Welcome to Homeschool Holiday of the Day. The site for anyone in education who wants easy, fun curriculum to spice up the mundane. From Fruitcake toss day to Halloween we have you covered! Please visit our START HERE page for ideas on implementing the resources found on this site in your education setting (whatever it may be).

This site is a labor of love and will grow and grow. Is there a Holiday you would like to see featured? Contact us and we will do our best to make it happen! We are glad you are here and hope you enjoy learning and celebrating in your home, classroom, car…wherever you are!

  • Christy AKA “Mrs. Crabtree” and the Happy Hive Education team

Exercise your Brain by celebrating Puzzle Day!

Usually exercise is something I avoid. Just keeping it real… But there is a holiday that involves exercise that I am behind 150%! National Puzzle Day, January 29th is all about exercising your brain! I love the fact that our brain is a muscle and the more we use it the stronger it gets! There are also many different puzzles we can use to accomplish this goal. Pick a favorite and solve your way to a stronger brain!

Different types of puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles – The first jigsaw puzzles were made of wood. European mapmakers in the 1760s glued maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker, is given the credit of inventing the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. 

You can easily make your own jigsaw puzzle by gluing a picture to a piece of cardstock or a file folder and cutting it apart. You can make the shapes simple or intricate.

Math Puzzles, like Sudoku – Math puzzles and games are woven into the complete history of math in a fascinating way. Early Egyptian math was largely based on problems that were puzzle like. The Greeks also loved to present puzzle like Math problems. Archimedes is said to have invented a game similar to the Chinese Tangrams involving making figures from 14 pieces. (Tangrams use 7).

Sudoku is a derivative of the ancient game “magic squares”, which goes back as far as 2200 BC. Today sudoku is one of the most popular brain games available. It can be created with pictures or traditionally with numbers as well as with different sized grids, perfect for many different levels!

Riddles- Riddles are designed to make you think about the many meanings a single word can have in any given situation. The oldest preserved riddle is on an ancient Sumerian clay tablet from 2350 BC. Idioms, Puns and other playful word plays are easy ways to challenge your brain. A simple study of homophones and homographs is a great way to begin! (You can even grate cheese while teaching!)

Anagrams are a fun kind of riddle, like the anagram found in the popular children’s book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE. (When the letters are rearranged, it says: I am Lord Voldemort.) What anagrams can your learners come up with? More than I can I’m sure!

Crosswords are considered riddles! The way the answers cross each other is how the cross word got it’s name. The New York World published the first modern cross word in 1913.

Labyrinth Puzzles & Mazes – Legend tells us, the original labyrinth was built by architect Daedalus and his son Icarus to keep the Minotaur (a beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull). The hero Theseus is reported to have successfully traveled through the Labyrinth of Crete and slayed the Minotaur. He did this with the help of the goddess Ariadne. She gave him a ball of thread, called a clue. Actual labyrinths are often seen as thoughtful, peaceful spaces for quiet reflection. They have one meandering path to the center.

A maze, on the other hand is designed for puzzle solving and those wishing to face challenges. A maze has dead ends that cause you to get lost a time or two. Paper mazes offer us the ability to see the entire puzzle at once, but may still take some time to solve!

Celebrate with Homeschool Holiday Curriculum

Whichever type of puzzle you enjoy, Homeschool Holiday has assembled a puzzle variety pack you can use to help celebrate National Puzzle Day. This set promotes critical thinking , cognitive function, and problem-solving skills. It makes a wonderful addition to your Morning Work, Fun Friday or fast finishers routine.

If you need just a little sampling to celebrate Puzzle Day – Members of the Curriculum Club can download our FREE – Try Before You Buy Sample Pack! You will get 5 different activities for your learners.

If you are not already a member of the Happy Hive Homeschooling Curriculum Club, signing up is easy, FREE, and you’ll be downloading freebies in under 5 minutes ! I just need your name and email address.

