Doing school tasks well in the assigned time

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“But, if the schoolgirl is to get two or three hours intact [for play], she will owe it to her mother’s firmness as much as to her good management. In the first place, that the school tasks be done, and done well, in the assigned time, should be a most fixed law. The young people will maintain that it is impossible, but let the mother insist; she will thereby cultivate the habit of attention, the very key to success in every pursuit, as well as secure for her children’s enjoyment.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 5, p. 195)

Do you have too much together time?

Teaching Tip:

Do you have too much together time?

When homeschooling your family, typically there is automatically plenty of “together time.” It is interesting to think about how constructive some of that “together time” really is. Sometimes there can be too much together time! Just as adults crave time alone, students do too. When we as teachers make everything a group activity, school can quickly fall into the category of too much together time.

Choose group activities wisely.

It is important to actually choose when to have an activity together and when to have students work alone. There definitely should be some subjects where a student is able to work alone in a quiet environment.

Be creative in finding quiet work spaces for your children.

You might have to get a bit creative in finding space for your students to have quiet work time alone. I know we had to use my bedroom for one of our older students as a work space! At the time, it was the only quiet spot in our busy household of boys!

Train your children to make good use of their quiet work time.

Often students need to be trained to make good use of their quiet work time. It is wise to keep track of your students when they are first trying to work alone. To help me keep track of my students, I sent my boys up to their quiet space with a timer. The timer was set for the length of time their work was supposed to take. I also set a corresponding timer downstairs to remind me to check on the child after the allotted time. When the timer rang, the child had to check in with me. If the child hadn’t successfully progressed, then he had to work near me for the next subject. This helped train my children to make good use of their quiet work time.

Train your children to be diligent workers.

Through this process, my boys have learned to crave a quiet work environment and to be diligent, independent workers. Try training your children to work alone, and see if they learn to desire a quiet work space too! You may find that when you balance together time and alone time your students will be more attentive during group time too.

Blessings,
Carrie

Homeschooling = Freedom to Grow in Your Interests!

Heart of Dakota Tidbit:

Homeschooling = Freedom to Grow in Your Interests!

In one of our previous tidbits, we looked at how homeschooling has helped our kids explore new interests, such as making their first YouTube video. Since releasing that video ten years ago, thanks to the freedom homeschooling gives, our boys have had the time to continue to hone their skills in this hobby. This has recently culminated in an exciting way with them releasing their latest short film after three years of work! Their short film, “Remember Me,” tracks the experiences of a fictional Union sharpshooter during the American Civil War. You can watch their film below!

PS: Want to see more examples of how homeschooling gives kids the freedom to develop and pursue personal interests? Have a look at this blog article here:

Why homeschool? Free Time for Personal Interests, Hobbies, and Skill Development

Homeschooling = Freedom to Explore Your Interests!

Heart of Dakota Tidbit:

Homeschooling = Freedom to Explore Your Interests!

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that it gives our families freedom to explore their own interests and hobbies. Oftentimes these look different for each child, as they each have their own personalities and interests, but occasionally, our boys pool their interests for shared projects! For example, when our kids were little, they loved to work together making home videos like “The Morning Express”.

While “The Morning Express” will probably never be a blockbuster cinema hit, it holds a special place in our hearts because it reminds us again why we love homeschooling. It gives our kids the freedom to explore interests and spend precious moments with each other that they would have never had if they had gone to public school. Looking back, we wouldn’t trade the happy, laughter-filled hours our young kids spent on projects like this for the world! 🙂

PS: Want to see more examples of how homeschooling gives kids the freedom to develop personal interests? Have a look at this blog article here:

Why homeschool? Free Time for Personal Interests, Hobbies, and Skill Development

Do you have scheduled breaks in your day?

Teaching Tip:

Do you have scheduled breaks in your day?

We’ve found that our kiddos can stay more focused on their “school” if they have scheduled breaks within their day. For us, this works better than doing all the subjects without any breaks in between.

Setting time limits for your breaks is key.

One key for us when utilizing scheduled breaks is to set a definite time limit for the break. We also make sure to use a timer to time that break. Perhaps you’re thinking you’d rather just allow your day to flow without the aid of a timer. I used to be that way too!

What if you don’t want to live by the clock?

Even if you don’t want to live your day by the clock, a timer is a great aid to keep your day moving. It addresses the one pitfall of giving your kiddos a break in the middle of the school day. That pitfall is getting your children, and you, to return from that break! Without the aid of a timer to signal the break’s end, neither you nor your child may wish to get back to “school.”

Setting a timer to signal the break’s end takes care of potential problems that arise with breaks.

When we set a timer for the break, both parent and child are well-aware of when the break will end. As a parent, this keeps me from taking on lengthy tasks that could spill over long beyond the break. It also keeps my child from feeling like he will be randomly pulled away from playtime on my whim. Instead, with a timer, my child knows exactly how much time he has to play.

How long should a typical break last?

Typically, our scheduled breaks are 30 minutes long. Our children take those breaks at varying times throughout the day. These breaks might include things like a mid-morning snack, playtime with a sibling, recess outdoors, time on the computer, going for a walk, tea-time, etc. Try a scheduled break in your day and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie