Strategies for Creating Homeschool Balance
What does doing too much look like? Doing too much is when you feel completely overwhelmed; it’s when you, your husband, and your children are tired all the time, you're terribly behind and can’t possibly catch up, or the curriculum is incredibly intense.
On the other hand, some parents do too little. Doing too little is when you don’t seem to get to reading, writing, or math, or all the children want to do is play video games and nothing educational ever happens in your homeschool. You might be doing too little if you end up doing less than four hours of educational activity (not only book work) a day.
The first strategy for creating balance is to have a morning meeting, which means that you meet with each of your children one-on-one each morning. Go over what you expect of them or discuss what they did yesterday. Touch base briefly on each of their subjects.
It’s not really an instruction time, because you don’t have to teach your children everything when you homeschool. Your goal is for them to be able to learn independently. This is not a teaching time, rather it’s a touch-base time to make sure they’re on task, not overwhelmed, and doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s also a time for you to be accountable, so you know what subjects need to be covered and follow up on them with your children.
Another key to finding balance in your homeschool is to put your weak areas first. Figure out your child's academically weak areas and work on these courses first in the day. If your child’s weak area is math, you need to prioritize it. Or maybe you recognize that your weak area has nothing to do with your children - your own weak area is organization, and that’s where you need to prioritize your time.
Put your weak area first in terms of your time, so the subject you’re not good at becomes the first thing you do during the day. It’s your number one priority, and you don’t do anything else for fun until you’ve taken care of this 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. It’s also the one area where you should allow yourself to re-purchase curriculum if you need to, if the first curriculum doesn't work.
Let’s suppose that your weak area, or your child's weak area, is math. Put math first — it has to be done before anything else. It’s the number one thing you won’t let go of. Even if somebody gives you free tickets to the opera, you won’t go unless you get math done first. It’s also the first thing you do with your money. Be willing to re-purchase curriculum in your weak area in order to maintain balance.
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