As a member of the club you will receive 1 – 2 newsletters each month with educational tips and the latest Curriculum Club Freebie. You have access to all PAST freebies as well. Fell free to check out our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES to see the type of articles we send!

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

The full set of Puzzles & Brain teasers contains 10 different activities, various levels and guaranteed fun. Well… I think I can guarantee the fun, except if someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. They *might* not have fun if that happens. 🙂

We hope you enjoy celebrating with us today and will consider subscribing to our website along the left menu so you won’t miss a post!

Be sure to check out the other AWESOME Holidays by using our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS page! There is even a downloadable calendar for you with all available Homeschool Holiday Curriculum!

Happy Hive Homeschooling

Providing experiences for homeschoolers, classroom teachers and families. . . because there is always something to celebrate!

Homeschool Holiday signature image shows an image of Mrs. Crabtree and the Text: Christy "Mrs. Crabtree" Homeschool Holiday, Because there is always something to celebrate

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform for holiday based experiences.

Image contains the Amped Up Learning Marketplace logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Amped up Learning marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Image contains the Teachers Pay Teachers logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Let’s Connect

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/may/15/pressandpublishing.usnews

https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Mathematical_games/

https://www.word-grabber.com/letters-and-words/history-of-the-riddle#

Mazes

Feel Free to Pin this Post for Later!

The Write Stuff for learning to write!

As we celebrate National Handwriting Day I am pleased to highlight for you the line of Homeschool Holiday products designed to help learners develop their “John Handcock”, that is their signature! National Handwriting Day was started in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association. They wanted people to use more pens, pencils, and writing paper.

January 23rd was chosen because it is John Hancock’s Birthday.  Mr. Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, and his signature is the largest of all 56 signatures. Putting your John Handcock on something has become slang for your signature. Before you can sign something, you have to develop a sense of the basics of handwriting.

How Handwriting Develops

Handwriting involves more than just making letters on a page. Learners must first develop strong fine motor (small movements of the fingers, hands, wrists)   as well as visual motor skills (using both vision and hands to complete tasks). Because every child develops and learns differently, just when, where, and how they develop these pre- handwriting skills is going to vary as much as when they smiled, walked, were potty trained, etc. Experts certainly have suggested timelines, but as parents and classroom educators working one on one with learners you know the finite details that matter as far as readiness for such things. 

Tracing and Handwriting

Tracing has long been an effective way to help young learners learn handwriting. Using crayons, pencils or even markers to trace shapes and dotted paths from left to right, right to left, up, down diagonal (you get the idea) can help learners develop fine motor control. Tracing is also great for focus and concentration. 

Tracing however is not for everyone, it can also be a source of frustration. That is why it is so important to check for readiness. There isn’t a “magic” ready light or ding like the microwave. I recommend sitting with the learners you feel are age appropriate for holding crayons and tracing and give it a go. If the crayon gets gripped in a fist and the page gets scribbled on joyfully, you can model appropriately holding the crayon and tracing. 

When the crayon is held properly (there are many videos on grasp, etc. you can view – and this too can be a source of individual child development), and your learner gets JOY out of tracing the lines, does not mind when they go “off” the line, these are signs of readiness.

On the other hand, you may wish to consider different activities for fine motor strengthening if your learner has poor or no grip, gets frustrated, cries or fusses about imperfections or going off the lines. Remember, there is no deep learning going on when a learner does not enjoy the activity. And tracing does NOT hold the exclusive rights to Letter Learning! Everyone learns differently.

Everyone learns differently – whether you have a tracer or a non conformist, fear not. Writing will come.  Celebrate all successes.

