View Full Version : How to stay motivated?

01-31-2012, 01:24 AM
Hi Everyone, I am new to this site but I am looking for advice/tips on how to stay motivated to homeschool.
My son is in 3rd/4th grade (a little of both, I suppose). We have been homeschooling for about 6 months now. When we first began, I was super-organized, and it was the first thing we did every day. I even made a little schedule that blocked out our homeschool day almost to the minute. ...That schedule lasted about a week. Ever since then, I have tried different schedules, AM homeschooling, PM homeschooling, homeschooling 4 days a week, 7 days a week, trying to find something we can stick to. But I am finding it harder and harder to fit it regularly into our daily lives. I myself am a full-time college student pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work, and I will be applying to law school this year. I'm a single mom and we moved in with my parents to get extra help and support. The days just seem to get away from me! By the time I go to the grocery store, take the cat to the vet, take my son to his swim lesson, etc etc, it's night time already and neither of us feel like doing homeschool.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? I feel like a horrible failure of a mother! And at this rate, my son would be better off in public school. I'm not good at sticking to schedules, and I'm beginning to feel like maybe we're just not cut out to be homeschoolers. :( Any advice would be tremendously appreciated! Thank you!

01-31-2012, 10:14 AM
I'll be watching the responses here because I have the same problem (and I'm not even in school!) It takes us so long to get ready in the morning... it's insane. The kids get up anywhere between 7 and 9 and getting them to eat, get dressed, etc. takes half the morning. A quick trip to the store can take 2 hours, easy. And it seems like it's something every day... haircuts, the store, something we need from target, something we can only buy at a certain store... and I still need to take our cat to the vet.

It's 10:13 am and TBO is just now getting dressed, which is fine since I'm sick anyway. *sigh*

01-31-2012, 11:03 AM
While I have no clue what it is like to be a working parent, single parent, or even a full time college student trying to do all of that. I do know that sometimes my days try to run away from me.

I find that I ONLY run errands one day a week. Unless somebody will die that moment if I do not do something then it can sit on the back burner till I get my kids lessons done. We also keep all of the stuff they need for a basic day in a 5-star binder that holds pens, pencils, crayons, etc... so if we cannot help but be out of the house my kids can take their stuff with them. Like last week we had a double allergist appointment that took 3 hours! So to fend off boredom we worked on their school work. Other then possibly setting limits to when you let yourself run errands and or try taking school work with you I have no clue. Like I said above, I have no clue what it is like being a single parent/student/homeschooling mom.

01-31-2012, 12:08 PM
Perhaps you have "bitten off more than you chew"? Sounds like a nearly impossible task, especially if you are not organized. Maybe you could take some time and see where you can simplify....errands all at one time, no pets, lightening you school load.

Not sure who said it, but I heard a quote "women can have it all, just not all at once".

Sounds like you need to prioritize.

01-31-2012, 01:18 PM
I'm right there too. I was just thinking about this today. I have homeschooled (and pregnant) while going to school full time online, that wasn't easy and I decided not to continue until the kids were much older, my schooling was just taking too much time away from dd. BUT I am also not dependent on my education to make a living, so it's not the same. Now it's more about activities - classes, sports, 4H, Girl Scouts, etc, etc. Add to that being pregnant-ly unmotivated, in pain, and exhausted, it makes it difficult to get the energy up to do lessons.

I've tried all sorts of schedules too. All the way from by the min blocking to an unschooly format. Some days are good, some aren't. Sorry that's not much help. I hope you get some awesome responses.

01-31-2012, 03:06 PM
There may not actually be enough hours in the day to do everything you want or need to do, no matter how organized you are. You have several major commitments that I don't, and I still find things getting away from me.

My method is to compartmentalize: from 9 to noon, 4 days a week, is school time, no matter what. I don't plan it down to the minute, and half the time we're just winging it, but at least we are reading stuff, trying some math, looking things up, and so on. I run errands on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. If I think I need to run an errand on Wednesday, it can probably wait until Friday. We clean the house on Saturday morning. It might be getting pretty bad on Thursday, but it just has to wait until Saturday.

