How to Balance Independent Work & Working with Mama
As homeschool students grow, they work more and more independently. However, even very young children can handle some independent work, and older teens often need one-on-one help with lessons. In order for your homeschool to run like a well-oiled machine and you to avoid teacher burnout, it is important to develop a rhythm and routine that works for you.
Strategies for Homeschool Success
- Make a schedule that fits your individual needs and includes time for independent work and time for working alongside Mom (or Dad). Do you have multiple children? Do you work from home? What is your morning routine like? Consider these factors when choosing the best times for independent versus collaborative work. If you have busy mornings, plan to have kids do their independent work during this time, then sit down together after lunch. Plan lessons ahead of time, and realize that they are not written in stone. Be flexible–life happens!
- When purchasing homeschool materials, choose books and materials that work for you and allow your child to develop independent learning skills.Young ones can do handwriting, dictation, or listen to audio books. Older kids can usually handle reading history, literature, and science lessons alone. Many curriculum providers are now creating materials written to the student instead of the teacher, making independent learning easier to implement.
- Spend one-on-one time in chunks. Take time with each child alone, or with multiple siblings as a group, when you are at your best. If you are distracted by something cooking on the stove or checking texts and emails, you and your children will be distracted, and lessons will take longer. Plan ahead by having your materials accessible and ready.
- Realize that homeschooling is a full-time job, but also remember that you are in control of your schedule. Homeschooling does not mean you have to sit down and hold your children’s hands while they “do school.” Instead, give them some autonomy so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and burned out.
Developing a Routine
Homeschooling is a joy. If you integrate learning into your regular family life, you will come up with a rhythm that works for you. Remember to let loose the reins a bit and give your children some responsibility for and ownership of their schoolwork. Plan ahead for smooth days and enjoying the journey!