Teaching Pencil Grip

I often get questions from teachers in the primary grades, or young mothers teaching their learners at home about pencil grip. My 100% honest heartfelt answer is it must be taught correctly from the get go in a one on one situation, like using a kitchen knife. I wouldn’t let my kids just use a sharp knife without showing them exactly how to do it because they might get cut – it’s dangerous. Well a crayon isn’t dangerous, but the wrong grip will never become right.  It’s THAT important. If you leave the learner unsupervised, or walk away to check the other learners in a classroom (which unfortunately is the way of things) they just auto correct to what they want to do. You know your child best. Why are they holding the crayon/pencil the way they are? Age, hand strength? Differently abled? Lack of proper instruction? Only one on one instruction can achieve proper pencil grip a little each day.

As a classroom teacher, pencil grip was a non issue for me. I taught middle and upper grades. Correcting pencil grasp was not something that was going to happen by the time a learner entered my classroom. I was not going to change their penmanship for that matter. My motivator was, and remained helping learners recognize their BEST WORK. I did have learners self correct pencil grip, improve handwriting, learn multiplication facts, learn to read and any number of AMAZING accomplishments. These accomplishments were THEIRS, encouraged by my mentoring of their best work. If it was their best work it was accepted, if it was not, they chose to re-do it. I did not however suffer through papers I could not read. It was pretty hard to convince me THAT was your best work.  You can read more on best work HERE.

Older learners can use pencils, colored pencils, markers, etc. as their hands develop and their grip strengthens. There are grips, trainers and even shaped pencils if you choose to use them. 

Other ways to develop writing skills

Tracing isn’t the only way to develop a “good” writer. Free drawing is also a great skill. Plenty of blank paper and imagination go a long way. Point out when your learner uses curves, zig zags, straight and diagonal lines so they get used to seeing them and hearing the terms. Let them write and draw about topics they are interested in, even if it is over and over.

Other learners prefer to “free write” where there are no lines and they copy from a nearby model. They can do this on paper, in the air, into a pan of rice, on a chalkboard, into fun dough, etc… they sky really is the limit!

Sensory writing is also very effective. Painting with water on the sidewalk, using beans, shells or other dimensional objects like twigs to form letters is unique and fun. You can even shape the letters out of dough. Members of the Curriculum Club can download FREE Alphabet Play Mats, or you can just allow learners to free form the letters on their own.

If you would like the Alphabet Mats, and are not already a member of the Happy Hive Homeschooling Curriculum Club, signing up is easy, FREE, and you’ll be downloading your Alphabet Mats in under 5 minutes !

I just need your name and email address.

Click on the picture below to sign up and get your FREE Alphabet Mats as well as the Sign Up Bonus!

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

Believe it our not – playing outside, climbing, and bike riding all help a young writer develop as well. Writers need both fine motor and visual motor skills. These non-worksheet, off the page activities are great for improving a variety of skills, including visual motor skills. Take the pressure off and provide learners of all ages plenty of practice with tasks that involve using their eyes and hands together ; and play is the perfect activity to do just that!

Homeschool Holiday Products

If your learners enjoy tracing and copying, Homeschool Holiday has pre-writing activities for you!

Our Left to Right Lines to Trace Mega Pack has over 30 different worksheets for beginning to advanced tracing. This pre writing skill involves following the path then coloring a picture. There are “review” pages with a variety of paths on one page for learners to trace.

Tracing Lines Pre – Writing Fine Motor Activities is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

We also have unique Alphabet Tracing activities. Each letter of the Alphabet is on it’s own page (capital and lower) arranged in boxed rows. Assign by the row or by the page to keep the activity from becoming tiring or boring. These are available in MANUSCRIPT or CURSIVE styles.

Visit The Homeschool Holiday Shop to purchase these affordable Worksheets.
Practice page by page or the whole alphabet. The numbers are included as a whole page too!

A favorite for learners who are already writing is COPYWORK. I consider copywork an essential component to any homeschool curriculum. You can read why HERE.

When learners use copywork, they use great pieces of writing, read it aloud, then copy it EXACTLY as it is written in their best writing. We have several copywork Activities (Even FREE sets) to choose from, and each come with Trace, Print and Cursive all in one pack so whatever your learner needs it’s in the pack! If you are looking for a good copywork starter set, I recommend the Famous Quotes Set. IT has a little something of interest for everyone.

