Saturday, April 29, 2017

Re-Energize Your Homeschool

Re-Energize Your Homeschool: Coping with “Burnout” and Sparking New Ideas

Burnout is usually a result of trying to do too much or trying to stick to an old format. It can be a sure sign that it’s time to try something different, to broaden your horizons, to make changes not only in your homeschool, but in your lifestyle. Change can help us keep growing and lead to many happy years of exciting, rewarding homeschool experiences.

Encouragement for Your Homeschool Journey

Burnout can occur after ten years of homeschooling or after two years. Parents may feel that they have exhausted all the ideas that once seemed so fabulous and endless. After a few years of homeschooling, the kids might not be as excited about the homeschool experience as they were in the beginning. Getting them to open a book or finish an assignment seems like a losing battle. But it needn’t be a battle with the kids nor yourself.

Eliminating Stress

Stress is one of the main causes of burnout. Parents may find themselves trying to fill two full-time roles in the home: as a parent and as a “schoolteacher”. This adds unnecessary stress to your life. As we've noted in previous articles, learning is a natural part of living, and homeschooling should be a natural part of your family’s lifestyle. Homeschooling is not “school at home”. Teaching your children is simply a part of parenting your children.

Burnout also comes from setting expectations too high, then trying to reach them, day after day, and finding yourself falling short. If you feel you’d be a “better teacher” if your children were ready for learning every morning at 8:00 A.M., dove into their lessons with glee each day, stayed on task throughout the morning and afternoon, achieved 100% on all their assignments, and were able to deliver the Gettysburg Address over dinner, then you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. Occasionally, a day may work out this way, but it’d be a miracle for nearly any teacher to experience such success.

If you, on the other hand, feel you’re accomplishing your goals when your children enjoy most of their lessons, like to explore things that interest them, are learning new information and skills, and can deliver the Gettysburg Address by the end of a school year, then you and your kids are probably enjoying the homeschool process, and you won’t be as likely to burn out.

Preventing Burnout

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Lower your expectations for yourself and for your children, and you will lower your feelings of stress and chances of burnout. It’s true that you’ll want your children to attain certain goals, so you naturally have some expectations of them. Just remember that you have an entire year to reach those goals. And then there’s next year, too, and the year after that.

When you begin to get that nagging feeling that maybe you’re not doing enough in your homeschool, or read or hear about the fantastic adventures of other homeschool families, take some moments to step back and look at your own family. Consider the happiness and well-being of your own children. Consider how much they’ve grown, how much they’ve learned since you began homeschooling.

Overcoming Boredom

If your children are exhibiting signs of boredom, then they may not be challenged enough. Set the learning rail a little higher for them—just enough to entice them to try a little harder. But not so high that they become frustrated, which will lead to feelings of frustration and burnout for everyone.

Revisit areas of interest or new ideas for learning. Explore new hobbies. Learn new art techniques, try a different musical instrument, or try a new sport or recreational activity. Create something, invent something, no matter how simple. The fun and learning occur as a result of "doing" and "exploring".

Less Structure and More Flexibility

Remember that childhood is a time for being a child, not for squeezing hundreds of lessons or extracurricular activities into their lives. Remind yourself that childhood is a time for being curious and explorative, for daydreaming and thinking, playing and learning, having fun and being happy. The child who has plenty of time for these simple activities will grow into a curious, creative, thinking, happy adult who enjoys the freedom and fun of learning.

More Helpful Tips

For more Helpful Homeschool Help, Weekly Homeschool Activities, Unit Studies, Unschooling Activities, and more, visit our www.EverythingHomeschooling.com site. (Portions of this article are excerpts from our Everything Homeschooling Book by Sherri Linsenbach.)

Happy homeschooling!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Unit Study and Fall Unit Study

Our Thanksgiving Unit Study provides a multitude of fun crafts, along with history lessons on the first Thanksgiving. Follow the Pilgrims' journeys, learn about Native American lifestyles and the challenges for the Pilgrims, tour the Mayflower and see the passenger list, and much more at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com!

Our Fall Unit Study also includes fun Fall crafts! Plus, you can learn the science of frost formation, the changing colors of leaves, how to separate colors in a leaf, an Autumn plant project, and more!

Watch for our Christmas and Winter Unit Study coming soon to www.EverythingHomeschooling.com, too!

Happy homeschooling!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

National Parks Art + Learning

National Park Art! Visit a nearby National Park this month to celebrate 100 years of National Park Service. Sketch, paint, or photograph the views that inspire you the most. At the same time, learn the history of the National Park Service, the establishment of Parks across the country, and the geography of their locations.

View photos online or in books and sketch the scenes you see. Send your artwork to us to be featured on our website at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Create a collage of your National Park sketches, drawings, paintings, or photos, as described in "Collage Day" on our Fun Learning page. Display your collage in a special area of your home for all to see!

