Greatest Homeschool Tips

What are the greatest homeschool tips of all time? Well, wait until you hear from veteran homeschool mom, author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz. In this session, she shares some of her best homeschooling tips from over thirty years of homeschooling.Greatest Homeschool Tips – Episode 447

What are the greatest homeschool tips of all time? Well, wait until you hear from veteran homeschool mom, author and speaker, Felice Gerwitz. In this session, she shares some of her best homeschooling tips from over thirty years of homeschooling.

Thanks to our sponsors! The movie – Show Me The Father

This film is sure to change hearts and point people to the true father in heaven.  It is a story of parenting and how faith can really make changes for the better in people’s lives. I teared up just watching the trailer and you will too! The links to the movie trailer are on the show notes page – you can find more information about local airing on the website as well as streaming in the near future. This is not to be missed.

In my years of homeschooling I purchased many different programs on getting your homeschool organized or homeschooling from the first letter of the alphabet to the last, or comprehensive this or that, and found after the first few pages that it was not for me. I learned that I had to know what I could and could not do well and focus on my strengths and that is where we will get started. I cover homeschooling, family, and even touch on extended family, faith, and relationships. You should look into your homeschool laws for your state to be sure you are compliant. Here are the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense) homeschool laws by state.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but it is meant to give you some 25 tangible tips that you can do starting today.

Let’s Begin!

