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10 Homeschool Hacks- Video of the Day!

Child Doing Homework Close up
Updated: December 5, 2020
Posted In: Best Of The Web

Editor's Note

It's August and in a normal world we would be planning to go back to school soon. My son's school is scheduled (as of now) to resume in-school classes on August 18th, but let's just say I'm skeptical. Some parents I've heard from are planning to keep their kiddos home, at least for a while anyway. I'm still on the fence.

I went to public schools and because of where we live, my son goes to a parochial school. I don't think homeschooling was even a thing back then. And I never dreamed of homeschooling my son. One, because he's an only child and needs the socialization and two, because I never felt qualified. 

Now that he is in high school I can definitely say the Algebra has me stumped. At least the way they do it now. I love the Art, History, German and even the Biology. Homeschooling the last part of the the 2019-2020 school was rough. He passed, but floundered. He missed the intellectual conversations and debates. Learning a foreign language over Zoom was also challenging. 

So come August 18th, I'll be sad/glad that he's back in school! How bout you? Are you a homeschooling master or do you NEED the teachers like I do? 

Paula Henry - MBL Founder

10 Homeschool Hacks

Video Description

Homeschooling can be challenging and finding a rhythm and flow and finally settling in to homeschool freedom can seem elusive and (some days) impossible. I’m here to help! As a homeschool mom of 5 kids and someone who was homeschooled herself, I’m here to tell you that this IS possible, not just to survive, but to thrive! These are my top tips, my top hacks. It is less about organization and things to buy and more about your mindset and perspective. Things like blending your kids, teaching a large family, letting go of the idea that you have to do it all, the comparison trap, and more! We’ll talk about homeschooling on a budget and money saving hacks, time saving hacks, and homeschool strategies that can help make your day run a little bit smoother.


Video Transcription:

Hey guys, welcome to my channel today. I’m going to be sharing with you 10 homeschool hacks to help you home, educate your children without

Losing your mind. Hack. Number one is be intentional.

Now I was going to say plan prepare. I feel like that’s everybody hacks. Has someone has that in there, you know, plan your day planning your day can really, really, really help the most important thing. However, is not to sit down and make a plan. It is to think about your homeschool day, your homeschool week, your homeschool year, your child, and what you want to see. Come out of this. That’s going to help you identify what is going to fit and what isn’t going to fit. You can be intentional with the kind of activities you do. You can be intentional with the kind of atmosphere that is in your home. The more intentional that you are with homeschooling, the more successful and enjoyable and peaceful this homeschool journey can be. So get out a pen and paper, make a list of ideas and just think about the bigger picture of your homeschool and what you want to get out of this

Hack. Number two is blend your kids. You guys, there is no reason that you need to teach an individual mass to all of your kids and individual spelling and individual reading program and individual grammar program and individual vocabulary program and the individual lab and program and individual science program and individual socials program and individual history program. You see how we do this to ourselves? Homeschoolers are the worst at this blend your kids. You can’t do it in everything, but you can do it in some things you can blend your kids no matter what their ages and grades and things like science, socials history, you can teach that together in a way that’s fluid and relaxed and enjoyable. There is no need for you to do everything at once. So take a deep breath and say,

And your cats,

Okay? Number three, don’t try to recreate school. School is a school because at school you are homeschooling. That means you do school at home. It is actually different. And sometimes we look at it and we try to make the exact same thing happen in our homes. We want our kids to raise our hands. It just doesn’t work like that. There are things and systems in place that need to be there because they’re dealing with a classroom of 20 or 30 kids. We have a different situation. We have a different environment and we have a different atmosphere. So when you are looking at your homeschool day, don’t feel like you have to recreate school. There is no need for desks. There’s need for, for individual little stations. There’s no need for recess. There’s no need for schedules. You can do those things, but you don’t have to.

I encourage you to embrace the uniqueness of homeschooling, make it yours. It’s okay to do school in your pajamas, snuggled up on the couch because you’re home. There’s a different environment and atmosphere in your home. Then they’re going to have in school. If you want to get dressed and get going on your day and get motivated and organized, you can do that because you’re at home. You are the dictator of your school day. So stop putting the pressure on you to make it what everybody says it needs to be or what you feel like it needs to be and make it what it needs to be for your family.

Number four, utilize your kids. Kids are not only incredibly smart, but they are incredibly useful and responsible. Some of them. And they’re very, very, very able to do things that we probably think that they aren’t. These are simple things like having your older kids, teach your younger kids. There can be a remarkably small difference in age and or no difference in age, but different inability, and still you can have an older student or a more advanced student helping a child that is younger or struggling. They can do the reading together. Don’t even T tell them you’re going to teach. If that’s going to cause a problem with, with sibling rivalry instead, just saying to your kids, Hey, I want you to do this together. Naturally, that’s going to happen. Your older ones are going to do the reading portion of it and help the younger ones be able to do what they need.

You like, even in your home, utilize their kids, utilize your kids in the cleaning up of their homeschool environment. They can probably clean up their homeschool desks or area. They can probably put their books away when they’re done with it. So you can expect probably a little more out of your kids and encourage them to take part and ownership in this whole homeschool endeavor, because this isn’t just you teaching your children. This is your family learning together. So how can they take ownership in that? They can probably even take ownership in some of their planning, the older your kids get, the more they can do that. And the more they start to enjoy it, give them a piece of paper, give them their planner and let them start to dictate what their rhythm and flow will be like any time your child’s can take ownership over their environment over their day.

Feel like they are needed and important and have a really special place in their family. It completely changes that attitude of your telling me what to do and that kind of, you know, that happens sometimes with homeschooling parents over our children, they just don’t want to receive it. Especially once they get a little older and rebel a little bit from that authority from us. So anytime we can give them ownership, it is going to shift that atmosphere and make a huge difference in the whining. Don’t want to do this not interested attitude that we often deal with as homeschool parents,

Hack number five, use the internet. There is so much out there on the internet. There are so many learning apps that are available. There are so many websites that you can use for spelling lists for all sorts of different things. There are YouTube channels that are full of, of history and science and different things that you can use for free. There’s a ton of apps that you can use for your kids. We love reading eggs and our home and mass seeds. And we can do that with all our kids and all their various ages and stages. And it’s just take some of that weight off of you. As a parent, they can be working on that consistently. They can be improving in their reading or their writing or their grammar or their spelling or their math skills without it always having to be the dynamic of mom, teaching or dad teaching. So sometimes utilizing online tools like that and make a really big difference. And I’ll throw the plug in there that I have a four week free trial for reading eggs. So if you want something free, you get to try out and see if it’ll work for you. That’s a homeschool hack. You don’t have to pay for. You can take it to the bank, check out the link below

Hack. Number six is creative purchasing. So what this means is that rather than feeling like you have to buy a different book for each child and every different subjects that they do, which not only gets expensive, but also gets bulky the things to think about. Like let’s only focus on this year at a time. We as homeschoolers have a tendency to go to something like a homeschool convention, see all of the amazing books want to buy them all. And we start stocking up. We see a good sale. We stock up though. We might be saving a little bit of money, starts to invade your entire home. So think on one year at a time, what you need now, because that even might change in a year when you’re looking at it again and planning for the year after also looking at units and how you can combine things rather than feeling like you have to do everything. So when you have a little bit of time to plan out your year and what you want it to look like, that’s going to help you with your purchasing. Other things that you can do is rather than going in shopping at, you know, some of the bigger retailer stores, you can get a lot of supplies for your homeschool organizational stuff at a dollar store. So you can get creative with your purchasing to save you money and also save you space and help you be more organized and intentional as a homeschool parents,

Hack number seven is change the environment when you are dealing with lack of motivation. When you are dealing with bad attitudes, when you are dealing with whining or fussing or crying, or just feelings of overwhelmed, even in yourself, the easiest and fastest way to change that is to change your environment. And this is one of the number one pros in my opinion of homeschooling, is that you can do that in school. They are stuck at their desk for most of their learning situation. But you as a homeschooler, have the incredible privilege and ability to pack up your stuff, go outside, pack up your stuff, go to the coffee shop, go to the library, go to the park. There are so many ways that you can shift your environment that make up a big difference in your own motivation, your own desire to want to homeschool as well as for your kids.

