I LOVE homeschooling the elementary grades. When you foster a love of learning and spend time with your child, there are so many benefits! It is also so thrilling to see the delight on their faces when they catch onto something for the first time. I can't believe my two oldest are going to be in middle school next year. Although my heart is sad, I still have one more chance with my toddler to get him through elementary! Maybe I won't make as many mistakes this time through... I hope my Top 5 Tips for homeschooling in elementary help you!
Scheduling: Finding a good schedule makes a lot of difference in schooling. When there isn't a schedule, things are forgotten, time is wasted, and children don't know what to expect. Even though I think scheduling is a good idea, it will be different for everyone. It is also important to remember that schedules can always be changed if they are not working for you! There have been times when I've changed schedules several times within the same quarter. (See Tip #4!)
Every time I change something to help things run smoothly, I let the kids know exactly what the changes are and what to expect.
Older students can take a lot more responsibility for the scheduling and planning of their school day. I've developed student planners to help you teach them how to do this.
Flexibility: All children are different, and being flexible day to day is essential! Children can burn out, just like mamas can. If you need to take a special "learn while we play" day, DO IT! You can find 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play here.
You will be surprised at how much your child will learn in a school year. Don't be tied down to a curriculum. Is your child bored? Speed it up! Do more at a time. Is your child struggling? Slow it down. That's why you are homeschooling to begin with!
Lots of Options: I admit that I am a curriculum junkie! I LOVE loading up on good digital curriculum options as they go on sale. That way, you have everything you need at your fingertips. If your child is struggling with their times tables, go to the math folder and pick out a couple of fun activities for him to do. Interested in a certain time period or subject? Go print out a lapbook or look at one of the unit studies you've picked up to take the learning further.
A fantastic way to do this is to keep your eyes open for bundle sales or other digital giveaways and seasonal sales. My FAVORITE annual sale is the Build Your Bundle Sale. This is once a year and there are so many awesome brands that come together to provide great products at 85-95% OFF!!
*This year's sale (2018) is May 7-14 and there are 20 different bundles to choose from!
Include Children in Schooling Decisions: This is especially important for older students. Every year I sit down with my children and find out what they like, dislike, where their interests lie, etc. Then I make curriculum choices based on what we discuss. Even young children know what they like! I did an all animal kindergarten for my younger ones because that is what they were interested in! Click Here to read more about planning with your children.
Prayer: I would not have made it through each year without my Savior! When I have been at the end of myself, He has been there to carry me through. I cannot tell you how many times He has intervened in our lives when I thought we couldn't go one more day. He gives me patience when I don't have any, grace when I am angry, creativity when I don't know what else to do, and love for my family when they are not being very lovable! It is not uncommon for me to "pray my way through" the tough times.
If you want to know more about this Savior who provides so much more than I could ever have, please take a moment to send me a note! I would LOVE to introduce Him to you!