Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother of five graduated homeschoolers, and grandma to eight. She began Media Angels® Publishing while pregnant with her third child and went on to write and produce many books and online conferences. Felice is the founder of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. Felice invites you to join her on her show Vintage Homeschool Moms, as well as grab our freebie character planners which change each month.
The most creative solutions for your homeschool problems are easier to find than you think. The best answers are often the easy ones because those are the ones you can implement within a reasonable framework.
When you want to come up with an innovative idea, where do you look? Our first stop tends to be social media. Pinterest is one of the most popular websites for ideas and suggestions.
However, many times it leaves you feeling that these perfect people have it all together. To be honest, there is no way you can implement even half of the suggestions.
Where is the best place to find creative solutions for your homeschool?
The best place to find solutions is within your own family. Depending on the ages of your children, they may be the best source for ideas. I’ve found that out of the mouth (sometimes of the youngest), the simplest ideas are often the best. Kids often have an opinion whether or not you ask them.
Homeschooling falls into several categories, but they all have one central feature, and that is school-at-home.
Do you have enough space? Do the kids have a place for their supplies and books? Is there a private area for those who need to listen to classes online? What is the issue that needs to be overcome? And, this is where creativity kicks in.
The best answers are often the easy ones because those are the ones you can implement within a reasonable framework.
What are some of the biggest obstacles to homeschooling?
Surprisingly it isn’t finding the perfect curriculum. The most common problem is clutter, distractions, and losing books. Clutter was something our family had to overcome. Homes rarely have an extra room or bonus room that can be converted into a homeschool area.
Even if you are blessed with this room, you will find the children take their books into their rooms, living room, or other space to work without distraction. Thus, the lost book issue.
Solutions can be as simple as giving each child a backpack to keep their supplies, computers/cords, or books. Having hooks in bedrooms to put all the work away at the end of the school day. It can be a storage bin for each child or a bookshelf to put the items away.
Ask the kids to help you find solutions. The goal is to help your child to be self-sufficient and independent as well.
What about distractions?
Distractions can be from other people, but it is also from wanting to do something different than school. One way to help this is to give your child a checklist of the lessons they must complete each day.
I gave my children a week at a glance, and it was all on one sheet of paper. It included the days of the week as a heading, and to the extreme left, how long each lesson should take. This checklist can be changed and tweaked, but typically it takes 30-60 minutes for a math lesson—not half a day!
Here is a list of my top 10 Creative Homeschool Solutions:
- Get organized. Let’s use a simple technique—a bin with a lid, a shelf, or a desk area. Keep your homeschool supplies where they belong.
- Use color-coded bins to divide different things such as school supplies or even science equipment. The containers can be stacked, and you can find what you need at a glance. Bins also save space.
- Lists! Lists save the day. A checklist for school assignments that must be completed each day. (See my suggestion above.)
- Electric pencil sharpener. You will thank me. I promise.
- Flip-up desks. These were the best to keep all of my kid’s books organized and cut down on time to find the lost items.
- Individual marker boards. These are great to figure out problems. Use dry erase markers, and kids will love using them.
- Memorize using charts. We used charts for many different things we memorized—bird charts, wild animal charts, musical instrument charts, grammar charts, etc. We would learn the information and move on. It was great for review days.
- Work together toward a common goal. We did everything together as a family. The kids have different age-appropriate jobs.
- Learning games. These are wonderful to learn topics or subjects you may not have time to devote an entire semester or year. For example, art, classical music, and strategy games. Give the kids time each day – fifteen to twenty minutes to play a game. Before or after lunch is a good time to fit this in.
- Time to think. Most children go from subject to subject, activity-to-activity, and don’t have time to think for themselves. Directed learning is good, but children need an opportunity to explore their interests. If you ask your child what his favorite hobby is, and he can not tell you, then your child needs time to explore.
Does this list give you ideas of your own? Look at the areas that need a solution and work toward finding a way to make things work. Creativity helps in finding solutions that will make your homeschool journey easier.
For more ways to work on creativity and problem solving you don’t want to miss my free Character Counts: Creativity Planner. We offer a new planner each month for our subscribers. Our character training planners are open and go and ready to use.
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!