Give yourself a few minutes of peace and quiet before the craziness of the day (aka your children being children) begins. It is amazing the difference in your day if you are able to drink a cup of coffee, read your Bible, or just sit in silence for a few minutes before the kids wake up.
2. Get Organized
One of the best ways to get and stay organized is to create a schedule. The 1st thing that you need to do have a schedule that will actually work is to pencil in all of the big items scheduled for the week that are recurring. Then, write out those items that are most important so that you have time scheduled to do them.
Find a cleaning list that works for you. Not only do you want a list that will keep you on track day-by-day, but you need one that will also break up the deeper cleaning chores by week and month.
Create a Chores List for each of your kiddos. Yes, even the young ones! Any children that are walking can help with many different tasks around the house. Little ones are always interested in helping parents and older siblings with household duties. The more you let them "help" or watch, the earlier they will be able to take over the completion of that task and actually do it well. You will be surprised at how quickly they pick up and master the tasks. Here is a list of chores that can you can typically expect children to be able to do, broken down by age, that you can use as a guide.
3. Know your Learning style and your children's learning styles
You are more likely to teach in a way that makes sense to you. That's great, but if your student learns in an entirely different way than you do, you will always be frustrated because you don't understand why they aren't getting it. But, if you are aware of how your student learns you can tailor you lessons to them so that you can reach them in the way that suits them best.
There are some days where completing the normal Homeschool checklist just seems impossible and THAT'S OKAY! Don't stress over trying to make every day run perfectly or you will burn out VERY quickly. Here are some ideas of things to do when you just need a break:
Go on a field trip
Watch Documentaries or the History Channel
Go to the Library and have fun researching a topic of interest
Spend the day outside to enjoy the beauty of God's creation
Help out at a nursing home (Teaching children to think about people other than themselves is a GREAT lesson.)
Schooling is definitely important, but there are many things that children need to learn that aren't in textbooks. So, it is important to give them opportunities like the ones mentioned here along with others. Giving your children these experiences on days when a break is needed is just killing two birds with one wonderful stone!
5. Don't be afraid to outsource
Let's face it, as moms we always have 1,000 things going on where we could use an extra hand (or ten!) to help out. Don't be afraid to outsource some of your children's classes to an online program. You may be surprised at how much stress it can take off of your work load. You wouldn't have to plan, teach, or grade the material from those classes and you would be able to be a "helper" for your child's homework instead of the "teacher". Sometimes being able to change roles, even for just a class or two, can help the parent/student relationship dramatically.
There are many different classes and topics that can be studied online so do some research to find the program that will best benefit your family. There are a few questions to ask yourself when looking for an online program:
Do I want my student to attend live classes where they can ask questions of their teacher in real-time, or would it be better to have the flexibility that a self-paced class offers?
Some programs offer only one or the other where other programs may offer both types, depending on the class.
Do I want my student to use hardcopy textbooks or do they learn better by reading and studying using online materials?
Sometimes it is hard to tell how the materials are accessed for student work, but be sure to ask these questions up front before you join an online program.
Will my student work better with peers taking the same class, or would they benefit from being isolated so they can focus on the task at hand?
If students have joined a live class, more than like there will be lots of interaction with other students in and outside of the class. If this is not something that will benefit your student, self-paced may be the best option.
Does my student need the accountability that a live class offers? Would he/she fall behind if they were given the chance to work at their own pace?
How do I want my student's work to be graded?
Some programs require the parents to grade the work and just submit the grades, others require work to be mailed in at different times throughout the year, and another type offers the ease of scanning in the work where it can then be graded and reviewed online. There are pros and cons to each option, so you should weigh out each option to see which best fits your family.
These are just a few of the factors to consider when choosing an online program to work with you and your family. So, whether you choose to take a few classes with Beacon of Hope Online Learning or use a different resource, be sure to get all your questions answered to make sure the program you choose will fit into your family.
Have you ever tried any of these tips to make your Homeschool day less stressful? What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since beginning your Homeschool journey? We would love to hear below.