Helpful Hacks: Homeschooling - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
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Helpful Hacks: Homeschooling

For our final Helpful Hack we saved the best for last… homeschooling! Many thanks to all of our contributors for their tips and tricks that get them through the school year and beyond.


What is your favorite ‘Homeschool Hack?’

 

  • Anna: With all of the progress report samples needed each year, a free (or paid) app like CamScanner is so helpful to scan a pdf and print/email. Also – whiteboard!!! This is the easiest to keep daily activities listed, edited, and cleared. My all time favorite homeschool hack is a chalkboard adhesive behind the toilet….yes, the toilet. I have boys and that has been the most successful way to memorize multiplication facts and recitations! I will add one to the wall in front of the toilet when my daughter can read!
  • Jennifer: When my daughter was very young, I kept a box of items that only came out during the time I needed to do more intense subjects with my son (math, reading, etc.) This box was just things I found at the Dollar Store (glue sticks, pretty paper, hole punches, bingo markers, scotch tape, pipe cleaners, etc.) but since it only came out for a short time during the day, it kept her interest just long enough for me to (usually) finish something with my son!
  • Janvi: I color code every child AND put their name on the respective color note and stick it on the refrigerator. Now I put a mark on every supply with their respective colors . For example- if Sam has been given blue color I will mark his supplies (eg. Sketch pens) with blue color paint or nail paint. Now everything time the supplies (like pens) are lost I know which child it is.
  • Susan: As we are new to homeschooling, I learned right away to #1 no electronics till all grid items addressed #2 make lunch something to look forward to, like “it’s hamburger day”, or “let’s hit the yogurt shop”.#3 try to incorporate what we learn into a family activity, such as, seeing a movie together pertaining to history, doing a science experiment together, reading aloud (with expression).
  • Stacey: My fav “homeschool hack” is writing out a little checklist on a large sticky note for each kid. I divide it into assignments that can be completed independently and ones that they need help with. It helps them stay focused and they know what to work on if it’s not their turn for help.
  • Cheryl: What’s consistently worked very well for us these last 10 years is using the method of WorkBoxes! I still use for Quinlan (currently in 3rd grade) what his oldest brother (now a 9th grader) used when he was in Kindergarten at SLOCA :). Definitely a favorite for me!!
  • Catherine: Taking it on the road: we spend quite a bit of time in the car driving to and from school and various extracurriculars. Road time is perfect for wrapping up loose ends with assignments that students can work in independently.
  • Jenny: I created a divided box that has Rubic Cubes, Wooden Letters, Wooden Numbers, Markers, Colored pencils, Pencils, crayons. We pull this box out every day when we start our lessons. It has been a game changer for us.
  • Deena: I keep a notebook in the car with memory work (poems, Latin vocabulary, maps, etc.) in sheet protectors.Finn can use a dry erase maker on the pages and do quick and painless review of the material.
  • Tessa: Bins. I place the days activities/supplies in assigned bins so when it’s time for that subject it’s easy to have everything ready to go. I prep them for the week on Sundays.
  • Robin: We try to keep all needed supplies plus books in one location so that they’re easily found. We also allow our student to choose which subjects they want to work on first.
  • Stephanie: We turn the grid into a list or table for each kid to use each day. This gives them the opportunity to take initiative in their work.
  • Sarah: Being flexible. Spacing out the day when necessary and keeping it going when we are on a roll.


How do you include fun and/or wonder in your homeschool days?

 

  • Stacey: We have pretty full days with 3 kiddos doing homeschool and a toddler running around so I try to let them pursue things they want to do in between assignments and when we read, to take the time to find out the things they are wondering about. We will stop reading to learn more or find out more about a particular subject.
  • Catherine: Sometimes I have a special breakfast for my kids. A few weeks ago we had a cherry blossom celebration breakfast where I had a pretty plated meal, flower buds, and read poetry. For St. Patrick’s Day I printed out some Irish blessings for them. I look for excuses to celebrate!
  • Cheryl: We always talk about our “highs” and “lows” during dinner so Daddy can get in on what/how our day was like. This has become an opportunity for the boys to “show off” what they’ve learned or what they’re currently working on.
  • Anna: When we need to connect or regroup – we direct draw together, or build with blocks. Makes us work together and puts our focus on something our hands and brains have to work together to accomplish.
  • Sarah: I find the wonder and fun in our homeschool days comes from lots of breaks and free time being available. I will rarely interrupt a playtime session that is in progress.
  • Janvi: I ask them to act like a teacher and explain what they studied yesterday to their peers. This way it also helps in making sure that they complete their revision.
  • Sarah: Start the day outside!! Fresh air and nature help everyone! A walk at the beach, a bike ride, playing at the park, etc. Just get outside and get moving.
  • Jenny: We make lots of forts, lego forts, tent forts, sheet forts and do our school work in our forts.
  • Susan: We have lively discussions together on anything that brings out our passions that day.
  • Deena: Try something new in the kitchen, create an art project and go “exploring.”
  • Tessa: Get outside, and make games out of ordinary school work.

Have a Homeschool Hack that works for your family? Or one that you are thinking of trying this year? Please share your comments below with the SLOCA community!

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