How hiring help transformed our homeschool

How hiring help transformed our homeschool | Simple Homeschool

Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

Last year I hired a mother’s helper, and it’s transformed our homeschool.

Let’s back up: homeschooling and I have a complicated relationship. I love the idea of my kids being home educated, but the day-in, day-out reality of educating my kids at home drains me dry. I’m also a working mom, and I wanted to get through the hands-on part of our school days faster so I could work (and my kids could play).

I knew I needed help, but it took me a little while to figure out what kind of help I needed. I didn’t need childcare, exactly, or a cleaning person, or a tutor. What I really wanted was another set of hands: someone to fold the laundry and build blocks with my toddler, to dole out snacks and read stories to my 5-year-old.

It turns out there’s a word for that: I needed a mother’s helper.
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5 ways to manage home and school

5-ways-to-manage-home-and-homeschool
Written by Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Ours is a busy household. As you can imagine, with eight people, the sheer volume of dishes, laundry, and stuff to manage is fairly high, at least twice that of the “average” home. Coupled with homeschooling and being home-based in the truest sense of the word, our home boasts a very “lived in” look.

The walls bare fingerprints. The washing machine has a shelf life of about five years. The kitchen boasts a revolving door. Or so it seems.

Here are five tricks that I use to help me manage home and school: [Read more...]

What to do with babies while homeschooling

With four kids who are school age and three littles who aren’t, one of the most frequent questions I get about homeschooling is “What do you do with the babies?”

My short answer? Have a plan. Everybody’s plan looks different, but in order to make it through the day, you need an easy routine that ensures all of the needs get met.

A few hints to help you plan:

1. Give your smallest children attention first.

I read this somewhere so I can’t claim credit for this thought, but it’s true. Of course, the baby’s needs have to be met before any of us can function in the morning. He makes sure of it.

But I also try and have a cuddle with my toddlers before school. Ten mintues to read a book makes them feel secure and attended to. This breeds contentment when I need to focus on their siblings.
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Make mealtimes easier with freezer cooking

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

One of the unique, albeit obvious, characteristics of homeschooling is that it takes place at home. Oh sure, there are co-ops and field trips and class days and carschooling, but often our educational style is home-based. Homebody that I am, I love that!

As such, there are distractions present that might not occur in a traditional classroom setting: barking dogs, poopy diapers, and ringing doorbells, to name a few. How often have my children rushed to the front door from all corners of the house to greet the delivery man?! You would think it was Santa Claus, but no, it’s just a guy bringing a replacement refrigerator part.

I, like my children, am prone to distraction, making teaching at home challenging amid the laundry and the cleaning that could be done.

And the cooking? Don’t even get me started. I begin to make lunch but remember that I have all these apples to deal with. Before I know it, I’m knee deep in pies and applesauce and apple butter. It’s like giving a mouse a cookie.

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4 Ways to Simplify (Home) School Meals

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats

Over the last six weeks, I’ve been reevaluating our homeschool. At the turn of the year, I found myself more than ready for a do over. So, I set my sights on an extreme homeschool makeover.

We’ve made some great progress. It took a little while to iron out the wrinkles and get my bearings. I purchased some new curriculum, spent every waking moment for a month reading about homeschooling, and generally put family stuff as top priority. You should have seen my inbox! I ignored everything until I knew we were on a better track.

(And it felt really good to make sure that my day job got the best of me.)

One of the best things I’ve figured out was that I’m not very good at multi-tasking during the school day. If I try to do anything else, I’m liable to get distracted (at best) or completely derailed (at worst). So I developed a time budget for our school days that is really helping me feel a little more on top of my game.

A little.

I’ve got a set block of time in each day devoted to each child. It’s a wonderful time for me to reconnect with each of these sweet people without distractions. And the days are flowing so much more smoothly! Everyone is productive and feeling good about their accomplishments.

One of the things that seems to come up every single day, however, the one thing that has the potential to derail our days is, well, that thing about eating. Ya just gotta eat, dontcha?
[Read more...]