So whether it is you or your child that is struggling and just not actually wanting to do school, that is a small thing that can make a huge difference. Even in your own home. Something like changing up your table, putting a nice vase of flowers there, um, making some tea and organizing it differently. These are the things turning on some nice music, lighting, a candle that can just shift it enough. That it’s a little bit more fun. And my goodness free tip I’ll throw in there, use food, use food, pull out a snack, put it in the middle of the table. Food has the ability to shift right away the overwhelm to just, okay, I’m going to eat a snack while I do this. And it’s not quite so daunting somehow. School’s not quite so daunting. When you have food in front of you,

Hack number eight is surprise your kids. Anytime we get to a point in our lives, humanity, our culture as a whole of the same thing, day in and day out with no shift and no change. It gets mundane. It gets boring. We lack motivation. We lack drive. We lack interest. And as homeschoolers, we don’t have to do that. So you can surprise your kids layout a big spread on the table, pull out some new unit books, fill up a basket with different activities. Say today, we’re not doing any of that. We’re playing this board game, or we’re going to go on a field trip. You can surprise your kids in very small ways and they have a lasting impact. Anytime. There’s an element of surprise. It draws you in a little bit more so surprise your kids, get creative with your homeschool, and you will begin to see a shift, not just in that day and in that lesson, but in your child’s attitude towards learning their expectation towards education. And maybe they will start to own their education a little bit more

Hack, number nine, motivate your kids with incentives. Now my incentive for homeschooling is that I get to drink coffee. So I am naturally more inclined to want to homeschool my kids. When I have a steaming cup of coffee in front of me, your kids can have incentives too. That’s a very natural part of life. If you do a good job at work, you’re going to get rewarded for that with a paycheck, with an, uh, you know, accolade of some kind with a Pat on the back, people appreciate a job well done. So how can you as a homeschool parents capitalize on that. What kind of incentives and rewards and motivators can you use for your kids? Simple things like sticker stores. You can give your kids money or you can give them stickers and they can earn them. And you can have a little bin or basket.

I’ve seen people use little shoe organizers that go on the back of your door with those plastic pouches, from the dollar store and put prizes in it for various different amounts that they would need to cash in. This is just added incentive. It makes it a little more fun. Friday is sticker store day or whatever. You can use timers as motivators kids can try to compete against each other or themselves works great for some kids, not so well for others, but having motivators there’s healthy motivators. Like when I get my stuff done, I get to go over to this person’s house or do this extracurricular thing, or we’re going to go for a walk. If we get this done, we can spend time together. We’re going to do a family fun day. If we can get all our stuff done. So there’s healthy motivators. There is motivators of time spent with you quality time that can help your kids be a little bit more invested and a little bit more excited about homeschooling homeschool, hack.

Number 10, don’t overthink it. There’s so much out there there’s so much curriculum. There are so many styles and approaches and people telling you what to do and how to do it. The main and biggest thing is just to get started. If you spend all your time thinking about what it’s going to look like and what you need to do, you’re going to just stand there at the starting gate. Never actually getting off on your own two feet. So just start somewhere, baby, step it in, just do something. And as you go, you are naturally going to learn who your kids are better, how they learn, how you teach, what works with your family dynamics. And you’re going to be able to shift and tweak it to suit you just a little bit more. You are not a slave to your curriculum. You’re not a slave to anything that you are using.

It works for you. So let it work for you. If something’s not working, cross it off. If something is working, dive into it more and let go of some of your other stuff, don’t overthink it. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the amount that’s out there. And don’t focus on everybody else. Focus on yourself. What is working for you? What is working for your homeschool? All right. So that’s it 10 homeschool hacks to help you along the journey because it can be a little bit daunting. Sometimes. I hope that that helps you to find something new, to maybe try in your homeschool, to think of it maybe a little bit differently, and to maybe help you get out of the rut. If you’re feeling like your own, been a little stuck for awhile. If you have any questions, please post them below. I would love to have you subscribe to my channel and any of the links that I mentioned today, as well as that free trial are down in the description below. So go and check that out as limited time offer. And I hope you guys have an amazing day, keep calm and homeschool on.

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