crocs: 2 Kids’ Pairs for $30 or 2 Adult Styles for $40!

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Crocs 2 for 30 or 40 sale 12514

Today is the last day to get this great sale from Crocs: 2 Pairs of Select Kids’ Styles for $30 or Two Pairs of Select Adults Styles for $40! No codes needed, just shop and save and the discount will be applied at checkout.

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 14: Staying Home To Homeschool

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On the last day of our 14 Days To A Smoother Homeschool Day, I wanted to talk about something that’s vital to a successful home school. Staying home.

There are always going to be things outside of the house that need your attention, whether it be errands, other family embers, community or church events. Before you know it, it’s Thursday, and the kids have yet to get any school done for the week. Then, you’re either rushing yourself, and more importantly, them, to finish a week’s worth of schooling in two days to stay on track, or you’re forced to let them slip four days behind. Too many weeks of that, and your children will be dreadfully behind in their schooling.

To homeschool your children is an incredible task, and has to be a task that is not taken lightly. In a sense, you have to think of it as a job. Think about it as something you are committed to; something that you cannot leave the house for at the drop of a hat; something that is your reason to tell people “no” every once in a while. It is hard to get into the routine of staying home until school work is finished, or being home in time for school work to be completed by the evening, but it is vital for the success of your students.

Commit to your time home with them. Give yourself one day a week, if necessary, that you will spend time running errands, or taking a field trip, or both, but don’t let it be more than once a week. If you can’t stay home to allow your children to learn, and for you to teach them, then maybe homeschooling isn’t the right choice for you. It’s hard! It’s a lot of work, but for those who feel called to do it, or who are willing to take on the task, it’s worth it.

Don’t lock yourself in the house after reading this post, remember, those poor children need to be socialized! I hope you read the sarcasm in that last statement and found truth in our fourteen day series. We hope this has helped you in some aspect of your homeschool day, or at least encouraged you that you’re not alone. It takes a village.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 13: Balance Is Best

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Being a parent. Homeschooling. Working. Being a parent. Homeschooling. Working. And on and on and on and on! Some days it feels like it is a job that will never end. It has its rewards, and you willingly make the sacrifice for you children, but when is enough enough? Guess what? It’s ok, some days, to just take a break.

I know most homeschool families frown upon snow days, or Spring Break, and some even go as far as frowning on Summer Break as well. Don’t feel like you need to be super parent, and that your kid needs to go to college at twelve years old. The truth is, if you feel like you need a day (or a week!) off, chances are your kids feel the same way. Sometimes stepping away from school for a period of time, whether it be a day, or a week, can be the perfect solution to a smoother homeschool day.

It’s so easy to feel pressured to be the parent that has a strict schedule, and is meeting your goals, and is making sure your kids are up to par with their grade level. But, just breathe. Your kids have a lifetime of learning with you. Sometimes it is ok to take a break. You don’t even need to plan the break! If your day starts off bad, and you didn’t sleep well, and the baby won’t stop crying and your four year old is mad because you didn’t dress her in the right pink shirt, and your sixth grader is upset about her math and it’s only 10 a.m., you may want to just take the day off. Seriously, it’s ok.

You do not fail as a parent if you admit you need a break. It’s healthy to take a break. In fact, most of the time you will find that the refresher days are perfect for getting everyone back on track the next day. Some parents do a four day school week for just this reason; sometimes five day school weeks are just too much. Some parents school five weeks at a time and then take the sixth week off, all year long. Do what feels comfortable. Don’t push yourself past your limits, or push your kids to their breaking point just because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”, be sensitive to your needs and to your kids’ needs. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did, and so will they!

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 12: Read, Read, Read

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A great step toward a smoother homeschool day is to instill a love for reading in your children. Reading will encompass nearly every subject your children will need to complete in a daily basis. The more they can learn to love it, the easier most of their subjects will come for them. We’ve listed some great ideas to make reading more fun for your kids below. Feel free to tell us some of your ideas too!

Pizza Hut’s Book-It Program

This program is often used in public schools, but did you know they allow homeschools to participate as well? This program has you or your child track how many books they read, and gives them pizza as a reward! It’s free to participate and to sign up. The deadline to sign up is typically September 1st, but they do make exceptions for late sign-ups as long as supplies are still available, on a first come first serve basis. Check out the link here to their website.

Library Reading Programs

Many libraries will often offer summer reading programs. Many of these programs will offer rewards from local businesses as children read books throughout the summer. Check with your local library to see if they offer a program like this and what ages it covers.

Weekly Library Trips

Going to the library never gets old, for me at least! Give your kids a nearly unlimited amount of books to choose from by taking them to the library once a week. Allow them to choose books, with your supervision, that they would enjoy to read, and on topics they are interested in.

