A couple of things that we’re loving in our homeschool right now:
I can’t take credit for this idea, as I read about it on Amongst Lovely Things, who wrote about how spiral notebooks simplify her homeschool.
I call it “morning notes”. In a nutshell, I have a cheap spiral notebook for each student, and every morning (or the night before), I write out their assignments.
It only takes a few minutes, but it keeps everyone on track. Instead of saying, “Shouldn’t you be doing your chores/math/history/etc right now?”, I simply say, “Check your notebook“.
I add quick notes of encouragement (or a scripture I want them to meditate on), a smiley-face or word of appreciation. I also list their chores and any additional task I want them to complete that’s not school related.
At first, I didn’t have a notebook for my oldest son, who will be 17 this year. He’s so responsible about his schoolwork that I rarely need to direct him, but he asked me to do this for him too.
Apparently having things on a list makes him feel less overwhelmed, and helps him remember his chores (which, as he’s gotten older, have taken a backseat to other pursuits).
If I forget to write the notes, the children remind me and ask for them. You know a system is working when the children ask for it!
The past year or so has been very difficult, math-wise, for my 9 year old. She was struggling a lot and we were both getting quite frustrated. My oldest does Teaching Textbooks (once he was doing Calculus and Trig, I was out of the picture!), and I thought the format would suit Sadie, and it does.
TT utilizes a set of DVDs with a “teacher” offering step by step instruction. The student does the assignments using the computer and gets instant feedback and/or help. It also comes with an optional textbook. More info here.
She loves it can even be found doing math on the weekends. There have been no more tears around here since we got this program!
I’ve heard more than one homeschooling blogger say that TT saved their homeschool. It’s pricey but well worth it, and if you have more than one student you can consider it an investment since the materials are durable as opposed to consumable.
What’s working well in your homeschool lately?