Standard Operating Procedures in the Homeschool Classroom

Are you constantly wishing for a the gravel from the court scene of the movie you saw in order to bring your homeschool class to order? Is the noise level becoming too loud for you to handle? Then you need to take a look at these ideas. Keeping the peace in a homeschool classroom can become a daunting task if the homeschool teacher does not have standard operating procedures in place. Here are some suggestions.

Three Before Me

This quite literally means that the homeschool student has to try three sources of information before coming to the homeschool teacher to ask for any clarification. It could be their peers in the classroom, a book that can give them good references on the topic, or even an internet website that may have articles on what they seek. Only when they have tried three sources and still not understood what they need to know can they approach the homeschool parent.

This is a system that works well with the slightly older homeschool students who have a good idea about how to access information from different places. It serves to make them more independent as well as giving them the confidence in learning on their own. It also gives them focus and patience when they really want to know something and realize that they need to speak with the homeschool parent to sort this out.

The Attention Seeking Tap

The younger children in the homeschool classroom can be more prone to making a racket and demanding attention. For them the homeschool teacher can institute this standard operating procedure. If they have a query and the homeschool teacher is busy with another child, they can come and give the parent a tap on the forearm. The parent will give them a tap back on their forearm to acknowledge their need.

The child must then wait by them silently till they are addressed. This allows the homeschool teacher to finish what they have started with the other homeschool student, while being aware that the younger sibling needs their attention. It will cut down the temper tantrums and noise level in the homeschool classroom.

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Reducing Interruptions in the Homeschool Classroom

There’s a number of ways that your homeschool classroom can get disrupted. The more interruptions in a day, the less work gets done. The less work completed, the more likely the daily schedule will be met. In order to ensure that you have the least number of interruptions, the homeschool teacher needs to insulate the classroom to ensure least number of distractions make it through.

The External Distractions

The doorbell and the telephone are the two biggest external distractions that a homeschooling parent will face. It’s a good idea to let the friends and family know that you will not be available during school hours. Of course there may still be occasions where the class in progress will be interrupted for unplanned visitors. In this case have a back up plan for the homeschool students to study or work on while you deal with them. You could have a video lined up to show them which can be followed by a quiz. This will not require you presence, but still have them learning something while you are away.

The Internal Distractions

The children themselves can become disruptive when you are trying to teach one kid something and the other one wants your attention at the same time. Here is a good place to instill a system like them touching you on the arm and asking when can you help me with this? Then you can give them an effective time frame, or set a timer for them to see when you will be free to be with them. It will avoid having a free for all argument that leads to absolutely no productivity.

Handling Interruptions Easily

The important thing to remember is that life is always going to have distractions and interruptions. Your attitude as you handle them will ensure that you still get stuff done. Keeping cool under fire can help the homeschool teacher get a whole lot more done, even though having a temper tantrum and yelling at the children may make you feel a lot better. Practice deep breathing to make it second nature to hold the right attitude with ease.

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More Games for the Homeschool Classroom

There’s a number of games that can be played in the homeschool classroom for a few minutes that can rev up the energy of the sagging students. Here’s a few suggestions. You can try them out and add variations that suit your homeschool students better. The idea is to have fun and suspend formal learning for a while.

The Pink Toe Game

This is a simple game that even pre-schoolers can join in. The homeschool teacher calls out a color and a body part – Pink Toe! Now the homeschool student must find something of pink color in the classroom and touch it with their toe. Brown Finger would involve finding something of brown color and touching it with their finger. You can revise both the colors and the body parts with this fun game. It also gives the kids a chance to get out of their seats and physically do something.

The Sports Mime Game

This is more action oriented and your primary grade homeschool students will love it. The sports announcer, or the homeschool teacher, announces a sports skill, such as dribbling a basket ball. As soon as the announcement is made the kids have to mime the action for ten seconds. Then the next announcement is made. Possible sports skills that can be mimed include shooting a jump shot, batting a baseball home run, skating a figure eight, skiing down a hill, a ballerina making a twirl, playing a tennis volley, and you can let your imagination go wild.

The Keyword Musical Game

For your older homeschool students with a musical inkling, this game will be super fun. Use a list of random words and write them down on individual chits of paper. Now as the homeschool student picks a chit, the keyword on the paper becomes the cue to as many songs as he can think of. For example if the word is walk, the songs can be walking like an Egyptian, only thing about me is the way I walk, etc. The idea is to sing out songs which include the verb walk or walking. The kid to get the maximum number of songs from his keyword is declared the winner.

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Cure Homeschool Classroom Boredom

There’s always so much to do in the homeschool classroom and never enough time. A homeschool teacher may wish to rush through the lessons to stay on track with the schedule for the day. However there are some days that just don’t want to adhere to the schedule that has been painstakingly put together. That’s the time to have some fun in the classroom to break the monotony.

The physical energy booster

Near the end of the day the energy levels of both the teacher and the homeschool students are low. Playing a game can serve as a quick and simple energy booster. We have the classic sit and stand game where the kids need to pay attention to what order is given and perform the action. So the adult can call out the two commands in rapid succession and random order. The idea is for the students to follow them correctly. If you get it wrong, it doesn’t matter. We start all over again. Doing this for a mere five minutes will energize the whole classroom.

