Have you struggled to settle back into a routine after taking a break for the holidays and unexpected snow days? Has the enthusiasm with which you tackled home-days at the beginning of the school year lost its shine during these bitter cold months of winter? We're here to help! Keep reading to discover how fellow VCS parents are fostering smooth and successful days of learning at home.
Setting the Tone
- "As a new homeschool parent I found myself looking at the lesson plan as items to be checked off a list. I did not enjoy the process of watching them learn, learning alongside them, and guiding them in their learning at the beginning. Once I dropped the task only approach, our days began to go much smoother and became much more enjoyable for both myself and the boys!"
- "I have learned the value of "break time". In past years I tended to work with the mentality "the quicker we get through this, the more time you'll have to play". Now I find myself allowing everyone (myself included) a 5-10 minute break every hour and I am SHOCKED at how much happier it makes everyone. Letting go of my rigid expectations have made for much more enjoyable home days."
- "I love to have music playing in the background to help keep things calm while we're sitting at the table."
- "I learned quickly that I am a morning person but my kids need a little time before starting school. I'd love to start school at 7:30 but they're really not ready until about 8:30. This happens to be about the time VCS begins, so making that change at home has really helped our day to go much more smoothly. "
- "I use color coding for each grade/student. It makes it much easier to keep track of the weekly assignments for each child without getting them mixed up."
- "We use lots of clipboards in the classroom. Each student has three clipboards. One has the papers/worksheets to be completed on the current home day, the second has the weekly assignment check-list and the third is for the returned papers that are to be filed in the binder. The clipboards are emptied each week into the binders. I like the clipboards because it keeps the papers secured but accessible."
Raising Independent Learners
- "My younger children require much more of my attention because of their early reading skills. This has naturally encouraged my 4th-grader to become more independent during the school day. She is a self-motivated learner and I have given her freedom in going through the daily check-list on her own - leaving the things that require my assistance or explanation for the end of the work period. She enjoys the flexibility. I've also allowed her to start making more choices about when she would like to do school work. Handing over that responsibility is teaching her to be wise with her time or otherwise forfeit fun activities that may come later that afternoon/evening."
- "Neither of my boys are really ready to be super independent learners but I do encourage my first grader to read the instructions himself and ask me for clarification if he needs it. I've also encouraged him to check over his work before handing it to me. I'm still very active in his learning each day but I do think these two items are the beginning steps to getting him to be more independent."
- "I keep puzzles on hand so my youngest has something to do when he doesn't have work. The puzzles are challenging for him so they keep him busy."
We hope you found these tips helpful. Leave a comment below to let us know your secrets for a successful home day!