How you start your homeschool day will set the rhythm for your students. If you start frantic, they will follow suit. Some of my worst homeschool days were the result of my ill-considered frame of mind. To teach students successfully, you need to set the correct tone for the day. Here are 7 ways to prepare for a positive homeschool day.
Get up several hours before your children are due to wake.
Get up an hour before your students are due to wake, and use this time to progress through your morning routine. Have your morning coffee, take a relaxing bath or shower, and prepare your mind for the school day. The days I felt rushed to get ready for the day were often our worst days. Taking the time to prepare yourself is crucial for a smooth and productive school day.
Being prepared-preparedness is required for learning to happen.
Have your lesson plans ready for the school day. Use the previous evening to gather necessary items for projects the following day. Taking time during the school day to locate various items causes distractions and prevents learning. For children who struggle with ADD, these distractions can be troublesome.
Morning responsibilities- start the day with productivity (chores, pets, plan for dinner).
Make sure school starts with a productive mindset. Before bed the previous evening, ensure everyone is clear on morning chores. Feed the cat, take the dog for a walk, make up the beds, plan for dinner, dishes, etc. For us, morning chores consist of letting the chickens out and cleaning the coops, making up beds, feeding the cat, and putting dinner in the crock pot. Set the mood for a smooth school day by starting the day with productivity.
Create a relaxing atmosphere for learning.
Before you start class, take a few minutes to create a relaxing atmosphere for your students. Light a candle, turn on soft or classical music or diffuse some essential oil. Atmospheres that are calm and relaxing facilitate increased learning.
A screen-free start
Start your day distraction-free. Every parent is familiar with the battle that ensues when it’s time to turn off the television or video game. Commit to starting your day without the distraction of screens. I learned over the years that school days that can start without an argument over screens are more productive and enjoyable.
Make sure students have a quality breakfast.
An advantage of homeschooling your children is the freedom to take a little extra time to eat a good breakfast. With the possibility of missing the school bus removed, quick breakfasts are not necessary. Children can focus on learning when they are not hungry or counting down the minutes till lunch. A breakfast high in protein and fiber goes a long way to academic success.
Set reasonable expectations.
Things don’t always go as planned. You can take all the necessary steps to have set productive days into motion and events out of your control take place. The power or internet goes down, the dishwasher starts to leak, the heat or air does not work, or one of your students wakes up sick. Homeschooling is the art of rolling with the punches. On these days (they will happen) allow yourself a little grace. If the issue is pressing, take the day off or give your students assignments to work on independently. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by these situations, roll with it, and the next day will be better. The important thing is to make sure that you set reasonable expectations for yourself and your students. Some days will be a wash, but that’s okay, homeschooling offers a lot of flexibility, use it when necessary.
Setting the stage for homeschooling success will go a long way in achieving academic goals for your students. Take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey.
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~ Noelle ~