For 3,000+ Learning Activities, see the fun, educational Weekly Lessons for all Subjects, in all Grade Levels, on our website at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy homeschooling from Everything Homeschooling!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Art Helps Children Learn

ART HELPS CHILDREN LEARN. And Art helps us see -- and feel -- in profound ways. From critical spatial-temporal concepts to improved motor skills and cognitive functions, art enhances our lives exponentially.

ART for ALL! Although our Weekly Lessons at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com have always provided a well-rounded education in all subjects, each year we focus on a special topic. This year, it's Art -- so important in so many ways for children and adults! Regardless of how well we think we may -- or may not -- draw, paint, mold, create. We can do it! And kids love it and learn from it! Today, put together a sketchbook, or gather paper and pencils in a folder, and we'll get started drawing, learning, and having fun!

SKETCH A VIEW from your window today. Don't worry about perfect lines, accuracy, or precision. Sketch your view, take a picture of it, and email it to us. We'll showcase some of the photos on our site. Remember to keep your drawing in your sketchbook or art folder, too.

SEE US at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com and Enjoy Learning Through Art this year!

Happy homeschooling!



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Affordable, Easy Homeschooling All Year! Just $5.95 per Family, per Year!

RECEIVE 3,000+ ACTIVITIES with our Weekly Lessons for a Full Year for Just $5.95 per Family, per Year!

THIS INCLUDES ALL LESSONS for ALL Grade Levels, ALL Subjects, ALL Year at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com!

3,000+ Educational Activities in Math, Science, Technology, Language Arts, Literature, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Life Skills, Health, Arts, Music, and more, for Grades K-12!

The $5.95 price also includes Unit Studies, Unschooling Activities, Daily Planners, Homeschool Record-Keeping Forms, and our Homeschool Fun Magazine, too!

All this for just $5.95 per family!

VISIT Everything Homeschooling at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com today and get a jump on your homeschool adventures for the coming year for just $5.95!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Library Week Ideas for Creating, Making, Building, Inventing

For National Library Week, April 10 to 16 (or any week!), print this list and take to your local library.

Use these book ideas for building, creating, making, and inventing. Try some of these and have a blast!

1. Make rockets! Check out Make Rockets: Down-to-Earth Rocket Science by Mike Westerfield.

2. Make toys! Check out Make Fun: Create Your Own Toys, Games, and Amusements by Bob Knetzger.

3. Make robots! Check out Making Simple Robots: Exploring Cutting-Edge Robotics with Everyday Stuff by Kathy Ceceri.

4. Make machinery! Check out Make Paper Inventions: Machines that Move, Drawings that Light Up, and Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and Roll by Kathy Ceceri.

5. Make inventions! Check out Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation by AnnMarie Thomas.

6. Make fun projects! Check out The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun by Josh Barker.

7. Make awesome projects! Check out Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Project Book by Sylvia Todd.

8. Make books! Check out Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn by Gwen Diehn.

9. Make animated cartoons! Check out Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair.

10. Make movies! Check out How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons by Robert Blofield.

11. Make video games! Check out Video Game Programming for Kids by Jonathan S. Harbour.

12. Make manga characters! Check out Mastering Manga by Mark Crilley.

13. Make nature scrapbooks! Check out The Nature Explorer’s Scrapbook by Caz Buckingham and Andrea Pinnington.

14. Make crocheted items! Check out Learn to Crochet by Alison McNikol.

15. Make watercolor paintings! Check out Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner by Matthew Palmer.

16. Make LEGO architecture! Check out The LEGO Architect by Tom Alphin.

17. Make a new room! Check out DIY Bedroom Decor: 50 Awesome Ideas for Your Room by Tana Smith.

18. Make science experiments! Check out Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick.

19. Make meals! Check out Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook by Melina Hammer.

20. Make money! Check out How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000 by James McKenna.

Note: When looking for these books at your library, be sure to peruse other nearby books, too. You never know what wonderful gems you’ll discover in your library during National Library Week or any week of the year!

For Weekly Homeschool Lessons and daily learning fun, see our website at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Happy Homeschooling!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Adages and Sayings for Bits of Wisdom

Draw "Story Pictures" and learn about wise sayings and adages, such as "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" or "Little strokes fell great oaks" or "As you sow, so shall you reap."

We have a list of over 50 adages that help children learn about messages, morals, or ideas conveyed through sayings. These are often heard throughout life or referenced in literature, publications, and media.

Discuss these 50+ adages with your children and see if they have others they'd like to add to the list. Or maybe they'd like to invent their own adages or sayings.

Encourage your children to select their favorite sayings and draw "story pictures" depicting their favorites. Allow them to be as imaginative and creative as they'd like with this activity.

As your children draw, remind them of this saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words!"

See our List of Adages -- and have fun learning bits of wisdom about life!

Happy homeschooling!