Other Mothers Tips and Ideas
Your Lesson Plan?
Don't we all have times when we wish we could 'tap into' other mothers tips and ideas? We have hit a brick wall, are fresh out of solutions and really need a jumpstart from an outside source?
The purpose of this page is to provide the opportunity for interaction between moms with great ideas and moms who could use some... because we can each be on either side of that fence on a given day!
Gleaning from websites, homeschool magazines, friends, etc. I'll post other mothers tips - bringing you practical, down-to-earth solutions that will help to liven up your lessons and solve the unique dilemmas that homeschoolers can face…
Some suggestions will have links to the websites from which they originated. Following the links will lead to even more ideas.
Here's the really cool part...
Other suggestions will be contributions from The Homeschool Companion’s readers… readers who are other mothers - just like you - who have found a simpler, smarter, shorter, or just plain easier way to do something and having a heart to bless others have filled out the form at the end of this page.
That's not all! You may also use the form to submit a question! I’ll post the question here. Then I and other mothers can submit answers which will also be posted … so we’ll build a virtual FAQ page together!
As more suggestions come in, I plan to reorganize other mothers tips into topical pages with links for easy access... to make it simpler for you to find what you need:)
Find a tip? Leave a tip! While there are absolutely no strings attached to using the ideas here, if you find something helpful… please consider paying it forward… You’ll help make this site a better place to visit!
With that said... let the suggestions begin!
To be honest, I don't really know what downtime is! Some moms consider downtime as when they are on a retreat or vacation without the normal responsibilities. Some moms consider downtime as when their children are all tucked in bed and they can just relax for a few minutes.
Whether you get a vacation or just get to breathe for a few minutes, I would suggest a way to multiply your peace and even have a reserve for the time when everything is back full swing. It's pretty simple: give God the first of your downtime. Kind of like a tithe of time. If we honor Him in all of our planned times first, He multiplies the peace in our hearts as we face all the busy, and often stressful, "up-time."
Instead of envying that mom who seems to have more than her share of downtime (probably not a homeschooling mom!), bless the Lord with the time He does provide, and you will find peace and joy even in the midst of storms. Remember when Jesus slept on the boat during a storm and the disciples wondered how He could sleep? Jesus knew He was Master of the storm, but the disciples didn't. If they had known Him, they would have been sleeping too!
Spending that first bit of any downtime in getting to know your God will bring great faith that He is Master of your storms, and you, too, can find rest. So what we learn here is that rest not only comes during downtimes, but you can even find it in the midst of heavy storms if you put your faith in God. Take your downtime and get to know what manner of man this is--your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" Matthew 8: 23-27
With you in the boat,
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Here are a few ideas and words of encouragement from my moms at Home Link...
Have a set curriculum. Be patient and don't give up!
Ann in WA
Set Realistic goals. If you are having a bad day, modify your time of day for school, take a short break to collect yourself, and remember that there are challenges and rough times in public school too.
Jennifer in WA
Relax! Enjoy your children! Be a student of your children. Find out their interests and what motivates them. Try to cover the basics consistantly and have fun with the rest.
Durenda in WA
Ideas for turning boring 'lessons' into fun play!
Becky in WA
- Write the answers to a lesson on index cards, toss them on the floor. Ask the questions one by one and let your child hop, jump, or cartwheel to the right answer.
- Tape index cards with answers one to a chair. Play 'Musical Chairs' by calling out the lesson questions and having your child sit on the chair with the right answer. Works great for phonics, early math, colors and shapes, etc.
- Put sentences (or math problems) into Easter eggs and set up a hunt!
The Ideas Daybook - One of my homeschooling tips is to use an Ideas Daybook. It is an idea that I have used with my children (and myself!) in our homeschooling with great success.
We each have a Homeschooling Ideas Daybook to capture all the ideas, hopes, wants and plans that arise during our conversations - and then usually get forgotten! You know - the times when someone wonders aloud if Granny could teach them to knit because a friend was wearing a great scarf yesterday!
Normally, this type of idea is filed away, but now they have a place. Write it in your Daybook, draw a picture of the scarf, print off a pattern from the internet and stick it in - and it is saved ready for the opportunity arising.
We have found capturing these ideas and plans has been richly rewarding. It is lovely to look through the pages and see all the activities and plans we have.
Whenever we feel bored, or stuck, the book is on hand to delve into and rescue us.. It is a great place to keep ideas about future homeschooling projects, places to visit, and just craft activities that you would like to try.
Julie.... from the UK
Hostess Note:To find more about the nuts and bolts of this idea and many clever, inventive, and unusual ideas for bringing subjects to life, please visit Julie's wonderful site:
Stay Flexible, especially with younger children! Take a deep breath and relax! Take time to assess your child's mood and interest level before you start school. Is he feeling well? Can he emotionally handle school today?
Flexible means being willing to switch lesson plans if your child isn't in 'student mode'. I'm not saying to skip school entirely by any means, but, try switching your approach to the material you are trying to teach.
Have your child tell you answers orally instead of writing them out... Read a story aloud together as a family and discuss it rather than sending them off to read individually.
Some days just aren't going to happen the way you've planned them, so chill out, trust God for the outcome, and enjoy the day as it unfolds.
Kathy... from WA
Let's Keep Learning Interesting!
from the Geography Matters newsletter:
Go to Geography Matters
I spoke with a homeschool mom recently about her daughter. You see, this year instead of the normal textbook biology, she's planning on doing something a little different.
Her daughter loves animals, I mean LOVES. She is interested in and passionate about anything in her schoolwork that has to do with animals.
So this year her mother decided to nurture her ambitions and interests. She is planning to have her volunteer for the humane society, and even shadow at the local veterinary hospital.
That way, her daughter will learn about animals and their biology in a natural, hands-on way. You can bet that this young student is going to be more enthusiastic and motivated to do her schoolwork this year. Not only that, but she will enjoy and remember it!
Here it is... this is the part that will make this idea exchange work! Have you tried something that has made your homeschool go just a little smoother? Something that you'd like to pass on? Do you have a question on this topic that you'd like to ask other moms? Use the form below and I'll see your ideas and questions are posted. Thank you so much for sharing!
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