. Instead of buying new books look for homeschool cooperative associations and libraries from where you can borrow them. Many such libraries allow you to keep books for a month or more. Use each subject text book to set the tone for the topic being studied and then move on to using other free resources.
Buy Second Hand
Not only are many homeschool parents looking to recover some of the money that they spent on textbooks, it also gives the next homeschooling family a financial cushion to be able to buy textbooks second hand. Keep in touch with parents whose children are in a grade higher than your own and ask them about selling their text books at the end of the academic session. This can be a major savings source.
Books that may not be in the best of states physically are often sold for a song by libraries. The material inside is still good. Check the condition of the books before you buy them to see that you can use them with your homeschool students. You can get a number of reference books at an extremely reasonable rate if you keep track of the local library sales.
Public School Giveaways
While you may not get exactly the sort of books you want your homeschool students to read, you can still pick up map books, encyclopedias, workbooks and other reference material at these giveaways. There is no harm in checking out what you can pick up for free or at really minimal costs. Make sure that you go through all the second hand books you get before handing them over to your children to use.
While every homeschooling parent would like to pretend that the picture perfect classroom runs like clockwork everyday, we all know that it’s a fallacy. There will be good days just as often as there will be bad days in the homeschool classroom. The idea is to keep trying to gather as many good and productive days that you can with your homeschool students. However there are some emotional costs of homeschooling that a homeschool teacher may find difficult to pay.
Explaining Your Decision to Homeschool
“Why do you homeschool your children when there’s a perfectly good public school near by?” This is one of the most energy draining questions that homeschooling parents have to deal with. Having to explain the rationale behind their decision to homeschool, and why they feel that it was a better choice for their children is a huge emotional cost. Even when you stand by your decision firmly, the mere fact that so many people seem to question your choice, can be difficult. It is one the single, most difficult things attached to being a homeschooling parent.
The Constant Supervision
When your children are being homeschooled, you never get a break. A parent whose child goes to regular school can enjoy the time off from supervising the children while they are being handled by teachers in school. A homeschool parent never gets that kind of time off. No matter how they are feeling, in good health, or sickness, with guests arriving for dinner, or grandparent’s dropping in for a quick visit, the homeschool parent is always responsible for their homeschool students. The only true break is when the spouse takes over for a while.
Struggling for Acceptance
While things are much easier now, since there is a higher level of awareness about homeschooling, the regular parents always struggle to accept homeschooling parents. To be a part of a group of parents in the neighborhood who are seen as some what strange or different for their decision to homeschool, is also a taxing emotional experience. They may like you as a person, but not be sure how to react to you or even how to socialize with you.