How to homeschool without going crazy ðŸ˜²

Today started out a little to early for me. My oldest had to be to work at 7 and while some may think 7 a.m. is not early, first of all, YES IT IS! But more importantly, we are no small family so just dropping him off at work calls for me to not only rise earlier to get the RushBunch together but STAY up. In this house, once I get them up, there is no laying back down.

Getting them up means extra time needed to wash faces, brush teeth, wash, make beds, get dressed and grab a snack on the way out the door. Yes, just to drop #1 off. These tasks usually take me about an hour and that’s if I don’t do the girls’ hair.

I was literally dragging and absolutely moody. In case some of you have forgotten, I am six months pregnant. And while McRush usually helps with the ease of getting out the house, he had long been gone for work.

There are several ways I lift the weight of homeschooling without hassle. Today I am going to share with you one of them. But first, let me just state that every morning they have to write the creed and study their spelling words. That takes no effort from me at all. The purpose in the creed writing is to work on their handwriting, in the event that you were wondering. While they do this, I am making breakfast.

Packet Privilege.

This is something that is an absolute life saver to me. Usually, prior to the start of the year, I print out grade appropriate worksheets for each child. In my case its head start to 12th grade. I make packet that contains anywhere from 5-10 worksheets. I do at least 20 per person, so make sure you have paper for your printer. (In the event you do not have a print, I will get to that.) I put these packets away! Packet Privileges can be earned or used as a “substitute teacher” for the day. 🤗

For days like today when I just did not feel like adulting, it was a substitute. I hand out the packets and let them work at their pace. Here is the thing though, the packet must be more like review work because, as with a substitute teacher, you are not available to “teach” so should not introduce new works you may have to explain. It should also contain learning games like word search puzzles or sodoku. With that being said, that is why I say packets can be “earned”. It can count as a free day to the children. We work on a bonus system. Following the rules of both school and home and doing at least one thing ‘above and beyond’, you can earn a packet privilege for a day.

This is one of the many ways I keep my sanity on school days when I want to call out and binge watch Netflix or even work on my business.

For those of you who do not have a printer, for the younger, elementary school children, you can find workbooks at Dollar Tree for them. Tear out all of the pages, shuffle them and staple. Voila! Packets. For parents with older children, you may have to spend more than $1 but go to Wal-Mart or Target and get the more advanced workbooks (in the books section) and do the same thing. (You can also find these in book stores like Barnes and Noble but you WILL spend at least $20 per book and you know I like my budget 🙂)

I hope this was helpful and hit the follow button for more homeschooling tips.

iRush.

Advertisements

Homeschooling 101

So you want to homeschool.

I often get many questions and blessings about homeschooling. It is usually followed up by statements like, “I wish I could homeschool but I don’t know where to start.” or “I don’t have the time.” Well I am here to bust both of those questions and many more in this blog to help you get started.

First, in case you do not know, I am a Business owner of a small consulting firm called Rush Consulting Firm. This business is my pride and joy. It is one I built from the ground up and am able to work anytime and anywhere. With that being said, though my schedule is very flexible, it is still a very demanding position as I wear many hats within the company. So while I can bend my schedule like some of you may not be able to, that also means I work, oftentimes, into the early morning hours of the day. I do get tired and I do get cranky but homeschooling is definitely something I am committed to. I have a cheat for those moments that will allow you a moment to breathe and regather yourself while your children still learn even without you around.

I will say right up front that I do not follow any type of curriculum, I do what I call ‘free teaching’. What that means is while there are a plethora of academic platforms to educate your children, I choose, for personal reasons, not to use any of them.

I will admit that I was thoroughly confused as to where to start and what to teach but I was, and still am, so determined to educate my children according to what I now know as an adult as well as where they are currently in the own educational position that I had to put in some creative work and research to better advance the minds of my children.

I will also forewarn you that, I am all about teaching my children self love and self respect in addition to others, which is something that is not taught in the public school, or private school for that matter, education system. I believe in positive affirmations and daily reminders of who they are and what they can accomplish while including their fellow peers.

For starters, I enrolled in Homeschool Legal Defense Association in the event that I incur any legal issues, because I’m going to be honest, as a black woman I am always mindful of my rights as a parent and I am also aware that I am still black. (That is my stance and it is not up for debate.)