The main area that I am constantly falling behind on is the "household management" side of things: paying the bills, renewing insurance, getting the roof fixed, making doctor's appointments, taking the dog to the vet, and so on. It stresses me out, but I decided that school is the important thing right now, so all those other issues have to be squeezed in wherever I can fit them.

01-31-2012, 03:45 PM
ercswf, I REALLY like the idea of keeping the basics in a 5 star binder. I hadn't thought of making homeschool portable!

01-31-2012, 03:48 PM
Hi Avalon, I like the idea of setting specific errand days and making everything else secondary to school. I think that's one huge mistake I've been making. Grocery store, paying bills online, going to the vet's office, everything else before school. That's the procrastinator in me, but I can't afford to procrastinate on my son's education!
Thanks to everyone for all the great responses so far! Please keep em comin! :)

01-31-2012, 05:26 PM
I completely hear ya! I'm a full time student as well, although I'm not a single mother. My bff was working two jobs, going to school, and was a single mom to a spirited daughter, so it CAN be done (wasn't a homeschooling mom, but plenty busy everywhere else).

*For me, my school is the most inflexible, so I have 3 nights a week that I work on that. I stick to those nights, and those nights ONLY. (that doesn't include in-class time.. I go in one day a week and I'm wiped).
*Next is the kids and homeschooling, the most important part for me. I try to get work ready for an entire week on Sunday, printout what I need and prewatch whatever to prepare myself to teach it. I put the next day's work on their clipboards, and then I have folders for each day of the week that I separate the rest into. After they complete a day's work, I pull it off, look it over, then file it. The next day's work goes on the clipboard ready for them.
*Housework gets done a bit here, a bit there. I don't get a real cleaning day, so I try to just keep it manageable. I figure, if I had to let something slide, this is it. I dont' want a fire hazard or be embarassed if company comes over, but I don't have time to wipe baseboards, either. I do some cleaning while ds is doing his reading, or while dd is working on her math. Whenever they don't need me, I'm doing something to keep our house livable.
*I don't really have an errand day (thankfully my dh helps out there) but on the odd day I need help, I'm not afraid to employ a babysitter or make the errand an educational event. Definitely, keeping the running around to one day a week is a big plus.

I do have a schedule made but I've found it makes me MORE anxious instead of less. Having it all written down gives me zero flexibility and makes me feel like a failure if we DIDN'T get to clouds this week, or if we are 2 pages behind in phonics. I overplan, with the idea that I can 'catch up' in May and June- but meanwhile I turn into a stress machine. This week I'm not even looking at my schedule LOL and that actually seems to be going ok.

Something that helps- having prepared curric. We are very eclectic, but the easiest subjects to cover are definitely the ones that are read out of a book. They aren't necessarily our favorites, and I flesh them out... but if you are just trying to introduce info, prepared for you seems the easiest to me (maybe it's not?)

I will also say for me, it isn't the physical organization that's the key- it's mentally knowing what I want to cover next and what skills I want my kids to come away with. With a clear idea of what I want, it's much easier to plot a course to get there- and I can tweak MUCH more easily.

01-31-2012, 09:43 PM
I have cards made for every day of the week they tell me what chore needs to get done for what day. This way I organize my shopping the day after I make my menu. It works good when I stick to it and I figure even if I don't do it every week my house gets attended to on a semi regular basis. I find I can't think if my house is trashed so it is important to me. I also made a very flexible schedule at the beginning of the school year it guides me through whether we are doing science that day or history.
I am not a working outside the home mom though so I can't help with that part. All I know is the schedules help me a lot. Note when I say schedule it is really simple all it says is clean bathroom (clean shower every other week), Laundry ( I do one load every day to keep up) and sweep walk(which happens on a very infrequent basis) although I actually got it done today. I did divide my school into trimesters at the beginning of the year and tried to say when my math should be finished that didn't work at all. We are very behind oh well. I think everyone is different.