Monthly Book Goals

You don’t need a pre-established program to reward your kids for reading. Create your own goals for your kids, and offer a monthly pizza party or special dessert treat when their goals are met! Make sure all children can participate in the reward parties, to make sure you don’t discourage those who may struggle with reading, or who may have been less motivated at the beginning of the month. Check up with your children regularly to make sure their goals are being met in ample time. If you notice a student struggling, try to assist them as much as possible. Younger children who can’t read can also participate by having you read to them. Make sure the goals you set for your children won’t burden them, but will encourage them to read even more.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 11: Setting Goals

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As a homeschool parent we always have goals that we set for our children. We also create goals for our school day, school week, school month and school year. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep kids on track with those goals. Why not let your kids set some goals for themselves?

Teaching our children to set goals is very important. Helping them set and complete goals is not only a valuable lesson, but will be an incredible self-esteem boost for them as well. It will also help them to be involved in their school goals. Make sure to teach them to set realistic goals, and both short term and long term. For instance, if your child sets a goal to finish a year’s worth of school work in three months, that’s too lofty. Encourage instead, for them to strive to finish their school work earlier in the day by waking up earlier.

By allowing them to be involved in some goal setting for themselves, it may be less of a fight for them to complete certain tasks or subjects. Because they know they are working toward a goal they set for themselves, it may make them more excited to complete a task. Give them a goal setting sheet, or calender, and allow and encourage them to mark of completions on the list as they accomplish their goals. You can go to this website for some great, free, goal-setting printables!

As your children begin to successfully complete the goals that they have set for themselves, consider having some small rewards available for them. You can even reward them for meeting multiple goals in a row. For example, if one of their goals was to read one book a week, and they did that successfully four weeks in a row, then you could reward them for that in a manner you feel acceptable. The more you encourage them as they set and complete goals, the more inclined they will be to want to continue to set and complete goals. Help them be successful by being consistent in your application of goals as well! The more they see you setting and completing goals, whether it be for them or for yourself, the more it will be reinforced in them.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 10: Keeping Social

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We’ve all heard the age-old concern about socialization in homeschooled kids. While the majority of homeschool parents don’t struggle with finding outlets to socialize their students, for some it is a concern. A great way to meet other homeschooling families and to help socialize your kids is participating in a local homeschool co-op.

What is a homeschool co-op?

The basic definition of a homeschool co-op is just what the name denotes. It is a cooperative group of like-minded homeschool parents and students working together to create a community of homeschoolers to the benefit of the group. Some groups offer extensive, planned classes, sports and activities that meet on a regular basis. Still yet, others exist just as a support system for parents and a play group for children. Some of the neatest co-ops will have the parents use their talents and abilities to teach classes on a specific subject to kids in a certain age group, a sort of “shared learning” if you will.

How do I find a homeschool co-op?

If you’re new to an area, sometimes it can be tough to find like-minded homeschool families. A great way to find groups in your area is by asking around, or searching via the internet on Facebook or Google. If you have lived in an area for a long time, check with fellow homeschool families and see if they are involved in a homeschool co-op that you can be a part of. Many co-ops will have a Spring semester and a Fall semester. Some will even have a sign-up in advance, and sometimes there are waiting lists, so make sure you sign-up early, if sign-ups are required.

What if there aren’t any co-ops in my area?

Start one! It can be as simple as meeting up at the park, or at each other’s houses once a month for a play date or planned activity. Make sure you do plenty of research before just starting a group, to make sure there aren’t multiple co-ops in one area. Sometimes that can just prove to divide areas, instead of creating community. There are no set rules on how a co-op needs to work, so get together with fellow homeschool families and brainstorm over what ideas you think would be beneficial to your group of students!

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 9: Keeping Your Child Interested

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Utilizing your kids’ interests is yet another way to make things go more smoothly in a homeschool day! Using this tact can make difficult subjects easier to bear and even excite your kids about the school work. Whether you have multiple children, or just one, there are always subjects that can be hard to get through. Here are some ideas to help utilize what your children are interested in through everyday schoolwork.

Cartoon Characters

By incorporating your children’s favorite cartoon characters into their schoolwork, you can excite them about even the most boring subjects! Handwriting work sheets that have popular cartoon characters on them (like these adorable Hello Kitty ones we posted recently) are a great way to get through handwriting exercises with ease. You can also use cartoon character themed flash cards or coloring sheets in addition to work sheets. You can also use books that feature your child’s favorite cartoon character to encourage reading. Many easy-readers have sets of easy reading books that are themed with a certain cartoon character (like these cute Thomas & Friends books) that will take the frustration (or some of it) out of the learning-to-read process.

Music & Songs

Using music in learning is a long practiced tool of educators. Many children can learn tough subjects or concepts or material that requires a lot of memorization through songs easily. School House Rock utilized this process to help students memorize things like The Preamble easily and pleasantly. States and Capitals, Days of the Week and Multiplication Tables are all things that have been put to song to help children learn easier and in an enjoyable manner!

