Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy {A TOS Review}

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
I am always interested in expanding my knowledge about homeschooling and finding ways to make things easier for my life. Due to this, I thought it could be quite informative to review the course from Stephanie Walmsley called Successful Homeschooling Made Easy. This is a 26 week long course which is sent out by email in the form of a PDF file attachment. One lesson is received each week, giving the participant a full week to read the lesson, do the assignments, and soak it all in. 
As a reviewer with the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received my lessons in the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course a bit differently than would normally occur. In order to have a better feel for what the course consists of during the review period, I was sent the first 4 lessons all at once. Then, by the second week, I was on week 5. In addition to these regular lessons, bonus lessons are sent out occasionally. 
When I was looking into this course, to see if I would be interested in reviewing it, I admit I was up in the air regarding the relevance of this course for us. We aren't technically new homeschoolers or in the midst of any major changes. However, there were definitely some parts of the course that caught my eye, such as:
  • Handling obstacles in order to keep going when things get tough
  • Fireproofing my homeschooling
  • Never burning out
  • How to get housework done while homeschooling
  • How to keep records
This is just a small sampling of the topics that will be covered in the 26 week course, but I was intrigued. I knew I might be beyond some of the lessons being taught, but I was excited to find out where this course could help me. 

When I received my first email, I promptly downloaded the lesson. You will need a way to view the lesson, which could be on the computer, or printing it out. I have been reading it on my computer or tablet, and just printing out the pages that contain assignments to be completed. You will also need a binder or a folder to place your papers in. With the exception of the first lesson, each lesson thus far has been under 20 pages long, some as short as 11-12 pages, so there isn't a lot of printing if you choose to print the entire lesson. The length of the lessons is also perfect length for reading and digesting during the week.

It is recommended to find a special alone time for studying. At first, I thought before bed would work for me. 

Unfortunately, I found myself too tired to stay focused on the lessons late at night. With four little ones running around, bickering, and needing attention, I have found myself studying my lesson at random times. The best time I have found so far, is when we are headed out in the van with the hubby driving. 

I have also found the best way for me to tackle these lessons is to read the lesson one time through, and then go back a second day to complete the written assignment. There are also things to put into practice each week. 

This course is truly begin-at-the-very-beginning type of course. The first lesson is titled, Start Homeschooling Today. In this lesson you are going to learn a simple way to schedule your day, while starting to homeschool the basics. As the weeks progress, other subjects will be added. The first assignment has you planning an eight-week schedule. 

There is then the option of a morning schedule or an afternoon schedule, depending upon when you work best.

I have to say, this was quite difficult for me. We actually have a schedule that I recently changed that is working for us. I went through the steps in trying to plan, but was unwilling to switch around a routine that was working. We also have lessons in both the morning and afternoon, so a morning or afternoon focused schedule wasn't something I could even try. 

For someone who is brand new to homeschooling, with no schedule in effect, this seems like a wonderful place to start. Additionally, I can see this working for someone who desires to change their schedule because theirs isn't working. 

A beginning homeschooler is going to start with a literacy hour and a numeracy hour on their schedule. This may seem too light; however, you are also getting into a routine with the remainder of your day. A morning routine is in place, along with breaks and other non-homeschool commitments. As I continued through the lessons, I noted that something new was added to the schedule most weeks to help round out the education.

This schedule will be modified after the eight weeks, but having a simple plan in place helps with routine while allowing mom to work on some of the other aspects that are taught in the next several weeks.  You may be wondering what "aspects" I am talking about. I am going to explain a little right now.

I have been asked to think about what kind of person I am and what I want to achieve in life. I was to think about my goals and my dreams. Additionally, I was asked to think about why I want to homeschool the children. Well, that was an easy one, as I have many, many reasons. I was also asked to look at some questions regarding the children and what I want for them and how this will work out in the future. There are some deep questions to be pondered, which is why I found reading the lesson once and then coming back to it later was beneficial. 

The idea behind answering all these questions, is to have a foundation to build the homeschool on. Or, as the author states, to "fireproof" the homeschool. When trying times come, the answers to these questions will help a homeschool mom to stay firm on the path.

In addition to these lessons, the author has included recommendations for homeschool related reading material. Some of the titles, I have actually read in the past, when I was looking into homeschooling. 

I have found this course to be quite informative so far, even though I haven't really been able to implement the schedule aspect. There is a lot of soul-searching going on, and I have been discussing some of these questions with my husband to see what he feels, so we can be on the same page with our homeschooling journey. Even the lesson on bringing children home from public school has had some wonderful tips that can be implemented by any homeschool family. I am looking forward to future lessons and what I may learn.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow Crew Mates have to say about Successful Homeschooling Made Easy!

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review

Crew Disclaimer

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