4 Things We’ve Learned for Homeschooling Success #HealthyHabits #cgc

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Part way during our daughter’s sixth grade year she made a statement one evening that shocked us, “Can I be homeschooled?” It was something that we thought long and hard and over, over about for months after that, and by the time the school year was out, we agreed that we would try it for a year and see how it went. Since we just started our fifth year of homeschooling, I guess you could say it worked out, but we weren’t always sure it would.

How does one make a home for learning exactly? I had always admired those that proved to be both mom and teacher at the same time, but I felt I was highly under qualified to provide a secure, stable home AND be the primary provider of my daughter’s education.

We’ve definitely had some successes over the years, but with those came plenty of occasions where there was a less than desirable outcome. But for those of you just starting out on the homeschooling journey, here are just a few tips on how WE make a home for learning…and for you veteran homeschoolers, perhaps you can throw in a tip or two in the comments about some of your healthy routines for homeschooling.

1. Teach to your child’s passions. This is the most important thing we’ve learned over the past four years. Amber will learn and retain just about anything if we teach it to her in a way she loves.

Her attitude to history, geography, science and even math, is good if it’s presented to her visually, in an auditory way or kinesthetically.

Just don’t make her read about it! Of course, she DOES have to read, but rewarding her with a movie version after she’s completed the novel, or a historical time period, makes it far less dull.

My point here is; find out HOW your child learns, and then find any and all ways to teach them everything you can in that way. You may be shocked at how much more they want to learn when it’s done “their” way.

2. Teach them Life Management. We started homeschooling when Amber was 12, and she had already taken a semester of Family & Consumer Science in middle school, but I didn’t want to leave it at that. No matter how young your children are, it’s never to early to teach kids life management skills.

There’s not much more that makes a child feel stable in a home than being taken care of, and it’s an important role of parents to do that. Eventually though the children grow up, and how much more stability will they have when they can move out on their own, and actually live. They call mom just to talk (and maybe even say thank you!) and not because they need her to solve their current crises.

Laundry, cooking, cleaning and yes, money management (please someone somewhere tell me there is at least one high school out there that teaches kids how to balance a bank account, how to save, explains interest on a credit card or how a lease works), are life skills that no young adult should leave home without.

3. Create Portfolios. As homeschoolers, keeping art papers, tests, and projects is more than just for any legal considerations. Saving the best work throughout your child’s school years gives them the security of knowing that what they did was important. It is about the preservation of a moment in time.

Don’t be overwhelmed by that, one of the great things of this digital age are cameras and photo books. This allows for the compilation of all the favorite projects, writing samples and tests in a space saving way.

And finally…

4. Hugs and Kisses. This is a certain advantage of homeschooling over other traditional schooling methods. If your child is having a bad day, take time out to hug them. Are they frustrated with that math assignment that they just.can’t.get? You can kiss away those tears. All those emotions and challenges that come with school learning can be dealt with in an affectionate familial way, on the spot. I don’t know of a more significant and perfect way to both make a home for learning and providing a secure, stable home.

As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc

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