  1. You – Parent: You are in charge. You and your husband are the only two people whose decisions and choices matter in your homeschool journey. If you both agree or agree to disagree, then that is the law of the land (or your household). Stand firm and do not let anyone and I mean anyone (even me) change your mind.
  2. Each Other: Relationships matter. You and your spouse started together and should end your homeschool journey together. This happens if you A. Value each other. B. Appreciate Each Other C. Encourage Each Other D. Love each Other E. Take Care of Each Other and F. ALL of the Above.
  3. Faith Matters: A family that is focused on personal gain instead of everlasting gain will do so much better. Faith brings a family together and leaves a legacy for your children. Films such as Show Me The Father is an excellent example.
  4. Your Kids: You kids are not in charge. Not even close. And, your kids are not your friends. You are the parent and God gave you these kids for a purpose. (It may be a little fuzzy right now, but you’ll figure it out at some point.) Kids are wonderful, a blessing but need to listen.
  5. Discipline is Key To Your Sanity: If you have kids that won’t go to bed and talk back when they are little the nightmare is just starting if you are going to homeschool them. You have to have consequences for your actions. Think about it, make a plan, and beyond all else? Follow through.
  6. Others – Extended Family – Friends – Neighbors: Have opinions, and they have right to their opinions but you do not, and I repeat do not have to A. Listen B. Follow Their Advice C. Feel Guilty D. All of the Above. Refer back to point one. You are the parents.
  7. Key to Homeschooling 101: Do not try to duplicate traditional school in the home. It is set to fail, especially if you have multiple ages and grades.
  8. Lifestyle: Homeschooling is more than what you do, it is who you are in the sense that you are focused on the most important people in your life and the education of their hearts, their minds, and their souls. It is the greatest job you will ever have.
  9. Not About You: Yeah, I said it – homeschooling is not what the kids are or are not doing. It is not a hobby. It is a full-time commitment. It is not for the faint-hearted. When the kids misbehave or do not get their work done it is not personal, and it does not reflect on you – you are not at fault unless you are a permissive or threatening repeating parent with no follow-through. Sorry. This was me at one time and I fell hard for the fact that I could not blame the teacher, because I was the teacher. So I took charge and the rest is 30+ years of homeschooling. Was all of it perfect. No but I do not regret it at all.
  10. Ideal Learning Environment: This is one that fosters your child’s innate curiosity about the world around them. If your children are interested in the topic they will want to learn more about it, and that naturally builds and builds until they are studying various subjects within the framework of a topic. For example: Learning to plant a garden includes many different disciplines, soil, nutrition, reading, science – seasons, weather, discipline, patience, etc.
  11. Curriculum: There are way too many choices, so what you do is figure out A. How you want to teach and B. How your kids will learn best. If you are starting out you will definitely want to have something done for you, such as an Abeka or Bob Jones if you are looking for Christian based curriculum. I do not recommend (but I am not the parent) totally online schools, but online learning for a class or two is great. And while you are learning the ropes of juggling home, school, and having the kids around 24/7 you can branch out into other things. If you are a hands-on, do-it-yourselfer, then sure pick and choose your own books. You can check out the Media Angels curriculum at MediaAngels.com/store and MediaAngels.com/books
  12. Different learning levels: Kids do not fit neatly into grade-level boxes. Some are great students and will have no problem academically no matter what book or curriculum you use, and others may struggle. Reading is key and many kids need some type of reading remediation. Starting with the phonetic sounds and building on this helps. There are Facebook groups such as one I’m a member of and participate as a curriculum provider: Top Picks Homeschool Curriculum.  There are many different knowledgeable people in the group that can help you.
  13. Work together in one room whenever possible. Sure, some kids may be distracted by talking or working with another child. But, sending younger kids to their own rooms is a recipe for disaster, and walking out of the room is another one!
  14. Stay off your phones and social media during school time – this means everyone. It will suck your time and ruin your mood. Leave research for a lunch-time or after-school activity.
  15. Research: If you get on the computer to research something, set a timer. Give yourself thirty minutes and that is it. Also, research websites without the kids around. Even with safe settings, it is amazing that the suggested ads on websites, even with good information are often inappropriate ads. There is an ad setting on websites that is family-friendly but whatever they deem family-friendly is not what I think it is therefore my websites do not contain third-party automated ads. Any ads or sponsors we have vetted.
  16. Tests: This is something you may choose or not chose to do. I didn’t give a lot of tests but my college kids complained about this when they were in college and had to deal with all types of exams. They said they wish I had given them more – so there you have it.
  17. Motivated Kids: I had a child who asked for a Trigenotry book for a summer project. He was thinking of going into engineering and did not feel like the Algebra II class he took the previous year covered it well enough. So, we ordered a book and he went through it and the video tutorial himself.
  18. Letting Kids Work On Their Own Pace: Especially if your child is highly motivated. It is not unheard of to complete two grades in one subject area in one year. Or only half a grade.
  19. To Push Or Not To Push: Working your children right below (not at or above) but below frustration level pushes them to learn. If a child is frustrated that means that they are not getting a concept or something is too difficult at this time. Does that mean you don’t push – no, but understanding your child is part of the homeschool journey.
  20. Evaluation vs. Standardized Tests: I prefer evaluations especially in the lower grades. The teacher can give you key points to work on and help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Get good resources before beginning.
  21. Making excuses: Look at the root cause of bad behavior. Is it for attention, it is to push attention to someone else, etc. Do not make excuses for children who act poorly but get to the root of the problem.
  22. Households can be divided into parts: Budget/Paying Bills, Cooking, Cleaning, Laundry, Yardwork. This is an area to divide and conquer. Who is good at what? That is their job. I am terrible at budgets, but I can pay bills, cook, clean and do laundry. I do not do yard work. When the kids were little I tried assigning jobs and taught them to do all of the various jobs, but once they had the experience I let them chose, and guess what? Doing chores was not a hassle. If they tired of a chore they could trade or enlist me for help. It worked so much better than just assigning jobs.
  23. Kids should help. Kids that help around the house are responsible. My first two did not do much in the way of chores, but the last three did – and I mean they really helped out. I had more energy, time, and help with my two oldest but not with my three youngest.
  24. Family Unity: We are a family, we are in this together, we work hard and we all enjoy the fruits of our labor. This is something my kids learned early on, if there is infighting everyone has to hear it and it makes for a miserable life. Teaching children the importance of getting along and having punishments that fit the crime goes a long way in helping.
  25. Family Mission statement: What is it that your family stands for? Write it down, have the kids learn it. Write down a family prayer and say it every night before bed.

Last Thoughts:

There are going to be days that are horrible and days that are amazing. Through it all, you can thrive with a close network of people that will give you the encouragement that we provide on our social media accounts. We have this page specifically for you the homeschool mom and dad.

 


A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

The Kendrick Brothers, creators of WAR ROOM and FIREPROOF, have some exciting news to share: they have TWO films coming to theaters this fall—SHOW ME THE FATHER on September 10 and COURAGEOUS Legacy on September 24.

Featuring a variety of amazing, true stories, the Kendrick Brothers’ new feature film SHOW ME THE FATHER takes audiences on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Their first documentary film has something for everyone and invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father’s story and also how you personally relate to God.

Check out the trailer here!


 

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