1. Be Chronological
Use history as your cornerstone and proceed chronologically. Start where you are in this school year and work forward, or go back to ancient civilizations and progress onward. It’s easy to tie in literature and geography with history; art and music can often be tied in as well.
2. Invest in Quality
Select interesting resources that both you and the kids will enjoy. Buy kits, games, costumes, etc. for Christmas and birthday presents. Give the grandparents a wish list. Choose items that have tremendous appeal and/or long-term value. Don’t overlook thrift shops, Craigslist, and just putting the word out to your friends for what you are looking for. We received a free piano, free Spanish lessons, free tennis lessons, and more just by praying and spreading the requests.
3. Catch Up
Overwhelmed? Falling behind? Use an entire day (or more) to catch up in one subject. You can cover an amazing amount of territory in a single day. Have a special “Pizza & School Night” if you and your kids work well in the evening hours.
Plan ongoing jobs your children can do independently. Use non-school time to train them properly in their chores or take a week for home economics to get the training solidified.
5. See the Big Picture
Keep an ongoing map and timeline visible for a constant reminder of the “where and when” of your lessons.
6. Keep a Notebook
7. Get Ahead
Grab an hour or more when you and the kids are feeling on top of things and intentionally get ahead in something. It provides a great source of accomplishment and is like putting money in a savings account. You’ll really appreciate it when you need to draw on the time you saved.
8. Declare a Holiday
Take a break for a week or two when needed. Teacher planning days are allowed–even recommended! Make your own special family holidays and keep them. Is something really and truly not working? It’s ok to jump ship on occasion. Call do-overs. Claim Grace!
9. Seek Wise Counsel
Enlist the support of your husband, a friend, an online group, or a senior at church who will encourage you and/or to be a resource for information and ideas. (Tip: Be sure to pick a person with a positive attitude!)
10. Reality Check
Periodically look up from the books and ask questions about your homeschool: Are we learning anything? Are we enjoying the process or getting burned out? Are we displaying Christ-like attitudes? Stop, pray, re-evaluate!