Let me tell you why I pulled my children from the public school system.

My oldest son has always been an advanced honor student who had made a’s and B’s his entire life through the eighth grade, when he was enrolled in High School, I was told he had to go to a particular school which was predominately black. In my experience since moving to the south, That usually means less care (teachers not being paid their worth, struggling academically, less resources, etc) but I didn’t know then what I know now and I went along even against my better judgement because my son was smart. Well, turns out, I was correct. While there were a handful of awesome teachers and administrative staff there, my son kept coming home with straight F’s. Now I am no fool, I know my son paid a part in this as well, however, I should have known this school was not going to give my child the push I know he needed to continue to accelerate.

My other oldest was diagnosed with ADHD, I am not even going to get into that whole agenda. But due to this, he struggled in school because the teacher, due to lack of understanding and compassion, would simple place him in the back of the class, oftentimes giving him an attitude for asking questions, and write inappropriate notes on his papers and in his planner.

My oldest daughter was too smart for the level she was in and often would simply be advocated as teachers assistant to help teach her peers in class. I could already see that this was going to lead down a road to boredom and failing grades.

So, I pulled them. All 5 who were currently enrolled in the Public school system. Now there are 7 technically but of course my rule is, ‘If I’m teaching, you’re learning’ so all 9 are in class Monday through Friday with light review work on the weekends. I am free to teach my children on any level I please, because again, I do not follow any curriculum.

How do I do it? Google. Just kidding. That is my starting point however. I literally googled ‘What should my child know by the end of [whatever grade they are in]. I teach all of my children a level up and that is where the weekend review comes in, That is stuff ‘on their level’ to be sure I am not moving too fast and they know what they should.

For my littles, I go to the dollar tree and get the educational workbooks. I take them home and dismantle them into one page lessons. I separate the by grade level and I make packets that consist of 5 to 6 pages (they are front and back, so you end up with 10 to 12 pages of work. I designate the packets into their individual work spaces and in the mornings, they know to grab a packet and get started. You can do this up the fifth grade from the dollar tree but Barnes and Nobles also have activity books up to the eighth grade that you can do this with. It usually takes them anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more to complete these daily packets. Then you can take a break or continue on teaching.

We have a Goodwill here that sells by the bulk. Thank goodness for this because its where I get most of my academic books from. I believe the books are 50 cents a pound versus 2.99 a book at regular Goodwill stores. I have every level of every book you need to graduate your child from high school and probably college. Anything from literature to microeconomics. My oldest even works from some college books we have. My children excel daily and I can see it. That is something I never experienced in public schools. We also use Khan Academy which is available on an app as well as youtube. My children utilize it for a clearer understanding of what I teach in class in addition to jumping ahead.

I signed up for ABC mouse for my 3-6 year old children but it was too easy and they breezed through it in one day, so I cancelled my subscription. I have learned that my children, and I am sure many others, learn much better in a one on one environment. And while I have nine children I teach, They still get plenty of one on one everyday.

I buy index cards and everything goes on them! Colors, shapes, numbers, sight words, alphabets, addition, subtraction, multiplication, sentences structures, you name it and I am pretty sure I have a stack of flash cards.

The state I am in mandates 4.5 hours a day of learning, and I know some of you may say, I just don’t have four hours to dedicate. Well, remember, this does not have to be a consecutive four hours but also this includes self or Montessori style teaching as well, remember those packets?

Also, trips to the grocery store can be used as a math lesson. Trips to the zoo can be a counted as a science trip. A family trip can be a geography lesson. Paying bills can be an economics lesson. So keep these little things in mind.

I have been slow to put this together because I want to make sure I cover most, if not all of your questions. It does not have to be hard. If you have a difficult child, it will do you and him/her some good to spend more time together to better learn one another. They are human too and thus have emotions. Having sessions discussing this could also be counted as a psychology lesson. <—- See what I did there?

So in closing, Be creative, take charge of your child’s growth and development. Trust me, You will never regret it! You will definitely learn as well along the way. And if you have any questions, I am always available. My contact information is on the front page of the blog.

-Rush

h