When your children are at home with you all day, every day, regular life – cooking, housework, doctor’s appointments, and errands can become a bit challenging.
When my older daughter was young, I had a part time position as a newspaper reporter. I covered everything in the small town in which we live, except for the police beat, which I told my editor I did not want to cover. Being a reporter meant that occasionally there were meetings that I had to attend with my editor. Most of these meetings were done by phone, but every once in a while I needed to actually go into the newspaper office. Because my daughter was home with me, it meant that she came with me to the office.
When those occasions cropped up, I made sure to take a book and/or some math that my daughter could work on while I met with the editor. She most often sat with the paper’s graphic designer or office manager while she was doing her work. It was a win-win for her and for whomever she was sitting with – Teresa and Cathy provided the oversight, and she was company for them as they worked.
After the editorial meeting was over, we would go back home, and on the way back, we would talk about the book she had read, or any trouble she had had with her math. Once we got back home, it was time to check over the math questions, explain anything she hadn’t understood, and get the rest of school done.
I also had a growing network marketing business that I worked part time. I guess you could say I didn’t like being bored! Now much of this was done by phone – checking in with customers, taking orders and reorders and so on. There was one thing that took me away from the house with this business – delivering product orders. Again, because I had my daughter with me, she came with me on product delivery runs, unless I did them in the evenings or on the day that my husband was off (every other Friday). I followed the same procedure for these deliveries as I did with the editorial meetings, except that the deliveries were faster, and did not require getting out of the van. In these instances, we did car schooling – I would teach from the front seat of my van. Yes, it is possible!
A part time job doesn’t have to interfere with homeschooling if you can do the following few things:
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Do you like Mad Libs? We love that fun and crazy game where the reader supplies the words for the blanks, and the book supplies the story base.
When we first discovered the game, my older daughter was probably in her tweens. It was great fun, and to this day, we both still enjoy it. There are some things even a rising college sophomore still find entertaining! 😉
Lately, we’ve introduced my younger daughter to the books, and even though she is not fully reading, and is just (informally) learning grammar – it is summer, after all! – it’s helping her learn what the different parts of speech are in a fun way.
If you’ve never heard of Mad Libs before, don’t feel weird; I hadn’t either until I moved to the States. The book gives you a story with blanks that you are asked to fill in with nouns, adjectives, verbs, numbers, colors, parts of the body, and foods. You can play the game by yourself by filling in the page that has only the blanks, and then read them into the story. If you have someone else to play with, or a group of people, it is even more fun, because of the extra input from others. You ask the other person(s) for the particular part of speech or type of word, without reading the base of the story to them. Because they are being asked to supply words only, the resulting story can get hilarious when read in its entirety.
If you’re struggling with teaching grammar, or if you just need another way to help cement the principles, be sure to look into Mad Libs. I'm a firm believer that the more fun we can make learning, the easier it is to help our children learn, and the more the lessons will be remembered.
Usually around mid-year I start salivating over new-to-me curriculum, when the catalogs start coming in the mail. Well, it’s not quite the middle of the school year and I don’t get nearly as many catalogs as I used to, but I did find a really cool online science curriculum that I opted for a free year of, and I wanted to share it with you, in case you’re looking for one, or know someone who is. From what I have seen so far, this curriculum can be used as not only a middle school and high school science curriculum, but also as an elementary school science curriculum as well. I plan to use it to work with my younger daughter.
One of my Facebook page readers, Kristi asked: “I am thinking of homeschooling my 7 year old starting next year for 3rd grade. What do you spend on average for your homeschool curriculum and what type of curriculum do you use? Thanks for the help.”
Before I tell you what we used, I want to share my best piece of advice with you. Know your child’s learning style – and this is more than just whether she is a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner. When you know how best your child learns, at what time she learns best, and so on, choosing curriculum, and planning participation in activities, becomes easier. The best resource I have found for this is a book by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson, called Discover Your Child’s Learning Style. The Book is available in a Kindle version and a paperback version. When we did the assessment in our household, our homeschooling life got a lot easier. I just wish I had discovered it earlier.
Yesterday was my daughter’s 5th birthday. When her Mema (Grandma on her daddy’s side) called and asked her what she was doing and if she was in school now, she told her that we do school at home, and no, Mummy had not done school with her that day because it was her birthday. I explained that it was the family tradition, to take off birthdays from school. After all, we don’t have snow days. 😉