I recently got back from Colorado where I was visiting a friend I admire very much. On the way there, I jokingly apologized to my husband in advance for being no help at all with the kids because I intended to sit at her feet the entire time I was there, soaking in as much as I could. While I never actually sat at her feet, I did spend a lot of time at her breakfast bar listening and asking questions, sometimes with a pen and paper. So here I record things I hope to take home – and keep – from my trip.
* Keeping the kids hands busy to listen to something they otherwise might not *
She set them all up at the dining room table with playdough and read to them. I love it. My kids often will snuggle up on the couch and read with me, but for the subjects that don’t keep their attention quite as well, or for the particularly squirmy days, I will be using this tip for sure!
* I need to do my research *
There are so many things, homeschooling related, that I have been “meaning to” look into, but haven’t made the time. The time will pay itself back in the long run! I did not invent homeschooling, and there are SO many resources out there for me to use! I just need to make the time.
* Narration vs. Testing *
Yes, I have begun changing this already. And, funny enough, I have begun to realize when people are doing it to me as well. The bible study book I was working on at the time provided some handy examples of what not to do.
* Audio Books *
I am not sure this will work for my kids, but it is surely worth a try!
* Working toward the curriculum being something they can self-start vs. me always having to guide. Her kids are older than mine, but this is a goal I want to keep in front of me as the curriculum grows and evolves. Especially as I move from homeschooling one and a half kids up to three. It is the only way I will survive.
* Spread butter on top of freshly baked bread. It keeps the crust soft so you don’t have to cut it off for the pickier children. *
* My kids should be doing more chores. *
They were doing chores, but it was wonderful to see all that her kids helped with. I have already upped the chores around here, and they’ve done wonderfully with the new jobs they’ve “graduated” into so far!
* Cleaning up right after a meal *
You know, this probably seems like it should be obvious, but it wasn’t for us. I think I often try to get the kids to a place where they’re fine so I can have time to clean up. Her family all worked together immediately after a meal to clean up. Getting the kids involved in the cleanup process, even if they’re too young to be of very significant help, at least affords me the opportunity to clean up immediately. Then it doesn’t feel like my home is always in shambles and that I am always behind! I’ve already been taking this very seriously and it’s made a big difference. Added benefit #1: Food comes off all surfaces easier when taken care of right away. Added benefit #2: I do not sample the leftovers of our meal 800 times as I pass through the kitchen before putting them away.
* Storing homemade bread in store bought bread and bagel bags (just keep them and keep reusing them when you have to buy them from the store) *
* She had a plastic mat the size of her table that she put down and then threw tablecloths over it *
Tablecloths are a little fancy for us, but the ease in cleaning up makes it SO worth it. Already doing it.