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[Book Excerpt] Creating Homeschool Balance

~ A word from our founder, The HomeScholar Emeritus, Lee Binz ~

This is a chapter from my book, Creating Homeschool Balance: Find Harmony Between Type A and Type Zzz... You can purchase a copy in print or Kindle version on Amazon.

Strategies to Create Balance

What does "too much" look like? Doing too much makes homeschoolers feel completely overwhelmed. It's when you, your husband, and your child are tired all the time; you're terribly behind, can't possibly catch up, and the curriculum is incredibly intense.

On the other hand, some parents do too little. They don't seem to get to reading, writing, or math, all the children want to do is play video games, and nothing educational seems to happen in their homeschool. You might be doing too little if you engage in less than four hours of educational activity (not only bookwork) a day.

Morning Meeting

Oops. They were supposed to be working independently. Instead, they goofed off. Never under-estimate a teenager's ability to avoid work. While sometimes they have intentional lapses, many times teens are focused on other priorities (such as hair or new shoes), and they forget trivial things such as math assignments or research reports.

It would be nice to have teenagers grow up one day and suddenly be responsible, but it's unlikely. It's more common for teenagers to become responsible over time. It takes a lot of time and practice, often with constant time spent shaping and molding. Kids don't start the first day of ninth grade as responsible adults; they begin the process of becoming responsible adults.

This is when the morning meeting can help. When you start the morning by checking in with your child each day, you can shape and mold their "responsibility index." A quick 15 or 30-minute check in with each child can give you the time needed to assess the situation and correct the behavior, encouraging your child to take more responsibility as you go.

Go over what you expect of your child or discuss the schoolwork they did yesterday. Touch base briefly on each of their subjects. It's not instruction time, because you don't have to teach your child everything when you homeschool. Your goal is for them to be able to learn independently. It's a time to touch base and make sure they're on task, not overwhelmed, and doing the work they're supposed to do. It's also a time for you to be accountable; know what subjects they need to cover and follow up with your child.

The morning meeting can help your child stay on task, so they don't "forget" school for a week (or a month!) and fall hopelessly behind. A daily meeting is a great goal. In practice, though, you will miss a day here and there. Homeschoolers are busy people with busy lives, after all! But if you forget a day or two, you will still benefit. Any meeting can provide feedback for children. If you miss a few days, you will eventually return to a meeting and discover any missed assignments.

Even in the "real world" after school, adults encounter frequent check-ups. In business, employees often have a daily meeting with employers. A meeting may not always happen, but if it usually happens, it can help catch any missed assignments.

Weak Areas

Another key to finding balance in your homeschool is to put your weak areas first. Figure out your child's academic weak areas, and work on these courses first each day. If your child's weak area is math, prioritize math. If you recognize your own weak area is organization, it's how you need to prioritize your time.

Put weak areas first in terms of your time, so the subject your child isn't good at becomes the first thing done during the day. It's your number one priority, and you don't do anything merely for fun until you've taken care of the weak area.

Also put your weak area first in terms of your money. Your weak area should be the first thing you spend money on when you go to a convention and buy curriculum. Allow yourself to re-purchase curriculum in your weak area if the curriculum you chose isn't working.

If yours or your child's weak area is math, put math first. Ensure it is completed before anything else. It comes first; it's the number one subject and you won't let it go. Even if somebody gives you free tickets to the theater, don't go unless you get math done first. It's the first thing you do with your money and your time.

Creating Homeschool Balance is one of my Coffee Break Books. What are Coffee Break Books? These are books designed for YOU - a busy homeschool parent feeling frustrated by something, and needing information NOW - all put together in an easy-to-read, short, simple format. Coffee Break Books are perfect for overwhelmed, sleep-deprived moms with a baby on their hip. Simple, large font makes them easy to read even when distracted or pulled in a million directions. They are designed to help parents tackle just ONE issue of homeschooling during just ONE coffee break! Each book combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, easy-to-digest information. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give you the tools you need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.

Learn more in my video review below!

This is a chapter from my book, Creating Homeschool Balance: Find Harmony Between Type A and Type Zzz... You can purchase a copy in print or Kindle version on Amazon.

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Comments 1

Guest - AbacusTrainer on Wednesday, 01 February 2023 03:26

You wrote this blog very well. Very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this!

You wrote this blog very well. Very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this!
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