02-01-2012, 01:03 AM
You are in a tough situation and have a lot of demands on you. Ultimately, though, it's about living your priorities. It sounds like you have great intentions, but you aren't following thru. ANYTHING takes about 6 weeks they say to become a habit, but you abandoned your first plan in a week. The language you use concerns me: homeschooling isn't something you can "fit in" to your "daily lives". It IS your daily life. You said you moved back home for help and support -- everything and I mean EVERYTHING that doesn't require your immediate attention you need to delegate. Let your parents do the grocery shopping and trips to the vet. Can they take your son to swim class, and for that matter if your son doesn't have time to homeschool why does he have time for swim lessons (and you have time to drive him)?

It may sound harsh, but you need to make your schooling and your ds' schooling your top priority. Just do it. WHEN you get your rhythm and are getting things done THEN add back in things like swim lessons and doing the grocery shopping. It really only takes 1-2 hours a day to solidly cover the basics. Maybe you need to consider using a VA where you have some accountability and ds can be doing his lessons on the computer. Maybe your parents can help with that oversight. Maybe your parents would be willing to cover some of the day-to-day subjects -- but you need a clear and SIMPLE plan for what you need to get done (for example, maybe do 2 pages of math, read of 30min, and journal 2 pages for writing). While he does how basics, you use that time for your school work. Set a good example. Or maybe your parents have special interests in science or history or crafts. Hobbies your ds could read about or learn?

If you start looking at your life as a learning opportunity, you'll see homeschooling fits in everywhere. But if you can't get out of survival mode, there's nothing wrong with saying this just isn't the time for it.

Good luck!

02-01-2012, 08:57 AM
I second a boxed curriculum or a VA. We use K12 for the same reason, feeling that homeschooling just wasn't fitting and we needed some help in that area. We are independent users at this point, so we don't have teacher oversight, but we have everything else. It keeps track of our schedule and days we missed, all material for each class, step by step instruction and lesson plan. We've tried many other formats, and this is what works best for us. Your son is old enough that he can do a lot of his stuff with less help from you. I think with K12 in particular, in 3rd grade it starts to switch from parent lead to child lead to prepare them for becoming more independent learners. So something like that, where he can work independently while you do your own school work might be necessary for you.

We've also used Time4Learning when I felt that dd needed something she could do on her own while I was busy doing school work or tending to her then infant brother. That might be another option. You might feel better knowing he's getting some of the basics and you are free to do your school work. It would be easy for your parents to step in on days you need to be out of the house (if they are willing), just to make sure those lessons get done.

02-01-2012, 03:49 PM
Hi Rachel and welcome to the forum.

What were your initial reasons for homeschooling your son? It might help to sit down and think about why you began homeschooling in the first place and if it is truly something you want to continue. There is no shame in deciding it no longer works for you.

If you want to continue, then I agree with the other posters that outside of your own schooling, homeschooling your son has to become a priority. I don't know how to tell you to do that, because every family is different. Decide what your top two or three priorities are and then make sacrifices in other areas. Good luck to you!

02-01-2012, 10:20 PM
Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for all of the wonderful advice! I definitely agree that I need to make homeschooling a priority. I have a list a mile long of ideas, resources, activities, etc etc. but I have trouble getting it organized and implementing it. It will definitely help to define benchmarks and long-term goals to give us more focus.
I also like the idea of restricting errands/everything else to specific days of the week. It's easy to say 'Oh we'll go to the grocery store now and do homeschool later or make it up tomorrow', but that inevitably doesn't work out well!
I appreciate everyone's input! I'm so glad I found this forum :)

02-02-2012, 08:52 AM
You know, I was thinking about this in the shower. A lot of ppl who are either homeschooling a young ones or are radical unschoolers will talk about how it's so easy, you can run errands whenever you want and go on adventures and fun fun fun, but the truth is, if you want to give your child a good education, it does take a lot of time. I'm at the point where I try to do all my grocery shopping on the weekend, planning a whole week of meals in advance, because it's too hard to find time to do school and also do even one errand some days. homeschooling is pretty much a full time job.

