Will This House Get Cleaned Before the Kids Graduate?

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

A note from Jamie: We just pulled into our driveway last night after over two weeks away. Imagine me surrounded by suitcases, piles of clothes, and three energetic children! I’ll be back next week to share some new thoughts–until then enjoy this cleaning repost. It was originally published on April 26, 2010.

Anyone who has been homeschooling long knows the secret for “getting it all done.”

The secret is–that there is no secret. And it is virtually impossible, especially with many little ones underfoot, to get it “all done.” When you focus on the house, the schoolwork slides. When you focus on the schoolwork, the house slides.

What’s the answer to this homeschooling versus house cleaning dilemma? How can you juggle all these plates and keep them successfully in the air?

While there’s no magic formula, here are four tips to help you win the home management battle.
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Mindful Homeschooling

The following is a guest post written by Jimmie of Jimmie’s Collage.

Mindfulness is living in the moment, enjoying the present as opposed to dwelling on the past or the future. It is when the mind is at rest rather than racing a mile a minute. Research has shown that mindfulness helps us deal with stress and generally makes us more content.

I personally am trying to be more mindful – to gratefully savor each moment that comes my way instead of always rushing off to the next task on my to-do list. This effort has powerfully affected my homeschooling life as well.

Planning Versus Doing

I’m one of those moms who love planning. I love researching and organizing materials. I love making printables to match our curriculum, scouring catalogs for the best resources, and reading forums to keep up with the latest homeschooling trends. In fact, I could spend most of my time planning our homeschool instead of actually implementing anything.

What good is my planning if I never do it or if I plan so much that there is not enough time in the day to possibly accomplish it all?

In The Hurried Child, David Elkind, a child psychologist, says that the most critical factor in “beginning to read is the child’s attachment to an adult who spends time reading to or with the child. The motivation for reading, which is a difficult task, is social.” [Read more...]

Deciding What to Teach Your Kids

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

A while back I got the following question on my personal blog from a reader, “How do you decide what to teach your kids?”

I want to answer that question in this space because I think my response might also help some of you here.

One of the reasons our family homeschools is to give our children a large degree of learning freedom. To allow them to pursue their interests and develop their unique gifts and talents. We are not unschoolers, as I explain here, but we are relaxed in our approach while also being very intentional about the long term goals for our children’s education.

From that perspective here are four guiding principles to answer the “what to teach” question.

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Time Management for Homeschoolers: Making the Minutes Count

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

A note from Jamie: I’m vacationing with family for a few weeks and will be back later in the month. This post was first published on April 5, 2010. If you’re just getting into the groove of a new homeschooling season, time management may be on your mind. Enjoy!

As homeschooling families, we have lots to get done and not always a lot of time in which to do it.

Duties call to us from all sides, competing for our attention. If we don’t intentionally determine our daily rhythm, we may never get around to what we truly value.

But on the other hand, it’s no fun to live life as a drill sergeant–planning every second and living with eyes constantly on the clock.

So what’s a mother to do?

Use the following ideas to come up with a flexible plan that works for your household.
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Erasing the Line Between Home and School

Written by contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

Back to school is upon us and there have been lots of discussions among fellow homeschoolers about the Big Day — the loss of carefree summer days, the stress of preparation, the hopeful direction of the new year.

It is a time filled with promising new materials to try out, and beloved old ones to continue with. For me though, I prefer to take the route less stressful. I propose a different outlook.

One of my goals with homeschooling, after all, is to raise lifelong learners. I want my children to remain naturally curious of their world and to seek information and acquaint learning as a natural part of their lives. Just as learning shouldn’t be limited to specific hours of the day, neither does it need to have a start and end date. [Read more...]