Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top 10 Things I can't live without in my homeschooling day

There are a few things that I need to make homeschooling work.  Things that optimize homeschooling (sounds educational doesn't it?).  Optimize.  Good word. But I need certain things to be in place for learning to take place in our house. Some of these things I need daily and others weekly.  I can live without some of them (maybe not coffee) but they definitely make life easier.

1.  Internet/ Computer
We do lots of activities online including: Reading Eggs, Chess, Mandarin, and all sorts of research.We watch the series Drive thru History on TBN, and Chinese Television online. 

2.  Library cards - I could say the library but even the library is inaccessible without these.  Believe me I  know - after heading to the library, spending 2 hours choosing books, DVDs and music and heading to the counter with almost 50 items only to discover you have left your library cards at home, Library cards are like gold!

3.  Art supplies - we do this almost every day - and art supplies can include cereal boxes, toilet rolls, coloured rice, scraps of material, magazines - anything with which we can create - and then sometimes we buy supplies too.  In fact the most important items on this list would be glue and scissors. 

4.  At least one read aloud- we love reading and living books are an inspiration.  The day seems incredibly empty when we don't have at least one read aloud.

5.  Stationary - lots of pencils, erasers, crayons, click pencils for extra neat work

6.  Coffee - an endless supply.  Whether roasted, instant or frothed - local, Jamaican or Brazilian - any flavour, any time.

7.  Snacks - homeschooling would be incomplete without it, never mind concentration levels
8.  Television - yep, not for telly sake but for our Maths Programs, Educational DVDs and Screen time on a Friday (for children AND parents)

9.  Open windows- smells and bells, we have a lot of those.  Winter, summer, rain or shine - fresh air is a necessity especially with my boys who like to leave little fragrances around the room


10.  Activities or Sports - we have very active children - Nippers Lifesaving, J-boarding, skateboarding, ramping, tennis, trampoline, bike riding, surfing, running, hiking.  School is by far a lot more manageable when there are activities that get their bodies moving and their hearts racing.

11.  Coffee - I know I already said that but by the time I got to number 11 from number 6, I realised I needed another cup of coffee already and so thought it only a true reflection of the real life drama of a coffee addict. (or to be politically correct caffeine challenged)

12.  A plan - not necessarily on paper but definitely in my head.  I spend at least 15 to 20 minutes every morning planning the days activities, or the focus of the day.  Thinking about what was left incomplete the day before, what topics I would like to cover today and also any specific interests the children have shown that are worth further investigation or study.

13.  Bible and Prayer - I am lost without it.  I come undone without it.  I need my own time in the morning -not with the children but just the Lord and I.  They also do their own individual study time every morning and then we do a family devotion.

14.  Sleep - oh yeah baby, this is my number one priority for all of us.  This is a must.  None of us function on a little sleep and I get cranky when I have been up too late.  This will often set the platform for the day.  If we get to bed too late, then we start late and we spend the rest of the day catching up.

15.  The Principal - you bet we have one and a good looking one at that!  In fact this principle likes a cuddle and a kiss between lessons.  (OK maybe a little bit too much info for sensitive readers - that's marriage!)  Fortunately my husband works from home, so we have a 24/7 husband and principal in the house.  Discipline issues are sent through to him.  It takes the pressure off me and it also ensures my peace of mind and heart are in the right place for the rest of the day.  Discipline issues can often be draining, taking all the joy out of the day.  This is a strategy that I have found works for me, but I know that there are many of you that don't have that privilege and so you will have your own way of working through this!

So there's my list. Yes I know there are more than 10 things, but I couldn't resist adding a few more.  I'm talkative in that way and you always get more than you bargained for with me.

Now it's your turn.  What's on your list?  What are your absolute must haves in your homeschool?  Leave a comment!

And finally: One more day
Yes only one before the Tin Town giveaway winner is announced.  Go on, why not enter?   Even if you don't have little one's. they would make great gifts for friends or family.



16 comments:

  1. I love the pic's of your children in the surf and then completely passed out. Simply beautiful. :)

    My hubby will be working from home three days a week from next week, hoping I can get him to help with the discipline issues, as you are so right, completely draining and seems to set a horrible tone for the rest of the day.

    Bible and Prayer - Amen, amen, amen. :))))))

    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. So glad for you! It will make the world of difference. My children are definitely more manageable when Sean is here, even if they never visit the principles office:)

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  2. Good list, i might add a friend who listens and shares my high's and lows....and space to take a walk alone at the end of the day....

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    1. Absolutely and we do don't we. Glad we always have a space to be open and honest. We need more friends like that.

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  3. Thank you very much. We are a South African Home Schooling family living in Turkey. I'm hosting a Home Schooling event for moms this afternoon at my home. You encourage me with your great heart and thoughts on this subject.

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    1. Wow Turkey, that sounds exciting, and homeschooling there too. Are the other moms that are attending South African too?

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    2. No they were from America, Holland and Sweden. An American lady that has been living here for 18 years Home Schooled her 8 kids for the last 18 years came and shared her thoughts with us. It was such a good time especially for the moms just starting Home Schooling.

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    3. Sounds amazing and its great that you have support group

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  4. Such a precious picture of your boys! Be sure to bring that out at the rehearsal dinner for their weddings so they can always remember how special they were/are to each other!

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    1. Thank you so much Elena, they really are too precious but aren't all children like that when they are sleeping?

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  5. Found your blog through the Carnival of Homeschooling... I enjoyed it very much.

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    1. Thank you for visiting fellow blogger:O

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  6. Great list, especially the coffee! I like the picture of your son munching crazily on the cheese.

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    1. Sad to say I could probably put the coffee in a few more places!

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  7. The library and internet are such valuable resources for us as well! Luckily, our local library lets us use a driver's license if we forget our library card. Plus, the librarians know us...we're in so often and check out so many books! :) (Found you through the Carnival of Homeschooling.)

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    1. Thank you for visiting, unfortunately our librarians, as helpful as they are, are like Fort Nox if you try and take books out without cards. I know now not even to ask, because the look you get is enough to have you scuttle off to the corner and hide behind one of your children.

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