02-02-2012, 09:21 AM
You know, the running errands on one day suggestion is probably a good one. Thankfully mine are both still young (4.5 and almost 3) so it doesn't matter so much right now, but when they get older I'm sure HSing will be more like a full-time job, as Cara said. Or say we'll do schoolwork in the morning and run errands in the afternoon or something so we're not just farting around all day ;)

02-02-2012, 09:40 AM
You know, I was thinking about this in the shower. A lot of ppl who are either homeschooling a young ones or are radical unschoolers will talk about how it's so easy, you can run errands whenever you want and go on adventures and fun fun fun, but the truth is, if you want to give your child a good education, it does take a lot of time. I'm at the point where I try to do all my grocery shopping on the weekend, planning a whole week of meals in advance, because it's too hard to find time to do school and also do even one errand some days. homeschooling is pretty much a full time job.

I'm a far cry from an unschooled, but it isn't a full time job *unless I let it be*. I think homeschooling is one of those things that will expand to fill your every waking moment if you let it. Especially if you consider forums and researching every new curriculum obsessively as part of that job. :D When I work with what I've got (put blinders on about new curric), limit myself to checking forums to 5min/day (tough, lol), give the kids hs my full focus (not trying to clean kitchen, etc, etc while I hs) so that they stay on topic, I have no trouble being done with 3 kids in under 2hrs (one an 8yo doing a mix of algebra and pre-alg, which means all the prep and no self-starting, one 1st grader, and a 3yo interrupting everything). I think the big thing is that I set up the core materials to be automatic (my 1st grader has a stack of work text style curric to work thru first thing: HWOT, MCP Plaid Phonics, LA, and MM or Sadlier-Oxford for math (I alternate days). Then we do MCTLA and Zaccaro Challenge math together, which is also open-and-go. So the only subjects that require any thought/prep are history/science/latin.

For history, I have SOTW loaded on iTunes (my 8yo prefers to read it) and a stack of books from the library. Once a week I "rise to the occasion" and set them on a history pockets or similar project. For science, once a month I load up on library books on a subject (my 8yo reads to my 6yo), and we do projects or experiments every week or two. Sometimes I have them watch a NOVA video. Latin is SSL/GSWL (easy) and I try to do piano lessons with them every week.

My biggest time stuck is planning, so I streamlined that. I also limit myself to going online to put library books on hold to once a week (dh picks them up and I haven't stepped deeper into the library than the hold shelves at the entrance in YEARS). My dh does all the shopping/errands on his way home from work.

Anyway, yes, hs is something that will tend to either get completely pushed off (OPs issue) or take over everything. IME you can find a nice balance and still provide a good, rigorous education. It's almost embarrassing to realize that going from tons of prep to almost none has had zero affect on the quality of my kids' education. :blush:

02-02-2012, 10:26 AM
I have to agree with Cat. It doesn't have to be a "full time job" if you don't want it to be. On our good days, we are done with lessons in around 2 hours with the oldest. But I attribute that to not having to do a second of planning. Everyone is different and puts a different amount of effort into planning and implementing lessons.

I also agree with Cara and was just talking about an unschooling comment I read here with my mom at the park yesterday. I am unschooly by nature (I would love to feel totally comfortable thinking my kids can learn everything on their own through their interests or whatever), but I just can't believe that's a good education, not for us anyway. It must be so nice have that type of freedom. unfortunately for most of us, it's just not something that works and finding that balance is difficult.

02-02-2012, 11:30 AM
It's almost embarrassing to realize that going from tons of prep to almost none has had zero affect on the quality of my kids' education. :blush:

I have found this to be true this year as well. And as a bonus I'm much less stressed out and feel more on top of it all.

