Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quick Tip/Share: Getting Back to Studies

We are heading back to studies this week. Ready or Not. This time of year can be really tough trying to reset our homes and learners to get back to a more structured and organzied plan for learning at home.

I sat down and thought of how I am going to get through this week because we have guitar lessons starting, doctors appointments with tests for me, and a teen just begining to feel better from being sick this week and another winter storm on the horizon. (sounds like most people doesn't it?)

I decided the following things would probably make things more manageable and thought I would share them here with my readers.

Here is my list I am going to try and follow for this week:

1. Let everyone know (friends & family) that you are no longer on Holiday Hiatus but are now going back to studies this week. ( this might fend off unwanted and un-needed calls in the am so you can actually get down to business without as much interruptions.  - TIP: I am shutting off my phone or plan on not answering it until we are done with studies or are on break. 

2. Begin by talking with your learners that it is going to be time to go back to their studies and that we will need to try and be better about bed times, eating and also start practicing a more structured schedule. TIP: For younger learners start a few days before scaling back on late night bedtimes. Move up your dinner time a bit earlier so that snacks are earlier and things settle down to where it is a more manageable bed time for an earlier morning the next day. 

3. Remind yourself that its only the first week back and that we need to be FLEXIBLE in just getting back to things. If its better to just start back with only a couple subjects for the first week then do so, realizing that the following week will be more of a ramp up as you go along. TIP: I am planning on slowly trying to ramp and get to whatever subjects we can get to considering the doctor appointments I have and lessons they have outside the home. This will help me to be a bit less stressed thinking I have to get every subject in every day right from the start. If your using HST (Homeschool Tracker Online) like I am, consider adding in the subjects and grades "after" you have finished for the day instead of following a schedule the first week or two. 

4. Plan out meals for this week so that you have lunches and dinners all lined up so that your not scurrying around wondering what there is for lunch and dinner. This saves time and stress on us. TIP: I plan on using the crockpot on many days this week since I will be in and out of the house this week and it ensures we will have a warm, hearty meal when we get back from our busy hectic day.  

5. Smile and give a hug to your learner. Remember why your home teaching and remind yourself of all the learners who are also getting back to the grind but have to wait out for a school bus or sit in a germ-filled classroom. I know my boys continually talk about this and are very thankful to be home for their studies. TIP: If you have teens or older learners like I do, bring this up to your kiddos at breakfast time so that everyone starts off on a good, positive note. I also encourage them to make a mug of Christmas Cookie Tea or maybe a Hot Cocoa for themselves before we settle in for studies. It helps set the right tone and makes things seem less structured and stress driven. 

6. ( I thought of one more as I get started with looking at things)- When starting out with the skill-based subjects ( math and grammar etc., ) consider before starting a lesson doing a quick review of skills before attempting the lessons so they have a refresher. This will save alot of melt-downs headaches and stress. TIP: We are going to read over math notes before math lessons start and also go over writing stylistic techniques and dress-ups checklist so they feel a bit more less in a fog and might be able to attempt their lessons with a bit more confidence and less stress. 

I hope these tip considerations help you as you get back to your studies. If you have any tips or suggestions I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions that you think might help someone as well.

Happy Learning!

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