Throughout the school year, daily life becomes so congested with activity that at times, homeschooling can be overwhelming. To combat discouragement I find it necessary to remind myself WHY I homeschool and review my top priority.
On those days when a full school day is impossible, I mentally consider what I can do to work toward my final goal. For me, my final goal is to educate my children so they can live a well informed Catholic life that will lead them to heaven. During busy times, as long as some part of our day leads us towards this end result, I consider our school day a success.
At the beginning of the school year, I tape a ribbon in each of the children’s books, workbooks, and my teaching manuals to keep our places easily. Use satin ribbon about 4 to 5 inches longer than the book. Cut the ends of the ribbon diagonally to keep them from fraying. Use clear box tape and tape on the inside cover close to the spine. When I had several children using the Harp & Laurel Wreath, I put a different color for each child to mark the places of the poems they were working on. The ribbons don’t fall out like bookmarks often do. For the workbooks, at the end of the year you can take the ribbons out and use in another book. I got the idea from a few of my books which had a ribbon marker.
My tip for homeschooling is to prepare what work is to be completed the evening prior. I have four children to homeschool, ages 9 and under, and they need quite a bit of direction. Each has a folder of their own. Each night before bed, I pull out of each workbook what sheets that need to be completed and place them in their folder. In their other books I put sticky bookmarks on the page the page they need to start reading and finish reading (or working). Then in the morning, once they are ready for the day and have had breakfast, they can find their pile of work and start working independently. Even my kindergarten age child can get a start on simple worksheets or lessons while I am still helping the rest of the family get situated for the morning.
If you are just starting out and you feel like you are not doing “enough” when educating your child, keep a log for two weeks of the things you did with your child/children, whether you meant them to be educational or not. After two weeks, look back and be proud of yourself. Chances are that you are doing more than the school would be, partly because they are not waiting for the classroom management parts, getting in line, having assemblies, and the like. Pat yourself on the back, your kids are doing fine!
Have your high-schooler write some essays by hand. From the time she could type, our oldest wrote all of her essays in Word on the computer. It never occurred to us that she would need to write an essay by hand. Last February she participated in a scholarship competition. The competition included a timed essay. She was given paper and a subject. Fortunately, we learned of the essay a month ahead of the competition, so she had practiced, but it was still difficult for her.