5 home school hacks, to help your day at home run beautifully…
Home school days can be so full of interruptions, mishaps and mistakes! In between the breakages and bandages you may get some school work done but it can feel like constant disturbances and that can be hard! I have been home schooling my four kids (on and off) for 5 years now and I have come up with 5 home school hacks that I think will help you out a lot…
1. Pray first!
Put God in his rightful place by putting him first every day. Remind yourself that you are not in charge of how this day goes and that God cares about your time with your children. He has a plan for all of you and its a great plan!
In our house this starts at 5am! I wake up super early to read my bible, pray, journal and read other Christian books. I am a morning person so this works really well for me. I fall asleep very quickly if I try to have my God time after all the kids have gone to bed each evening and I have always found something very special in putting God first each morning.
We then do a family devotion around the table at breakfast time. This is usually a short reading, some discussion and some prayer, but never takes more then 20 mins. The kids love this moment as its the only part of the day Daddy has time to join in with!
We have used and loved Our 24 Family Ways by Clay and Sally Clarkson to help with family devotion time, so I would highly recommend using that!
However works best for your family, make sure prayer comes first.
2. Have a good cleaning routine!
This is something that I have had to learn about and implement as I go. Having a fun day with four kids makes a huge mess! There is always something to tidy, hoover or wash!
Putting a good cleaning routine in place has been extremely helpful here at our home school. I print off a lot of copies of our daily routine and put them up everywhere so the kids and I can always refer back to what is next, no matter which room we are in! This printed schedule includes cleaning the house, snack and meals, home school time and scheduled free time. The kids all enjoy knowing what is coming next and when they get free time so this works very well. This also helps the kids to just get on with the tidying and cleaning because it is now such a part of our normal day, there is little or no moaning about it!
3. Morning time.
If you have been home schooling for a while, you have probably heard home schoolers talk about morning time and especially morning baskets.
For us this is just what we call the time when we sit down, all together, and fit in most of our subjects. I have a set time for this that I try to stick to as often as possible (9.30am) and we always do morning time on the sofa.
Morning time almost always involves a poem, and a song (folk song, hymn or classical piece) and then we add in maybe 3 or 4 other lessons a day at this point.
Each morning time comes with its own interruptions and issues but the more we consistently do this time on the sofa, the more the kids know what is expected of them and get on with it happily.
I love that by snack time we have often done most of the days lessons in comfort on the sofa, while I have a coffee in hand and am often getting a cuddle from various children! Its such a precious way to get school work done and I really feel appreciative of this part of our day almost every time!
4. Loop schedule
So this home school hack works very well within our morning time and really helps me to cover all the lessons I need to each week with very little stress.
So, what is a loop schedule?
A loop schedule is a list of lessons you would like to cover. The idea of this list is that once you have written it out, you work your way down the list right to the bottom, ticking off lessons as you go. This may take a week or maybe two, or maybe you have a super productive day and complete the whole thing! But the beauty of the loop schedule is it does not matter how far down the list you get because you just pick up where you left off, the next day.
Schooling with a loop schedule helps you to not miss certain lessons which may often get forgotten, and it helps you not to stress about less productive days.
I aim to put a tick next to everything on my loop schedule once throughout the week but if I don’t, I know that the following week I will start with the lessons that didn’t get ticked last week. Its genius! It really does work well for the home schooling mamma who has to battle constant interruptions and changes to each day! Give it a try.
5. Saying No!
So, every home schooling mamma has felt the pull toward extra curricular activities. There is always a club, a lesson or a play date outside of the home that sounds like it might be absolutely wonderful and potentially life changing for your kids. However, we have to learn when things are wonderful and when they are right.
It is so important not to over crowd children (especially when they are young) with lots of extra activities. They need time at home to just learn what it means to be themselves! Lots of time with mamma and siblings is not a bad thing! Children feel safe and calm when they are not rushed and they know mum is close by. So why not give them lots of that?!
Now, I am not saying doing nothing, and stay at home without ever seeing any other humans! I am just advocating for a quiet and gentle start to life and also challenging you to think twice about each activity, and whether it is right for your family or not. Be brave enough to say no if you think something is not right for your children.
I hope this post has been helpful in many ways and once again, I pray that you will all find peace as you lead your children towards Christ and Christlikeness.