View Full Version : Question for experienced homeschool parents

02-12-2011, 02:03 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm not homeschooling yet, but I'm now about 90% sure that we are going this route for next school year--dd will be in first grade then. I am excited about taking on the role of teacher, but I am a bit concerned about taking on the role of work enforcer. I was wondering, if your kids have projects to complete or papers to write, how do you make sure they complete them within a reasonable time? I remember being such a procrastinator in school and doing everything on a late night the night before it was due, but if I only had to answer to my parents, I wonder if I would have finished anything? Any tips or tricks on getting kids to meet deadlines (or at least finish larger projects)?

02-12-2011, 02:51 PM
This wont be an issue for you for quite a while. Little kids cant really work so long. First grade is very much directed by you. If youre enthusiastic, they will be too. Everydays work that you set out will mostly likely get done. Though... First grade is still a lot of play time usually. :D I wouldnt personally make a child that age sit and work any longer than 20 minutes at a time without a chance to get up and go do some kind of play activity etc.

As my daughter is about to start 9th grade she has become a self directed learner. She knows on Monday what needs to be completed by Friday. She can do it any which way she likes as it always gets done. Not every kid will be this way. Each one is an individual and you frankly just wont know until much later.

Because you will be teaching one to one, school days will be much shorter. Dont panic about this! Love it, embrace it, go on a lot of field trips! :D

just my 2 cents.

02-12-2011, 03:05 PM
Yeah, I agree with the above. Since they're young, you can focus more on the basics like early reading and math skills in small doses of 15-20 minutes. The key at that age is going to be making it fun and game-like rather than like work. Otherwise everyone will get frustrated. Gradually over the course of the next few grades, you can introduce the ideas of finishing work in a specified time frame. Then and only then will you really see how much of a procrastinator they are. And my guess is that, like most if not all of us, you'll find they'll be cooperative about some things and less so about others. In those cases, as in most of parenting, pick your battles wisely!

02-12-2011, 03:12 PM
Public school assignments and homeschool "work" is so different in my opinion (and my kids). Not that my kids jump up and down when I give them an assignment, but they have learned over the years to appreciate the work they do. I started last year giving my oldest 2 some "homework", assignments that they needed to complete on their own time. They have learned to manage their time. I also have learned that if they are not done, but actively working on their assignment, then it's ok to give them a bit more time. I have no patience though if they haven't done a thing about it, and they then need to explain themselves to me ;)
I agree with BrendaE, it will be a while before you need to worry about that though. The first few years you are working with your children. My youngest is 6, I do everything with her and in my opinion, that is the awesome part of homeschooling!

02-12-2011, 05:10 PM
Ditto what everyone else said. You may run into issues with being the "enforcer" or butting heads with your dd over school stuff, but your picture of what that will be like is perhaps a little off, at least for the foreseeable future. I do various things to encourage my first graders to begin working independently, but 90% of the time, I'm still sitting next to them or am at least in the room or in sight. You can't just sit there and goof off when that's the set up. Besides, it's just different with homeschooling. In school, there is a lot of waiting time - waiting for everyone to catch up, waiting for the teacher to call on you, waiting for everyone to get in line. There's very little waiting in homeschooling. Kids don't develop the sort of attitude that they're just biding time with their education. They spend the whole time actually being engaged in an activity - be it watching a video, having a conversation, reading a book, doing a workbook, or whatever. The majority of people I know only spend between 1-3 hours on first grade per day. Some spend less. Plus, there's so much less busy work in homeschooling. If you see that your dd gets it, you won't give her twenty more projects about a topic. You won't assign her projects that you haven't thought through the point of her doing. Everything you do is focused on helping her connect the "work" she does in "school" with enjoyment and pleasure and interest. All these things mean that I don't think most young homeschooled children spend much time procrastinating or goofing off.

Of course, some kids will try a parent's nerves. And, especially if a child has ADHD, then she will struggle not to get distracted from the task at hand. But it's very different from the picture you were painting above. Maybe when she's a teenager you'll get to have this issue. Maybe. ;)

02-12-2011, 10:11 PM
I have graduates and little ones just starting. With my older children there was always a way to get them in gear, when they wanted to slack off. With my daughter it was her cell phone, take the phone and she would do anything to get it back. Tell her she was going to lose it, and she would apply herself. With my boys it was video games, when they were on the ball they got to play. When they weren't the game systems were in my closet in a lock box. No problem. ;-)

Teens are so different than little ones, the little ones are so excited to learn it is all exciting. Later it gets a bit tougher, you just have to be the enforcer to a point. At some point they have to understand that the future is up to them. They can be or do anything they want, but we all have to work for it. ;-)

02-12-2011, 11:17 PM
I agree with that's been said already as well - we started last year, with a 6 and an 8yo.
I think there's also a certain level of knowing your child that comes into play. My now 7yo is much better at working independently than my 9yo (who is also ADHD/SPD). Knowing what types of lessons appeal to them individually plays a role in getting them to do the work.

02-13-2011, 03:49 AM
I concur! in the lower elementary, this won't be an issue, wait until high school!!!! But, by then, you will have established good habits for planning study time and setting deadlines.

02-13-2011, 08:36 AM
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I wasn't really about to assign my first grader a research paper :)--just thinking ahead to the later grades. I'll try not to worry about it! Sounds like it's not as big of an issue as I thought it may be for most families.

02-13-2011, 10:13 AM
I think with the way homework is in schools now, this probably is increasingly an issue for elementary schoolers. Just not for homeschoolers! Ah, yet another reason to homeschool. :D