Accidental Homeschooler
02-02-2012, 11:58 AM
For me it is a full-time job. That is how it feels. It isn't a job I don't want. It isn't drugery like some jobs I have had. It is a job I want to do very well and care about more than any other job I have had. But yeah, still a job. Maybe this will change as we are only a year into it. It is certainly evolving constantly. I guess I limit my online (except here) time once we have everything purchased for the year. When people put up resources I put them in favorites and then when I need something specific I go there first. I feel like hsing gives my kids much more time to pursue their interests than if they were in school all day and they take advantage of it.

02-02-2012, 07:04 PM
@ Cat- I love reading your replies. Your feedback is really helpful. I particularly like the tip about putting books on Hold and then just picking them up.... Why hadn't I thought of that???

I can definitely see how homeschooling can become time-consuming though. As a licensed teacher, when I prepared lessons for a 'real' classroom, I would always hop on my favorite teacher websites or Google to try to find extra activities related to the lesson I was teaching. I want to do as well for my son as I would do for my regular students, so I find myself constantly researching things and adding more and more sites to my Favorites. Then it gets super hard to get organized and actually implement anything! I am working on just doing SOMETHING, whether it's an all-star lesson or not, and not worrying so much about making it perfect and exciting. At least I have the ball rolling now, and as we get into more of a routine, I'll hopefully be able to add more, bit by bit!

I would love for my son to be doing ASL, Latin, Spanish, French, Logic, Computer Programming, Calligraphy, and a serious art program, in addition to the basic core subjects, and when I first started homeschooling, I VERY naively thought we'd be able to tackle most of that list at once! Homeschooling is as much a learning process for myself as it is for my son! I've realized I just need to stop researching everything to death and go with the flow a bit more. :)

02-02-2012, 07:40 PM
Don't let great get in the way of good enough.

Figure out what's good enough and add a sprinkling of incredible!

02-02-2012, 07:46 PM
I love that! :)

02-02-2012, 08:39 PM
Hey Rachel!!

When I first started, I was single and working, too. Not a student, though. Sweet Mother, you've got a lot!! :D

I agree with everything here, and Colleen said it best. Good enough is just that- and I bet your boy with surprise with the incredible.

I do boxed for the hard (for me) things- math and history, especially. The rest I content myself with *progress* If we got somewhere from Mon to Fri, I'm good.

Errands on one day are a must. I'm the same way-- I was the first to say "Oh, it's just a bit. We'll finish later." It's easy... it is SO HARD to get out of that. But it is a must.

Now take a deep breath. While your boy is doing his thing, plan tomorrow. Once his school his done, so are you. Go play Catan or something with him :)

02-03-2012, 01:24 PM
Hi Airen, Thanks for the input. :) I like the idea of doing boxed stuff for some subjects, and kind of creating my own with the subjects I feel more comfortable with. Can you tell me more about Catan? Maybe that should be a different thread on its own! I've heard great things about it but never played it...

02-03-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm a single mom. I work nights 36 hours a week, 1200 miles from "home" where the combination of working full time and staying in to get the kids school work done has had the unfortunate effect of leaving us without the real supports we used to have before we moved. Some times are harder than others.

My lifesavers have been: Limiting my errands, which has had the added bonus of saving me some of my hard-earned cash. We DO get along just fine without all those things I used to run out for daily (or I'm better about planning ahead for the truly important ones). Freezer meals have been a lifesaver for us. On my days off, I double whatever I'm cooking, and the second meal is split up into small containers and frozen. It gives the kids 'real' meals to eat when I'm working, or sleeping, or when I'm just too busy to stop and cook. I sometimes grab them for myself to eat at work, too. I've in the process of starting to outsource school for my 15yo. He wants to accelerate and start college early, and truth be told, I'm barely keeping him at grade level. So, he's enrolled in Keystone for several classes, and I'm trying to decide whether to try to afford that for next year or enroll him in one of our state's virtual schools. This lets me focus my limited time on the younger kids (8 and 5).

The rest fall under simple household management tasks, and holding myself accountable for getting them done. This is not easy, but getting better. I've been single for just over a year and a half now, after being a mostly SAH/hs'ing mom for twelve years. Honestly, I'm just starting to feel like myself again, and like I've got some ability to handle this.....though I think that had I stayed put instead of moving halfway across the country, I would have made things infinitely easier for myself, lol.

