Let’s talk about the homeschool basics and finding your way back if you have strayed away. Do you feel lost? Have you lost focus? It happens! Don’t fret about it simply stop and take a breath. Then take a day or two to revamp and get back to the basics.
What are the homeschool basics?
What are the basics? Simply the three R’s: Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic. I know you’re thinking, “Can I really do that?” Certainly! Getting a handle on your day of activities is key. How much time do you have for academics? How much time do you have for other activities?
So, first we need to zone in on the basics of academics. Homeschooling is schooling at home. School is academics being taught so we need to make sure the academics are being covered. To start finding your way back to the basics, be sure to plan in the three Rs. Then list the other subjects you want to add in the future when things are settling in and you find a little more time in your day.
Other homeschool activities
Now lets discuss the other activities going on in the week as we are getting back to the homeschool basics. First, make a list of all the activities that are a must for the week. Naps for little ones and sometimes just a rest period for older ones are important to keep in your day. Trust me, this rest period in the day helps make the day go smoother, so plan some down time. Everyone needs to eat breakfast and lunch, so be sure to set some time aside for these important activities. Time for breakfast and lunch rather than a rush-through is much healthier for the family.
Are there specific appointments? Therapy? Music lessons? Karate class? Evaluate these activities and decide how important they are to your children and their future. Remember we still need to add a few learning subjects. So, are the extra curricular all necessary. Pick one to enjoy and do it well with the kids. Then make a list of the other things that everyone wants to do, and when you can add one or two, then do so. Sometimes we can fit those in during the summer or the late spring. We don’t have to do extracurricular activities year-round.
What about tutorials and co-ops?
What about tutorials and co-ops? Are you involved in one of these? If you are not involved with these then just skip these next two sections.
While I do believe that these are great activities, they are not needed for every homeschool family. There are several things here we can discuss. If you are using these as a place to socialize but are also trying to get a subject or two in at the same time, it may be time to rethink the situation. I always recommend choosing academic need or social activity when looking at co-ops and tutorials. If the need is for socialization, then look for tutorial or co-op that is about an 8 week at a time with enrichment activities like science experiments, arts and crafts, PE, homemaking and other things that can be group activities. These are fun socialization classes which teach skills rather than academics.
Quality of learning and academic content
If you are in need of academic help for subjects from a tutorial or co-op, then don’t double up by doing that same subject at home too. Also, don’t expect the academics class to also be a time for socialization because it is more of a time for learning. When choosing academic need, don’t expect or claim socialization reasons. Instead it should be about the quality of learning and academic content. Think about the study involved for that class and whether there is stress to keep up with the class on your child. Also what are your responsibilities for said co-op? Even once a week can be a major interruption and not be accomplishing what your true goal is for the classes.
Academic help needed?
So, now may be time to evaluate the real need for classes outside the home versus enrichment. Time to get back to the basics of homeschooling to get control back in the day.
On a side note, if you are needing help with academics, how about help with lesson presentations without going away from home to get that help? Having that help at home for the lesson presentation saves a lot of time. In order to go out, we have to get ready, and then there is drive time there and back. Even if it is in town, there is a lot of time involved that can be used for other activities. See what I used here to save me a lot of time. >>My Choice
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Once you have your lists of activities and evaluate those outside classes, decide which activities are most important to you. Then, just keep a list of “want to” activities. Don’t fret! You will go back to the list. But remember, we just need to get back to the homeschool basics sometimes to get back control, and that is okay.
Don’t be afraid to get back to the homeschool basics.
- Evaluate academics – Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic
- Evaluate outside activities
- Evaluate outside classes
Temporarily, get rid of all unnecessary content and activities in order to get back to the homeschool basics. Only you can do the evaluation. As you do this, picture a smorgasbord. You have a plate in your hand, and as you fill that plate, you will attempt to eat all you put on that plate. If you pile it high and eat it all, then you will suffer for it later. We need to balance our plates with proteins (the meat of our day) veggies, (spiritual growth) and dessert (extra activities). Each day is a new plate. Don’t try to eat (do) it all in one day!
Check out these tools to help with scheduling as that is key to getting back to the basics. >>> Tools to Schedule
Are you on overload and overwhelmed? It is okay! That is a normal to feel that way, especially in the fall and into the winter. My desire is to help and encourage you. Connect with me here in the comments and let me know how you are doing. Tell me what part of your homeschool is overwhelming you this year. Do you need some support? Connect with me and join my support group. If you have homeschool friends who are struggling, please share this post with them.