For me it is essential to start my day with prayer. I feel that things go much more smoothly if I give my first moments of the day to God. I realise not everyone is religious, so some form of meditation or reflection at the beginning of the day may help you to collect your thoughts for the day ahead.
2. Preparation and planning
Each night after the evening meal and subsequent clean up I sit down at the table and plan and prepare homeschooling work for the next day. You may be more organised and plan a week ahead. I find it better to do it the night before so it's fresh in my mind, however some art, craft or science activities need more forward planning for extra materials etc.
You don't need a mission statement as such, but knowing what you want to achieve in your homeschooling is important. What style of learning do you want to take, maybe it's a combination or a set style. What are you ultimate goals for your children? Think long term about this - you can always change your purpose but you need to have direction.
For any age it is essential to incorporate fun into your homeschooling routine. This presents the teacher with many challenges in setting up activities and excursions, but don't forget fun is in the attitude as much as the activity.
The year following the birth of our fourth child has been more challenging than any other. Many times I've felt discouraged but determined not to give up. Homeschooling is a lifestyle commitment and your children need to feel that you are committed to them and their education. You will have bad days but hopefully they will be outweighed by the good!
OK - not a "P" word but still very important. Flexibility in a learning situation is a key to success. If you can see your child becoming very interested in something, don't just cut off and leap into the next subject because it's "time" to. Some of the best homeschooling days are when I "go with the flow" instead of with the timetable.
If things are feeling stale or just not working, forget the book work and do something else. Whatever it is, you child will still be learning.
Remember - you are the teacher and your own boss! Do what suits you and your family best and enjoy the the privilege of teaching these young minds!
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