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It’s been a few months since we starting our first homeschooling year. We have started with a 1st grader, 5th grader, and we also have a toddler running around.
To say it was a rough start would be an understatement.
We have finally found a good flow though!
That didn’t come without having to make some changes.
Here’s a list of things I’ve changed since the beginning of the year. Every family is unique and these things might be things that work for you or don’t.
- I stopped having a strict schedule.
Things happen. We have three kids. Someone is almost always sick, in a bad mood, has an appointment or club to attend, or sometimes it’s just a nice day out. Part of the reason we wanted to try homeschooling was the freedom that we would gain.
- I’ve changed some of the ways we learn.
Both kids started with Khan Academy for math and my oldest also was using it for history. We’ve gravitated to doing a more hands on approach with the math. My oldest and I will work out problems together on the white board as he is learning the concepts. I work with my middle child right on his papers. They both still use Khan Academy, but they learn the concepts on paper first. I’ve also allowed more computer games that also teach, but are not necessarily education heavy. They are a good reward for doing the boring stuff.
- Instead of trying to do everything separate for both grades, I’m mixing history, science, and art lessons.
From what I’m understanding, there is a standard for what each grade learns about history. It’s super hard to educate multiple grades in one house. We are getting into doing more of history, science, and art and I’m heavily relying on Pinterest to mix those things together. I’m finding ways that they can each learn about these things together, but at their appropriate levels. I like that they can then further discuss what we are learning with each other. Click here to check out my Pinterest boards.
- I’ve stopped trying to compare us to others.
And by others I mean public schoolers and home schoolers alike. Everyone is different. Everyone learns at their own pace and has their own interests. I don’t want them to feel pressured to be super kids because they are homeschooled. Everyone finds their own way. As long as they are always moving forward, we will find ours.
- I encourage them to choose a topic to explore.
Sometimes it’s weekly and sometimes it’s not, but I’m trying to give them more say over their learning experience and to ignite further curiosity. Sometimes we use youtube to explore a topic one is suddenly interested in or maybe the library. I try to not just say “no” if they are curious about something that we haven’t gotten to yet.
As this first year continues, I have no doubt that we will continue to tweak and try to improve how we do things.
If you’re a seasoned homeschooler, or even unschooler, feel free to drop some comments below on what worked for you and what didn’t.