My friend Trisha Mugo is more than a facebook buddy and homeschool compatriot. Trisha is also the founder of a local Homeschool Moms Who Write support group. This busy woman works hard to help her friends reach their dreams. So you can imagine she has her homeschooling as streamlined as possible. I invited her to share her easy homeschool secrets with us today.
There’s a line from Pride and Prejudice that haunts my homeschool dreams.
When Mr. Darcy’s mean old aunt finds out that Elizabeth Bennett never had a governess, she’s aghast.
“No governess! … Your mother must have been quite the slave to your education,” she says.
That line haunts me because I don’t want to be a slave. I’ve felt enslaved to my children’s education before. I’ve been the mom doing way too much, making it harder than it needs to be.
Homeschooling doesn’t have to feel like a sentence of indentured servitude. We can lighten our load by teaching our children to become self-starters.
Earlier this year, I realized in horror that I had made my children reliant on me for almost everything, including sharpening pencils. Instead of empowering them, I had enabled dependence.
If we want to stay half-way sane while homeschooling, then we need to start sowing the seeds of independent learning while they’re young.
One way I’m training my kids to become self-starters is by keeping most of their work at their fingertips.
I’ve modified Kristi Clover’s crate system to fit my needs, and it has totally streamlined our homeschool. Watch the video for the details, but in a nutshell, I’ve organized all of our work by the week. I put weekly work in a binder and their daily work on a clipboard.
I’ve ripped apart the workbooks to make their work as accessible as possible. No more lost time looking for workbooks.
Almost everything they need is safely stowed on the clipboard, a clipboard I bought at the dollar store. Hands down the best dollar I’ve spent all year!
I call the “magic clipboard” because everything I put on it gets magically done without much complaining. Turns out, my kids actually like the feeling of independence.
If we need to run an errand, they can take it in the car, so no more lugging around all our workbooks. It’s like a portable desk.
When my son finishes one subject, he can start on the next worksheet. Voila! He needs about half the amount of attention from me that he needed before.
All worksheets for the week are kept in a binder, which my student stores in his desk. If my son wants to have a lighter school day on Friday, he can choose to work ahead.
My children know they can ask my help if they need, but I’m training them to “hustle while they wait.” In other words, if mom is busy, they know to skip to the next problem and keep working.
I don’t have to drop what I’m doing and come running every time they’re stuck. Oh, and they’ve also learned to sharpen their own pencils.
How do you train your kids to work independently?
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