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Homeschooling Tips

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Iamhomeschooling.com offers an abundance of resources for homeschoolers. Whether you are considering homeschooling, new to homeschooling, or a seasoned homeschooler, you will find inspiration, great tips, and helpful advice.  For information specific to homeschooling in Florida, click here.

Homeschooling Different Ages

{IMAGE}Homeschooling children at different ages and grade levels can be a challenge, even more so if you have a toddler running around.  But it doesn't have to be.  The key to having the day go smoothly and efficiently is to be organized and prepared.  If there is one thing I have learned, it's that if I'm disorganized, so are my children.  Make sure you know what your children will be studying that day, and if you have a toddler, have appropriate activities set aside.  Here are a few tips:

Work with your oldest child first.

Since younger children require more one-on-one instruction, try going over assignments with your older child first.  Then, while he or she is working independently, you can sit with your younger child.

Teach your children the same lesson.

Much of the same lesson content in the basic subjects is taught at every grade level, each year building on the last.  Discuss concepts together as a group, and then let your children work independently at their own level.

Let your children teach each other.

Toddler crying for attention?  Have to take that phone call?  It happens.  And when it does, let your children teach each other.  They can exchange spelling lists, quiz each other on things they are learning about,  take turns holding up flash cards, and play educational games together.

Staying Organized

Whether your schoolroom is in the kitchen or outside on the patio, keeping organized is an important part of homeschooling.  Here are a few inexpensive and handy tips. Oh, and don't forget to make sure everything is within your child's eyesight and reach!

Milk crates make great book storage. One per child is a must, one for the teacher is a plus.  If you can't get your local grocer to donate them to you, you can find them on eBay for about $5 each.  Books, folders, and papers fit perfectly in them and they are easy to stack out of the way when not in use.

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Have soup for lunch--then recycle the can! Recycled cans make fun pencil holders.  Incorporate the making into your lesson plans.  Can opener = science; Recycling = social studies; Decorating = art .  I strongly recommend using a safety can opener if you don't have any small coffee cans (the ones with the foil seals) around.

Keep manipulatives and school supplies in easily accessible, labeled bins. Children need to be able to get to them and the bins make clean up a breeze. You can make your own "bins" out of shoe boxes. Let your children decorate the boxes with drawings of the contents.

Colored coded or clearly labeled folders will help keep the papers organized. One for math, one for science. . . you get the idea.  You can put  assignments in them, and the kids can return them with the completed work.

Make a designated spot in the kitchen for child-sized supplies. What child doesn't like to play with food? For lessons in the kitchen (science and math, I mean),  assign a special drawer, easily in reach,  just for child-sized supplies.  Keep things like measuring cups and spoons, plastic bowls, pot holders, wooden spoons, etc. 

Create a toolbox just for kids. Children just love to tinker, and it helps to have the proper tools! Make sure there is a little bit of everything.

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