Back-to-School Basics for the Rookie Homeschool Teacher: 7 Tips Continued
June 18, 2014
Last week, I discussed scheduling your school day and setting your academic pace through your curriculum. This week I want to share tips to help you manage all your responsibilities as a parent and teacher.
3.) Avoid Interruptions
Learn to guard your class time! Don't answer the phone, text, or email during school hours. I tell friends and family beforehand to leave a phone message or email during the day. If it is urgent, I ask them to text so I know to contact them back immediately. Otherwise, I will reply to messages at noon or after we finish classes. I am such a chatty patty! I really had to clamp down on this.
4.) Schedule a Monthly Teacher Work Day
This is probably my best trick! I regularly schedule a Teacher Work Day once a month. I tackle my “to do” pile, which includes: clean-up/sort through emails, research and register for field trip events in the area for the next month, add up educational hours for the past month of school, plan for next month’s academic classes, order/research curriculum, sign and address birthday/anniversary cards for the next month (ready to mail), check out library books online....
The kids are so excited when I tell them that it is a Teacher Work Day. They get to watch educational videos (with popcorn to make it more special), play board games, read books, draw.... while I slave away in the school room. They are still doing educational activities, but it is their choice. They like planning out their own day and pick a game, book, or activity for each subject area.
5.) Utilize MCPL Library Resources
Did you know that the MCPL allows you to put books on hold? Sadly, I didn't know this trick for the first 2 years of homeschooling. I was spending at least 2-3 hours at the library each week selecting materials for my classes. It is so much easier to do it from home on the computer...in my PJ's.
MCPL also provides a Teacher Assist program. Teachers can request educational packs of material that the librarians select for you based on your criteria (subject, reading level, materials type). You simply fill out the online forms and go pick up the materials when they are ready. Make sure you submit the request four weeks before you need the materials.
Homeschoolers at the Library enrichment programs will start this fall! Mark your calendars and join a group near you at the following Branches: Liberty, Boardwalk, Red Bridge, and Smithville. These are excellent programs which emphasize using library resources to satisfy those curious minds!
“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first hour sharpening the ax.” ~ Abraham Lincoln