Personalization

Making things more recognizable to kids and including their names in subject-work can also be exciting. Re-writing word problems to include their names, the names of their friends and family members or their pets is a great way to make math a little easier to swallow. Using the same process, you can re-write sentences to aid in sentence structuring or vocabulary work. You can also do this to make easy-to-read beginner books that talk about Mom and Dad or family pets as well. Any way that you can bring in the familiar into a child’s school work, you can get them excited about seeing their own name and make tough work less of a fight and encourage a smoother day!

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 8: Teach All Kids the Same Subject at the Same Time

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An excellent way to help your homeschool day run smoothly is having a subject that you do with all your students together, at the same time. This may sound chaotic if you have a wide age range spanned in your children, but it has proven beneficial and successful through generations. This method used to work in the one-room school house, and certain aspects of it can still be successful today.

One of the biggest things missing in modern schooling is the opportunity for the older students to help teach the younger students, and for the younger students to encourage broader, more imaginative in their thought process. Homeschooling generally does an amazing job at eliminating these age barriers so that students can learn from each other. Use this theory and take the time each week to have a subject that you teach your children at the same time.

Reading a Book

Reading a book together can help children learn about a collective subject on different emotional and educational levels. This will encourage educational conversations between your children, without them even realizing it. This will also give your family time together each day, or week, doing something they can all enjoy. Use your local library as a resource in this activity. Many times the library will have seasonal books displayed to aid in your decision making. If you need further inspiration, use the Days of the Year calender we featured in an earlier post!

Group Projects

Having your children work on a group project together can make everyone feel important. Some great ideas for this are leaf or flower collections (allow the little ones to collect, and the older ones to research), art projects or even a Home Economics assignment, like baking, can effectively done by all ages together. Depending on the number of children you have, you may even have them work on, and perform an educational play. For instance, with the holidays coming up, you could give them a specific theme, like Thanksgiving, and have them write and perform a play on that theme. The oldest students could write the script and help the younger ones with parts and lines, etc. This way, not only are they reinforcing the subject matter through performance, but again, the older can help teach the younger as well.

 

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14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 7: Get Outside!

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One of the best ways to keep a homeschool day running smoothly is to take your children outside, when weather permits, at least once a day. Most experts recommend sixty minutes of outdoor playtime per day, but every little bit helps. Break up your school day, and half way through send your students outside to play. Don’t worry about planning structured activities, but allow them to stretch and use their imaginations! This play time is crucial to their educational development, and will make the rest of the school day go by so much easier.

According to the Department of Natural Resources,” Offering sufficient outdoor time improves the overall health of our children while lengthening attention spans,
diminishing aggressiveness, improving test scores and ultimately 
advancing learning.” They also say that it lowers the chances of childhood obesity, ADHD and increases emotional well being in children as well! In short, it will not only give your children a break and let them get all their wiggles out, but will help them retain more of their schoolwork in a day as well!

Getting their wiggles out is just the icing on the cake, though. The dose of Vitamin D they will get from the sun (even on a cloudy day) is also a mood booster! So, even on days when you feel like your children don’t “deserve” a play break, let them take one anyway, as that very well may be the thing that turns the day around. Just like adults, sometimes kids just need to step away from a situation (or a subject) and do something to get their minds off it so they can have a fresh start.

If the weather is poor, take a “movement break” anyway and let your kids play actively indoors. Some great suggestions are turning on music and allowing the children to dance to it, working on a fun exercise routine, or if you have room, even a game of Duck, Duck, Goose can be fun for all ages as well! The important thing is that children have a chance to move in the middle of their day. It can be so difficult for little ones to maintain concentration for long periods of sitting, and sometimes good old-fashioned play is all they need.

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series

14 Days to Smoother Homeschooling Day 6: Plan Ahead

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It can be challenging for a homeschool parent to keep up with the constant demands of school work each day, especially if you have multiple children! One of the ways to help each school day, week, month and year go smoothly is to make sure that you are planning ahead.

Save yourself the trouble of last minute lesson plans, and be sure to know what you plan to teach your student(s) at least a week in advance. Some like to use a lesson planner to have everything written down, and others like to just have the lessons marked in the books and the dates they are to be completed. Lesson planning makes it easy to keep track of what needs to be finished, and helps with record taking. Making sure this is done at least a week in advance will not only keep you and your student on task, but will alleviate some stress from the week.

Don’t make it complicated and plan out every minute of each day, but rather write down, for each child, what you need them to accomplish each day for a week. For instance, if you know that you want them to complete their history book by the end of the year, and you know that means they need to complete a chapter a week for that to happen, then you can plan out each day based on that fact. Make sure to factor in quizzes and comprehension review to make sure your student is absorbing the information they are reading, and not just “sticking to schedule.”

Planning ahead not only saves your sanity, but also ensures you have what you need for the school week. You can make sure you have supplies for a science experiment, an art project or anything else you may need in advance. This keeps projects from being pushed back to another day, and makes each day more smooth. Once you get in to a rhythm of lesson planning, it should only take you about thirty minutes a week, per student, to write down what you want to accomplish for the school week. Who knows? You may even become ambitious and plan a month in advance!

Catch up on all of our posts in this 14 Day Series