The mental energy booster

There may be times when the children are too tired to even move. That’s when these mental energy boosting games can come in handy. Pick a number, say 5. Now make the kids start counting regularly like 1, 2, 3, 4, but when they come to 5 or nay multiples of 5 they have to say Buzz. So it goes like 1, 2, 3, 4, Buzz, 6, 7, 8, 9 Buzz, 11 and so forth. If the children are too young to understand multiples, you can simply have them count the number and any number with a digit five will be buzzed. For instance numbers like 15, 25, 35, 45, 50, 51, etc will not be spoken but replaced with Buzz.

The dynamic energy changer

At times you just need to change the ambiance of the class completely. This is possible when you add some music. You can simply develop a set of dance moves that can be easily adapted to sitting and standing positions. Then teach them to your homeschool students and let them follow you around. It’s an instant energy shot, especially if you can set out some nice and peppy music that everyone loves to listen to.

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Healthy Snack Time with Homeschool Students

The food that your homeschool students eat, is the fuel that runs their bodies and brains. Having a balanced diet may not always be possible when you are rushing around trying to homeschool, run errands and keep pace with chores at home. Here are some ways to ensure that snack time and food going into your homeschool students is relatively healthy with minimal effort.

Have Fruits Always Available

Fresh fruits are a fantastic source of minerals and vitamins. Having a range of fruits readily available is a good way to stay on the healthy eating track. Bananas, apples, grapes are always good for a quick snack with no effort. Have citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit cut in half and arranged on a plate for regular snack time. Pomegranate kernels are a time consuming snack which little fingers love to eat. Don’t forget to wash hands before and after fruit time.

Salads Are a Quick Fix

Have sprouts, nuts, and salad leaves like iceberg or romaine lettuce at home. Along with a bunch of dressings that can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.  Dips made of yogurt and nuts also make a good addition to these impromptu salads. Having these items ready makes it easy for your homeschool students to fix themselves a salad whenever hunger strikes. It’s not going to come as a surprise that the more popular fixings will need refilling more often. Still when you consider that raw and healthy food is going in to their mouths, it’s an easy bug to bear.

The Proteins Come From Meat

It’s having grilled or shredded meats ready that allows a quick sandwich fixing. Yes the best way to have them ready may seem like having frozen foods in the fridge, but it’s not quite as healthy as getting the raw meat and cooking it at home yourself. Not to mention that it will have less preservatives and taste better as well. Cooking at home is all about having the ingredients ready and at hand. A little bit of organized grocery shopping can go a long way in ensuring that your homeschooling family eats healthy!

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More Fun Homeschool Activities

The freedom and flexibility of a homeschooling environment are conducive to creating some great memories with your homeschool students. With just a little planning, it is possible to get a lot of learning done even as your homeschool students pick up new skills and have fun. Here are some ideas for activities that you can add to your homeschool experience.

The Poet-Tea

Make tea time an interesting cultural experience. Have your homeschool students pick a poem each for sharing with everyone at tea time. It’s reminiscent of the cultural gatherings of old times. It also helps create new learning opportunities for your kids. They can start with their favorite poets and then move up to creating their own poems to share with the family. They will also discuss the reason why they chose the poem and the significance that it holds in their mind. Literary appreciation will get a major boost.

Mad Libs Templates

This is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story. The story is then read out loud and can be quite comical. Have fun with your children creating a mad libs template in the homeschool classroom and then use it on unsuspecting friends and family members. Encourage your children to get as creative as they can get. Try using templates of popular stories they are familiar with such as a morning at Hogwarts or maybe something out of a Dr Seuss book. Improves self expression and creates major opportunities for fun!

The Dance Playlist

Introduce different styles of dancing with a short playlist of five songs. They can have everything from ballet to salsa. The idea is to get the children familiar with the different types of music genres. Plus find the few steps in each that can be easily performed. It will help them be more comfortable when they have to actually attend a social event that involves dancing. Plus it’s a good excuse to cross PE off the homeschool schedule. Let the music selection be taken over by the children once in a while for even more fun.

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3 Ideas for Homeschooling Fun

All study and no fun can make your homeschool students dull. So here are some ideas to add fun in a reasonable and cost effective manner to your homeschooling family. Maybe these will spark your imagination to come up with more activities of your own that are better suited to your homeschool students.

The Food and Drink Bar

Have a table set up with snacks and beverage fixings in the homeschool classroom once a week. It can be accessed as a reward for a job well done, the homeschool student can place an order for something on the food and drink bar. This is in addition to whatever snack for the day is already being provided. You can add some cookies, crisps, or homemade favorites to the items on the bar. Setting it up is a weekly fun activity that everyone can look forward to. You may even ask the kids for help in the kitchen to make the more popular items ordered often from the bar!

