Monday, 30 March 2015

Six Things I've Learnt As A Home School Novice ... So Far!

If you're a newcomer to the home school world, and like me still finding your way, then I have some pointers for you to hopefully help steer you in the right direction! These are the things that I've found to be very helpful so far for my family and I!

#1  Begin each day with a quiet time and prayer ...

Each morning I try to rise before the kids do, which is very hard sometimes when you have two children who mostly get up at the crack of dawn. That and the fact that I'm not naturally a morning person, means that sometimes I don't get out of bed early at all! On the mornings that I can, I make myself a hot cup of coffee and sit back in bed, or at the kitchen table and pour over my Bible in the peace and quiet of the early morning home. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. I pray for His wisdom and strength, His peace and joy. I thank Him for His goodness, His love and everything else! Sometimes it helps to journal as well, especially if there's a special scripture that has really stood out to me that day. The days where I don't have this time ... I really notice it. Everything seems to be that bit more stressful and unproductive.

#2  Get yourself dressed and ready for the day ...

It sounds simple, I know. It's not like any of us would just spend the day trudging around in our nighties or anything?! As simple as this sounds, it really makes a huge difference. Showering and dressing in clothes you love, be it a dress, or a skirt and top, pants, bathers, old clothes, whatever you prefer, is a great way to make sure you are beginning the day prepared, awake and ready to be productive! Do your skincare routine if you have one, put on a bit of makeup if you like, do your hair neatly, etc. It helps me to feel good about myself.

#3  Invest in new stationary ...

It's so good to create, write and learn using brand new stationary that actually works! Our last lot of felt tip pens looked like mini chimney sweep brushes! So, I tossed out the three year old hard crayons, chimney brushes and split pencils and stocked up on new ones! They were on special too, which is a bonus! It's a great incentive for the kids to work well and they've been busy creating beautiful artworks too!

#4  Have your school space as organised as possible ...

Your school space doesn't have to be expensive or fancy if you don't want it to be. Ours is quite basic (the above pic is only a little space of our books etc.) and simple as it's also the main dining room of our home. At the end of every school day we make an effort to put things back where they belong. It makes the whole space available for other activities and family meals, and also ensures that everything that is needed for the children's school work can be easily located when needed, saving time and frustration! Having my children be responsible for their own tidy up is important for many reasons; teaching them tidiness, organisation, respect of their parents home, being productive etc.

#5  Make time for yourself each day ...

I have learnt that if I want to be the best mother I possibly can (with God's help) than I need to take some time each day to just relax. I've learnt that the amount of time in which I have to do this is irrelevant to the benefits that we all receive from it. Even just 15 minutes of lying on the lounge resting, or having a hot cup of tea outside in the cool of the garden while the kids play is a very easy way to 're-charge' for the rest of the day ahead. Looking after ourselves is not selfish when we spend each day looking after the many needs of the ones we love, it is vital if we are to look after them well.

#6  Make time for your marriage ...

I have already posted on this point and you can read about it all here. You and your husband were a family before your children became a part of your story; make sure you take the time to cherish him, hug and kiss him, and build up his self-esteem. Of course, we don't always get this right, but it's important that our men still see that we are making an effort for them and not just our children.

#7  Clean as you go ...

I start some mornings when needed, by putting on a load of washing and asking a couple of my children to put away the clean dishes if they weren't done the night before. Our floors are swept in the morning, our cats fed, and our beds made with rooms relatively tidy. I find that with these basic chores done first thing, I can then go about the day doing other odd jobs in between helping children with school work and other daily activities. We all know what it's like to get to the end of the day and have the house look like a storm's hit. Cleaning as you go really helps to minimise end of day cleanup. Do the dishes at breakfast and lunch, sweep the floor as needed, stock the bathroom with clean towels, take out the rubbish, tidy the bookshelves. You can even fill the sink up with very hot water and detergent and just pop in your dishes as you go, if that works for you! Find ways to clean as you go and you'll find you gain more time at the end of the day!

I know that as our home schooling journey continues, there will be many more lessons to learn! I know that God is leading our journey, and for this I am so thankful! 

Have a beautiful week! 


  1. Practical advice, which I believe also applies to non-homeschooling moms, and grandmas who babysit!

    1. :) I'm glad you liked this 'advice' Margaret and that it can apply to any mother or Grandma!

  2. Great tips Elisha! You already sound like a professional with all you have learned already! :) Thank you for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Jes ... although I don't know about the professional part! No where near it! Have a great day! :)

  3. Thanks for these practical reminders. I'm a seasoned Mother and homeschool our children but I still found your post refreshing. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of the most important things first and to keep things simple. I still find myself getting overwhelmed with homeschooling and fitting it all in, even after almost 16 years. Thanks again so much for sharing. Have a wonderful week!

    1. I'm so glad you found this refreshing. I found your comment very encouraging to me, so thank you very much. Sixteen years? You're amazing! I think I have a long journey ahead of me! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. I hope you have a beautiful week! :)


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