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Encouragement for Homeschoolers

Homeschool Planet Teaching your kids Time Management Blogspot button

Teaching Your Kids Time Management

By | Encouragement for Homeschoolers | No Comments

Teaching life skills to our children is just as important as teaching them their core subjects. I am sure that statement is debatable, but it is nonetheless, worth taking a moment to consider. A life skill that can be taught from an early age is time management. Teaching your children time management takes some effort but will help them exponentially,  let me explain.

When I first read that time management was a skill issue and not an obedience issue, it really helped me with my reaction when my kids wouldn’t manage their time well. Once I knew there were steps I could take to help them with learning to manage their time, I began to take some ownership; I took a step back and started from ground zero.

When I first became a homeschool mom, I didn’t know much about homeschooling. I was previously an Early Learning Teacher, which really helped me apply the classroom management aspect to my homeschool. Other elements of homeschooling, I had to learn from trial and error – I think I am still feeling the growing pains from some of those errors.

If you are like me, I couldn’t understand for the life of me why my son, couldn’t stick to a task, took forever on a task, couldn’t do his chores right, or just plainly took forever to do ONE thing. I would have pulled my hair out if it didn’t hurt so badly, but I knew something had to give.

Before I share with you some insight on steps to take for teaching time management, I want to tell you some personal tips that worked for our family.

  1. Routines are a life saver.

Honestly, I learned this from managing a classroom of 24 children. I would spend almost our whole first-week learning routines, rules, and guidelines. According to the Child Development Institute, predictability provides a feeling of safety for children. In a “safe” environment, children are freer to build independence and creativity. When it comes to time management, setting up a routine in your home will help.

  1. Sleep and a healthy diet can ease many behavioral issues.

Getting children to bed at an early time, keeping sugars and red food dyes away from your kids during the school week can help them focus more efficiently. When you are trying to get your child to manage time well and finding it difficult, see if there is something you can alter in this area.

  1. Teaching your child time management is not a “hands-off” thing.

Some children have real attention issues which will require much training on your part and guidance towards managing their time better. They will need to be explicitly taught how to manage time. They may fail, they may get frustrated but be there for them to steer them in the right direction.

TIME MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR YOUNG LEARNERS

  • Use timers.

When your children struggle to stay on task (like my son) a timer can help them stay accountable and provides them with a staying focus for a set time only. This avoids the feeling of being overwhelmed.

  • Use chore charts.

You can start using chore charts with your children as early as the age of three with age-appropriate chores like picking up toys. Color code the charts for each child, so younger children know they are a part of the team.

  • Use transition songs.

My children love music. As a prior teacher, I can tell you that most children respond well to music. When it is time to transition from one task to the next, use a transition song or play some soft music as a cue to your young one that its time to stop what they are doing and move to something else. Before you know it, your children will be reminding YOU its transition time.

TIME MANAGEMENT FOR OLDER KIDS

  • Develop a monthly calendar.

Starting with a monthly calendar can begin your child’s journey to time management. They can see an overview of what needs to get accomplished within the month. Add events to the calendar like sports practice, dance practice, Youth activity or Bible study days, holidays, birthdays, or whatever is scheduled beforehand. Add curriculum Test and quiz dates as well.

  • Develop a weekly calendar of activities and homeschool assignments.

Although this may be quite cumbersome, you will need to start with set times for each assignment. Setting time constraints on assignments will get easier as your child gets an idea of how long their lessons/reading takes. To stick to certain time frames for each assignment allows your students to self-regulate their management of time. From the monthly calendar, have your children count backward from quizzes or tests to make time for studying on their weekly schedules.

  • Work with your students for a few weeks while they are getting in their routine.

Try to go over your child’s weekly and monthly schedules with them. Guide them through to what is the priority and what can be tweaked. Teach them to break large projects into smaller tasks for manageability.

  • Allow for downtime.

A full schedule will drive anyone mad. It happens to us even. Remember to be flexible and allow your children time to be children. If they have chores as part of their daily routine (which they should), have a set time for the chores and even set a timer to 30 minutes or 1 hour for their chores only. It can be the difference between being something they dread or just another part of the routine.

A great place to start your children with learning time management is with Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Planning and Home management system. Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online is precisely the tool you can use to have your children ready for time management and the organization of their day.

You can have your home, school, and work schedules all in one place and for each of your family members, available 24/7/365. Within the Homeschool Planet management system, you can schedule classes, assignments, chores, field trips, sports practice, doctor appointments, and music classes and so much more.