The Ambiance Setting

If it’s a special occasion such as an upcoming festival or birthday, it may be fun to decorate the homeschool classroom for it. The art class could be used to make handmade decorations. Make the decorations festival appropriate, for instance black cats and orange pumpkins for Halloween, painted eggs and bunnies for Easter, and so on. The balloons and streamers can never go wrong to help cheer up a room, so keep some on hand for an instant transformation. Get the kids involved and ask for their ideas. You will be pleasantly surprised at what they come up with.

The Homeschool Vision Board

This is not to be confused with the notice board that displays scheduled lessons and productive art work. This is a space where homeschool goals are displayed in visual form. So if there’s a plan to go to see a specific monument, it can go up on the board. If there homeschool teacher wants the kids to do well in their studies, a mock report card with their names and all A+ grades written next to the subjects can go up. Think of what else can go on your homeschool vision board and update it regularly once a month.

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Back to Homeschool Rituals

While a number of homeschooling families do not take a long summer break in sync with regular schools, they may take a short break during this period from the homeschool classroom. When getting ready to go back to a normal schedule of classes, it may be a good idea to set up some rituals to help the homeschool students get back in the flow.

The School Supplies Shopping

All children do well with organized activities. Taking them shopping for a list of school supplies that they will need the next academic session, is a good way to draw their attention to the fact that the summer break is nearly over and homeschool classes will begin again. It’s a good idea to have a written list that they need to shop by, else yu may overspend your budget before the year begins!

The Start of Year Photograph

Get them all dressed up and pretty for the first photograph of the new academic session. Keep these printed photos in the yearly scrapbook. Add field trips, special projects, and other images to it as you go along. The children will enjoy leafing through the pages at the end of the year. It also gives them a sense of structure of things to come in the upcoming year.

The Student Interview

Have a list of questions ready for your little homeschool classroom celebrities. Let them answer in written just to get back into the habit of writing. They can answer questions about their favorite book, movie, sports, and friends. It’s a worksheet that’s all about them. You can even add a section for them to paste in their photographs. A sneaky way to get them to start writing again.

The End of the Day Ritual

A simple thing like going out to get a burger at the end of the first day of school can become a ritual. Or you can incorporate some creativity in the kitchen and have them make food art which is edible for supper. Just think of something fun that can be done over the years to establish the ritual.

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Pros for Homeschooling Special Needs Children

There are a lot of advantages of homeschooling special needs children. If you are on the cusp of making a decision about the schooling of your own special needs child, you may want to consider these points in favor of having them homeschooled rather than looking for an inclusive school for them.

You Control the Schedule

Whether you like it or not, a regular school has a bunch of students and a set number of lessons to cover. The schedule that they follow may not always be in sync with the way your special needs student handles school work. If you choose to homeschool your child, you will be able to have a lot more flexibility over how you teach your child. If he or she takes longer learning a specific topic, you will be flexible enough to take it in your stride.

One on One Attention

No matter how good a teacher is in a inclusive school, there are bound to be more students than teachers. The one on one ratio that you would have in a homeschool set up, is just not possible in another school. You will be able to help your homeschool student explore and ask questions with immediate feedback in a much better manner in the homeschool classroom.

Taking Breaks

The attention span of special needs students often varies. There may be days when they can keep up for an hour and there may be days when paying attention for even fifteen minutes is a challenge. In the homeschool classroom you can always take breaks and come back to something more productive for the day. In the regular school the child will simply have to muddle through whatever the rest of the class is doing.

Handling Distractions

A quiet and peaceful ambiance is a great place for special needs children to study. This may not always be possible in a classroom full of students. If one child gets upset, the others also tend to follow. Having an isolated place for the homeschooling classroom can reduce such distractions to the minimal, making it easier for the child to concentrate on the studies.


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Homeschooling Tips For Special Needs Students

Having a child with special needs is often a major reason for families to pick homeschooling. While some disabilities may be physical and immediately obvious, there are a whole bunch of disabilities which are not so. Once your child has been officially diagnosed as a special needs child, you may want to consider the following tips as you move him into a homeschool classroom.

Always Have a Backup Caretaker and Teacher

Since there is a lot more to the basic care of a special needs homeschool student, it’s a good idea to have a second teacher and caretaker come in regularly. This allows the homeschool student to become familiar with the other person and when the parent is unavailable it will be easier to handle their absence.

Work at The Child’s Pace

There is no right or wrong way to learn. Ensure that the child is comfortable with whatever has been taught before moving on to the next step. Allow for some extra time in your schedule for concepts that may take longer. Remember it’s not a race. The well being and comfort of the child are always to be adhered to.

Pay Attention to Preferred Learning Style

Each special needs child is likely to have a different way of learning. There is no one size fits all solution for homeschooling such children. The homeschool parent may like to pick up workbooks that are supplements to the preferred learning style of the child. This will make doing the school work much more appealing.

Take Time For Special Therapies

Depending on the needs of the homeschool student special therapists may have to be brought in to help. In some cases you may have people willing to come home, while in others you may have to take your child to the therapist’s office. Make sure you add time in your schedule for this.

Recreation is Just as Important

Studies is the main stay of homeschool, but play time is just as important. Come up with activities that you can enjoy as a family. No matter what their limitations, special needs children also enjoy having fun.

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