I will be brutally honest and tell you that there have been many times when I've known I'm not doing enough with the kids. Sometimes I can let that slide, as there are life issues that are more important (the two trips home last spring to see my dying grandmother and attend her funeral, for example). Other times, I'm in my room sobbing because I don't feel I can continue to burn the candle at both ends and still give them what they need....I am seriously considering the virtual school route for all three of them because it would take a lot of pressure off of me.

If your education takes precedence because of financial concerns, I would suggest a boxed or online curriculum to carry you through until your own schooling is finished. It may not be what you want long-term, but short-term survival for this very busy time is key.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

02-03-2012, 05:08 PM
Hi Julie, WOW it sounds like you're very busy. I appreciate your input. It's helpful to hear how other single moms manage it, and you've managed to homeschool 5! That's awesome. I am newly single myself. I was with my ex for 2 years, we had just gotten engaged, and he up and left for another girl. She only stayed with him for 3 weeks, then he wanted me back, so I had the satisfaction of telling him no, haha! Anyhoo, I don't know what your circumstances are but I can can relate to how hard the transition to being single can be. I myself am picking up and moving to Arizona in a couple months to get away from these surroundings and the constant worry of running into the ex or his family/friends.
I admire your ability to move far away from home, work, stay strong, and still homeschool your children. I would also love to hear what you did with your 15 year old to get him to an advanced level. That was my main goal for my son when I pulled him out of public school. I would love for him to be able to start college early.
Thanks for your opinion, and good luck with everything! :)

02-04-2012, 10:58 AM
Do you have family or friends in Arizona? I had friends here, which saved me. I'm not sure I could have done it otherwise, because it was truly overwhelming.

Michael is just a kid who loves learning for the sake of learning. He's a sponge; he soaks up all the information and has an amazing retention rate. BUT, that's historically been with things he wants to learn. Trying to teach him anything is at times very challenging. He has no use for any knowledge he deems unworthy. He has a lot of Aspie qualities, but we've never pursued a diagnosis. He's just recently started focusing on the future and the things he needs to get into college. What I'm outsourcing is the things he gives me the most trouble about, lol. So, I don't really think it's anything I did, per se, other than fostering his love of learning. Lots of reading time, lots of time in the library. Willingness to scrap my lesson plans to take off on whatever tangent he found interesting.

That all said, I don't think he's 'advanced.' Just motivated to plow through the racking up of high school credits so he can move on to what he really wants.

02-05-2012, 01:52 AM
Nope, no friends or family in Arizona. But my mom will most likely follow me out there after a few months; we're pretty close. I think scrapping lesson plans and going with what your kids want to learn is a good idea, and something I struggle with sometimes!! But as long as they're interested in learning, I guess that's kind of the whole point isn't it? Hopefully my son will someday have the motivation that yours does! He's still too young to be thinking about college, and some days it's like pulling teeth to get him to focus on homeschool!

02-05-2012, 02:16 AM
Catan is a very dumbed down civilization type thing... my seven year old plays it pretty well, and dh and I aren't bored- huge plus!! Others prefer Catassone(sp?) but I've only played that once, so I can't really compare. I thought it was a tad easier in steps, but more strategy... but once isn't the best to go by :)

Wanted to add a schedule might help you both... it might have been mentioned? So sorry if I'm a repeat... but it helped us so much! We don't write times (can't with a baby), but I do schedule breaks. It helps him knowing there is an end in sight, and having the order helps me get going. After clothes and teeth, he gets his history... boom. Day is started...

02-05-2012, 04:15 AM
I am, like you waiting for the responses since I do have the same problem too. :)

02-05-2012, 12:19 PM
Hi Airen. I like the idea of having a schedule without having set times. We may have to give that a try!

02-05-2012, 02:18 PM
I definitely can relate to your situation. We just started HSing this January and it was extremely stressful at first. I'm a working writer and full-time student on a dual major Computer Science and English degree, while my wife is a part time student finishing up a Biology degree and working full-time.

