Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 6 ~ Hitting the Mark

It is usually around week six that I look around our little homeschool and see where we are. It is a period that sometimes involves a bit of despair if things are going awry and then I spend hours searching homeschool catalogs and Amazon for what will fix my little homeschool. This year is different. Everything is flowing along well. The house is afloat, the kids are learning and enjoying their studies, there are few arguments, the schedule is working and doesn't feel hectic (even though it kinda is), and we are eating home cooked meals most days. What's more, the eBay and consignment business that helps finance dance classes is hitting the financial goal almost every month. So what is different this year? I would like to say it is that I have been homeschooling for 18 years and I got this! Ha! But that would be a lie. Things are constantly evolving, and what my homeschool needed 18 years ago or six years ago or three years ago isn't what it needs now. However, I am doing one major thing differently this year. If a program, book, or technique doesn't work, it is out the door immediately. I am not giving more than a week trial of tweaking. If it is causing stress, we are not using it. Enough said! In the past, I have hung in there with programs for six weeks to a whole semester before giving up on them. One of the blessings of homeschooling is being your own boss and crafting your own little homeschool, so I do not have to do that. That said, I do not advocate throwing out all that you are using, just because you are having a rough week. You know your family. But for us, this technique is working. Also, after 18 years of homeschooling, my home is filled with alternative programs. It is not like I am breaking the bank making changes.

This is a list of what we are doing this year to keep our homeschool running smoothly ~
  • Keep it simple, sister. ~ If my crew can learn the same information from a workbook, textbook or graphic novel instead of a full curriculum with lots of fluff, we pick the workbook.
  • Learn how to get the information you need. ~ Instead of having my kids memorize everything about every subject they are learning this year, we are focusing on knowing the basics of each subject and how to delve more deeply when they need to know more. 
  • Consider priorities and how to accomplish them in the simplest fashion. ~ We are really concentrating on getting the most important things out of the way each week before any projects or fluff. The fluff is great, but it comes second.
  • Just say NO! in a nice way. ~ For us, this means saying no to things that might become commitments that are hard to break should it become necessary. For example, three families asked me to homeschool their children one to two days a week this year in addition to Rose, who I already homeschool one day a week. All of these were kids that had never been homeschooled until recently, and all these students really need to "de-school" and fill in the gaps in their education. Every day counts for my crew, so I can't slow down and fill in gaps for others. However, I am doing  all I can to help these families from a consulting point of view. 
  • Rely on services that help your home life. ~ I don't mean a maid. That would be nice but I do not have the budget for such things. However, I am relying heavily on Walmart groceries this year. Their service is free. I order online and pick up the food when it is ready without ever entering the store. Love it. I need to see what other stores have this service. We are spending less, too, because there are't many distractions. I am also buying things from online more and more. I really like to keep my local shops afloat, but this year buying local just isn't what I need to keep us afloat. 
  • Get rid of excess. ~ We started this summer really getting rid of stuff in our home. We started this partly because of thoughts of moving (who wants to haul all of that stuff?), but mostly because everything that we see in our home needs to be maintained and I don't have the time to maintain it. So we are working on reducing. I am really starting to see a difference. There is tons more to go and I think we will really be in good shape by the end of this school year. 
  • Take care of yourself. ~ We have a cut-off time at night where there is no more work to be done -- no matter what! We are focusing on getting sleep, nutrition and laughter into our days.
Well, that is enough talking for this week. Here are a few pictures of our week.

Home Economics ~ 

Science (Biology and Earth) ~ 
Making red onion slides

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I agree with your tips! I am so glad that you are having a good school year.

  2. That science kit looks so fun! I love your tips and philosophy; one that we have slowly adapted too. In fact we are already on our third book for English/Grammar with my middle son (and we finally seem to have found one that is working wonderfully!).

  3. Great tips. Glad you've found your groove.

  4. We're not homeschooling efficiently this year . . . at least with my littles. It's not a season for efficiency for us.

    But we definitely have a cut-off time for schooling!

    Anne's muffins are absolutely beautiful!!!!