Once you and your child have scheduled out the year, month, and the week in the system, your child can easily log in each day to know what they need to do that day with reminders that keep them on track.

Homeschool Planet is an extremely beneficial tool to enable your child to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for their schedules. Homeschool Planet is the ultimate calendaring system to help your child manage their time wisely.

Time management is a skill that can be carried out throughout your child’s lifetime and provide them with the accountability they need to perform well in college and throughout their career.

Have you used any specific steps to help your children with their time management skills? Help out fellow parents and leave some tips on the comments section.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

Homeschool Planet Encouraging Independent Learning Blogspot button

Encouraging Independent Learning

By | Encouragement for Homeschoolers | No Comments

There comes a time when we can encourage our children with independent learning. The difficulty lies in how to do it. How can we help our kids to independent learning when we have been through homeschooling with them every step of the way?

If you have more than one child at home, you probably are quickly discovering that the days of sitting next to your children step-by-step is getting less and less feasible. It seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Once you have set out a foundation for your children and they have gotten in full swing of homeschooling; eventually, you want them to gain some type of autonomy.  However, encouraging independent learning won’t come automatically.

Encouraging your children to work on their own takes time and persistence. Your children would need a strong foundation of the basic subject groups, or else independent learning just won’t work. Another thing is that the time for you to encourage independent learning may be different for each child.

We should know that nothing is cookie cutter, what works for one family, even one child may not work for the other. The perfect timing in each child for independent learning is no different in this sense. Some kids will start in late elementary age and others will begin in middle school.

Whatever age or grade level you feel they are ready, there are a few things you can do to encourage independent learning in the meantime:

Lay a strong foundation of the basics.

As I mentioned above, setting a strong foundation is key. Elementary school lays the foundation for kids to know what to expect from homeschooling and knowing what is expected of them. It is vital for elementary students to have a good understanding of the core subjects like reading skills, counting and number basics, and developing language skills through rote memory. After this, you can gradually train your children into more learning independence.

Expose independent learning gradually.

There is no rush to forcing kids to learn independently early on. The more patience you have with it, the more satisfied you will be when they are finally “doing school” more autonomously. You can begin with subjects that your children enjoy and ones they feel more confident in. Even start with one subject at a time. This is best when trying to get a feel of how your student does working more on their own.

Note: Do not begin with a subject that your child is having difficulty in. That can make your child dislike the subject even more, especially if you are not there for them through it.

Use a timer to know if your child needs more time or less time with independent work.

This one may be a little tricky to start off. You may even have to do some work alongside your student to see how long specific work takes. Then task your student to do the school work slightly faster the next time. Timers keep my son focused and he works well with them.  I always give him a little extra time; however, set times keep him doing the task at hand with a goal in mind.

Provide a platform in their homeschool system that allows them accountability.

It is easy for a mom to keep the kids in line and always be there to steer the students in the right direction. Using an organized system that allows your children to track their own progress and to guide them can be extremely helpful in building their independence.

Homeschool Planet’s homeschool online planner allows for the perfect system for kids to track their own performance, gives them daily goals and supports them in doing work independently. If I can backtrack a moment, I would like to explain where the level of autonomy begins with Homeschool Planet.

With Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online, each student holds their very own login. Parents can customize each student’s login features for them to view and edit. Your students can color code their class, activity, category, and subjects with you just how they would prefer it. You or your student can upload their picture to their login page and choose from 18 different awesome background themes.

You can walk your child through the ins and outs of Homeschool Planet, so they know to access email, check texts, explore their calendars, and more.

The Homeschool Planet calendar system sends assignment reminders and daily or weekly email digests with the day or week’s assignments. You can show your kids how to search Google and Bing to research and find out information on their own.

For kids, knowing they have a system of their very own to guide them through their school day helps their independence tremendously. Using this tool in itself is a great way to encourage independent learning in your homeschool setting.

Total independence may never happen while you are homeschooling. Some high school students only have to show you their outputs. Other high school students will need some more hand-holding and guidance. However, it is not an end-all. You still can encourage independent learning in at least a few subject areas.

We know homeschooling our kids is a hands-on commitment for about 15 years of out of our life. We embrace it and know that our children will be better for it. Encouraging kids to learn independently, as part of our homeschooling journey, means more than just having a little time for ourselves in the day.

It means that we are preparing our children for adulthood and equipping them with the ability to complete tasks and follow-through as an adult.

What types of steps have you taken to encourage your kids in independent learning? Did you find it was different with each of your kids? We would love to hear about your story or if you have any insight that can help other homeschool families in their journey.

Leave a message for us in the comments section below.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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