I started out with a big ambitious list of things for them to study; Mandarin, fine art, world religions, history, physics, java programing, etc...

I have two step-children DD aged 10 and DS 8 (I've been with my wife for a little over 7 years so they've grown up with me as the male in their life), last august our daughter came into the picture. I realized I would never be able to send her to daycare or to public school and once I realized that I couldn't justify not doing the same thing for my step-children. Especially when we moved and found they were doing work in school that they had done two grades before at the previous school.

So about 5 weeks in and things have changed a bit. I've realized that since I'm already working and making money as a writer and not planning on ever working for someone else again that the degree doesn't make sense. Not only that it's impossible for me to schedule all the required classes around my wife's schedule and home-school the kids. So saving ourselves from another 40k in student loan debt makes sense. (the dirty little secret they don't tell you is that sometimes a degree is not worth the debt that comes with it)

You mentioned that your going to law school soon. I would imagine that if your getting a degree in law your planning on practicing law afterwards. Most new lawyers work 60 to 90 hours a week, I don't see how anyone could do that and home-school someone. If your not planning on practicing, what justifies the expense of the degree? If your son is in the 3/4th grade your looking at another 8 years of school before it's all done. You might consider that if your not planning on homeschooling the whole time that it may be better to let him get back into school now rather than latter.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do, just suggesting you may need to give things a little more thought.

As far as scheduling goes, I've been using homeschoolskedtrack (http://www.homeschoolskedtrack.com) to plan our days out in advance. If you decide to try it (it's free) watch the videos first they really do save you some time. Like a a few of the others here have posted we also plan our meals a week at a time which also keeps us from eating out all the time when 7 o'clock hits and we're exhausted and starving. My wife really likes e-mealz (http://e-mealz.com/) for that it gives you a plan for a week and uses a local grocery store and their sales to make a grocery list. I like using it as a basic guide but usually modify or replace a few meals on it to make it a little healthier.
For foreign language we use mango learning which is free online through the library (check your local library to see if they have it), it has worked better than Rosetta stone (which we tried first) as it seems less pressure for the kids.
Crying baby gotta go. hope this helps a little.

02-11-2012, 02:56 PM
A lot of ppl who are either homeschooling a young ones or are radical unschoolers will talk about how it's so easy, you can run errands whenever you want and go on adventures and fun fun fun, but the truth is, if you want to give your child a good education, it does take a lot of time. I'm at the point where I try to do all my grocery shopping on the weekend, planning a whole week of meals in advance, because it's too hard to find time to do school and also do even one errand some days. homeschooling is pretty much a full time job.

Sure, it does ;). I just came to realized that if I want to give my kids a good education, I will have to be more organized and follow a schedule. Getting everything ready for the following week seems to help. Decide which are my top priorities is important too. Of course, my priority number one is homeschooling. I also think it is important to find the tools that work for us, like the right curriculum, schedule, etc. Sometimes what works wonderful for one family wouldn't work for another.

02-11-2012, 03:41 PM
I would also love to hear what you did with your 15 year old to get him to an advanced level. That was my main goal for my son when I pulled him out of public school. I would love for him to be able to start college early.
Thanks for your opinion, and good luck with everything! :)

That is something I would love to achieve too. Actually I think the main reason for me to homeschool my kids is that I want them to perform better than is ps. :)

02-11-2012, 04:15 PM
I just checked the homeschoolskedtrack website and I think is a great resource for scheduling. It has great features to help homeschoolers to stay organized and have a have the accomplishment feeling at the end of the day once all the school work for the day has a check mark on it. It helps you organize your free days and I think even field trips and Hobbies (I need to look more into those features). Did I mention I can add a description to the lessons so I can keep track to what I want to accomplish every day? It is just awesome, but what I like the most is the ability to edit I have, If I am not happy with part of my schedule I can change very easy. I really think this tool is going to make a great difference in my homeschooling.