Put God First!
This year, put God first. Open up your school day with a praise song, prayer and Bible reading (it can be short!). Remind the children (and yourself!) that the most important thing is that the way you teach and they learn glorifies and pleases Jesus. It is all about Him, pleasing Him and loving Him. When, someone has trouble understanding school work, stop and pray. Ask the Lord for help! When you feel overwhelmed and grumpy, ask the children to pray for you! Talk about Jesus and the Word of God all the time--like you talked about your husband all the time when you first met him!
Read Aloud Together!
Set aside time each day to read aloud together. This is best when it includes snuggling and cuddling! You might read a chapter of a good book (Swiss Family Robinson or Tom Sawyer--unabridged, please!) each day after lunch. We always read history together--all ages! We've always done history more of a unit study style and if we use a textbook, we read it aloud. We read two volumes of Mystery of History aloud in one year! I read science and history aloud to my children, even though they were great readers, until they were in middle school. It was just more fun to read aloud and then discuss it together. When I was pregnant, the children would read aloud and I would fall asleep.
Go on Walks Together!
Fill Your House with Laughter!
Laugh with your children! Find any excuse to laugh together. Good natured teasing (not cut-downs or sarcasm) is fun! Tell each other jokes and read funny emails to each other. Let your home ring with laughter! Joy and laughter is not only healthy for you, but eases tension and stress in the home.
Looks for things to celebrate. Use the fancy china and make a yummy dessert because Billy got 100% on his math test. Set up the living room for your child's performance when they make up a skit. Afterward, eat ice cream to celebrate! Eat dinner by candlelight to celebrate your child's perseverance in grammar. When the children write a great paragraph, call Grandma and read it aloud to her! Make birthdays and holidays special and fun. Let the children help you plan, prepare, and especially, cook!
School Hours & Scheduling!
Make a schedule, post it on the wall where everyone can see it, and try to stick to it. Schedule and routine provide security. When things throw you off schedule, take care of them and get back on schedule. My schedule is loose and flexible, rather than rigid. It is based on blocks of time rather than hours. (Before breakfast, Before lunch, After lunch, After dinner) This kind of schedule works great for me. I've also learned that hunger for lunch is a powerful motivator, since we eat lunch, not at a specific time, but when they finish specific subjects!
Don't try to get other things done during school hours. Give your children undivided attention. Especially DON'T talk on the phone! Children seem to go wild when mom gets on the phone. Unplug the phone during school hours and return calls when school is finished.
Have a wonderful new homeschool year!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)