Errands have to be run sometime! Year-round schooling might be a really good idea as well. Plan for your toddler or preschooler as well as your older children. But planning out play activities and simple crafts for younger brother or sister really helps reduce the chaos! Older children can have time slots in their day when they read to or play with a younger sibling. No mom can function without some down time. Preschool Tips Need ideas for keeping toddlers busy? Provide a basket of books and rotate the contents each week. An expensive preschool curriculum is absolutely not necessary.
You can build your whole preschool experience around books from the library. Here is a big collection of learning activities for preschoolers. The Imagination Tree has lots of ideas for preschool play and learning. By doing this, you will raise their listening comprehension level, which is so important! Need book ideas? Our favorite books for family read-alouds Older classic books help build a great vocabulary. Get kids comfortable with writing by doing some writing daily.
Journals are great for this. Here are eight real-life ways to get kids writing. Tips for teaching your child to read.
Homeschool Philosophy: 7 Different Ways to Homeschool (Plus 1 Way to Unschool)
Organization Tips Hire a nanny. Just kidding… maybe! Before I had kids, I taught science to groups of homeschoolers. A couple of the families had nannies that came to help with cleaning and household chores, and at the time, that seemed extravagant to me. I now fully repent of my judgmental attitude. Plan regular eye exams.
I wish I had taken Gresham in sooner! You can read more about how vision problems can hide here. Get a sturdy magazine file for each child in a different color to hold workbooks and notebook paper or handwriting paper. This sounds silly, but… make sure everything has a place. Otherwise, it will not be put away.
This has taken me a long time to learn! Scissors, tape, glue, pencils — they all need designated homes in your school space. You can view our homeschool room here. Everyone can contribute to household chores. For ideas on what kids can do, check out this Guide to Chores for Kids for a list of chores by room and by age. This is much easier to implement than everyone working in different places. Buy a different brand of underwear for each child. Cuts down on time spent reading the sizes on tags. Buy different brands or colors of socks for each child that are quick to sort. Label clothing tags for each child.
One dot with a permanent marker on the tag for the oldest child, two dots for the second child, etc.
What would you add?
When you hand down clothing, just add more dots! Many shirts are tagless now, but I love this tip. Maybe a dot next to the printed on tag? Keep laundry going during the day, and the kids can help fold and put away in the afternoon or evening. Make a monthly meal plan. Cuts down on planning time, and your grocery list stays the same! You can read more about our school day snack system here.
Assign each family member a specific clean-up job after meals. Pick a day for grocery shopping. Some people prefer to shop twice a month, so that might work better for you. If you have to shop with kids along, give older kids their own list and cart and meet up in the front of the store. Saves time once you train them on how to pick the right package size, etc.
Maintaining Your Sanity Make sure you hang on to your sense of humor. Some days you just have to laugh… or go crazy! Take a break if necessary.
Tips for Parents: Getting Started in Homeschooling
Play music while doing chores. Music can really change a grumpy mood! Leave margin in your schedule. Unexpected things always seem to come up, and tasks take longer than expected, especially if you have three or more children. Make time to get together with friends. Find other homeschooling moms and encourage each other. A morning out at the park on a beautiful day is worth the schoolwork missed.
11 Homeschooling Tips for Parents of Kids with Special Needs
It can be made up another time. And there are plenty of things to learn outdoors! No one said you have to read bedtime stories! A wise homeschool mom recently told me that she was always too tired to read at that point in the day and would be too tempted to rush. A supportive homeschool dad is a precious possession. Some seasons make homeschooling difficult.
Cut yourself some slack during times with a newborn, periods of sickness, etc. To encourage focus, try to keep your school space organized, too. Work with a mentor. Look to other homeschool parents for advice and help. As you get more experience yourself, look for someone you can mentor.
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Join a homeschool group. Join with other homeschoolers or co-ops in your area to provide support for each other. Along with offering teaching resources, these groups give your children a chance to socialize with others.
Saying yes to too many extracurriculars can leave you and your kids tired and overwhelmed. Participate in what really matters to your family, and evaluate your commitments throughout the year to see if something should go. Tackle the hard subjects first. If your children are struggling with certain subjects, such as math or science, teach those in the morning when everyone is more alert. Save the easier subjects for later in the day. Younger children might enjoy having dolls or stuffed animals in the classroom.
Take breaks. There will be times when you and your children get frustrated. Take a break. Go outside for some sunshine and fresh air, get a snack, or play a game together. Realize the curriculum is there to serve you. Use it as a guide instead of a master. Plan ahead. If your child has not been assessed, it is a wise decision to do so prior to homeschooling. An assessment will help you understand more clearly your child needs and how to meet them. If your child has already received a diagnosis, then you should educate yourself about how to help a child with this diagnosis learn effectively.
A Guide to Online Homeschooling
Children with special needs currently in the public school setting already have an IEP. You should be prepared to receive fewer services when you transition to homeschooling. It is also wise to develop an ISP individualized student plan or a SEP student education plan to help you advocate for your child. Have a special part of your home designated as the learning area. You can create sensory centers and stock up on essential crafting supplies.
Having a designated homeschooling space will make it much easier to focus on the task at hand and switch from educational activities to school-free time. Do your homework and research various curriculums. Do not buy the first curriculum you find. Plus, a major benefit of homeschooling is the ability to mix and match different materials.
You are not forced to pick one and stick with it. Children with special needs thrive on routines. Therefore, it is important to have a daily homeschooling routine. It is even better if you can make a visual daily routine poster to display in your homeschooling space. With that being said, a major perk of homeschooling is that you are allowed to be flexible. While routine is important, you have the ability to slow down or stop when you see your child has reached a stopping point. There are tons of support groups for homeschooling parents, special needs parents, as well as support groups for parents homeschooling children with special needs.
Most states require teachers, childcare workers, and school staff to have CPR training in case of an emergency. Online CPR and first aid certification courses can teach you basic life-saving techniques and help you be prepared for any potential emergencies. You are homeschooling, but you should leave your home often! Homeschooling is more enjoyable when you get outside your home and explore the world around you.