7 Different quotes and a QR code activity to find out more about the famous people who spoke them! Click the picture to purchase in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

We hope you enjoy celebrating with us today and will consider subscribing to our website along the left menu so you won’t miss a post!

Be sure to check out the other AWESOME Holidays by using our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS page! There is even a downloadable calendar for you with all available Homeschool Holiday Curriculum!

Happy Hive Homeschooling

Providing experiences for homeschoolers, classroom teachers and families. . . because there is always something to celebrate!

Homeschool Holiday signature image shows an image of Mrs. Crabtree and the Text: Christy "Mrs. Crabtree" Homeschool Holiday, Because there is always something to celebrate

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform for holiday based experiences.

Image contains the Amped Up Learning Marketplace logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Amped up Learning marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Image contains the Teachers Pay Teachers logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Let’s Connect

Feel Free to Pin this Post for Later!

Second, Third, Hundredth thoughts….

Are you having second thoughts about homeschooling (or third, or even rethinking it for the hundredth time!)? I recently had a lesson in “how we homeschool” really sink in. It was a Karate lesson of all things. Who knew Karate could help me homeschool!

Homeschooling is a BIG decision.

I don’t have to say that twice! In fact, all the choices about your child’s education can be scary: homeschool, public school, private school, charter school… sports, music, art. 

The issue we all face is fear. Even as a classroom teacher, I did not want to fail my students. I wanted to provide them with the BEST education possible. Having second thoughts every day, week, month, or year is natural. It’s how we respond to those thoughts that matter. 

A Karate Lesson

I was recently watching an episode of Cobra Kai, it’s the modern day Karate Kid. Same actors and everything. It’s not, shall I say:  Golden Globe award winning drama, but I honestly enjoy it. I feel it has quite a few gems of wisdom if you listen. 

The latest gem of wisdom was when Daniel was mentoring his daughter. Events had led to her having quite a bit of  fear surrounding Karate. Daniel has the reputation around town of being the “Champion” for defeating Johnny back in the 1980s. His daughter, however, doesn’t know the whole truth.

 A flashback scene from the movie comes on and the viewer is shown the wise sensei  Mr. Miyagi. Daniel is on the mat, hurt and very afraid. He wants to give up. In fact he tells his sensei: “I’m afraid, I’m done”. 

Mr. Miyagi tells young Daniel in his Japanese accent and broken English: “It is ok to lose to opponent. It is not ok to lose to fear.”

This is true for us as homeschoolers….and even as classroom teachers! 

When we have doubts about the success of what we are doing for the second, third or hundredth time, we are allowing fear (ACTUALLY COMPARISON!) to let us “lose”. 

Everyone learns different

It doesn’t matter who learns to read first, or what level math the neighbor kid is in. It doesn’t matter which teacher’s students have “the test scores”. The only thing that matters are our relationships with our learners! Kids must come first. Mr. Miyagi gave Daniel permission to lose, but he absolutely did not give Daniel permission to GIVE UP!

So when you are feeling the overwhelm of being Mom AND teacher…. I give you permission to LOSE! Go ahead and throw in the towel! But ABSOLUTELY DO NOT GIVE UP!

Gems from Former Students

Facebook allows me to keep my RELATIONSHIPS alive with my former students. I watch them thrive in their chosen career paths, from Mother and Fatherhood to Military, Real Estate, hair dressers (they probably have a fancy name!) and even a few following in my footsteps have become teachers! I am proud beyond belief of each and every one of my students as if they were my children.

It pains me to see them struggling now as teachers with online learning and “connecting” with their learners – knowing if they are making a difference. Recently one of my precious students shared a story on her Facebook page about HER class. For a surprise for her birthday they ALL made signs and ALL turned on their cameras! This was NOT AN ACADEMIC SUCCES – but it was a HUMAN success, and a testament that RELATIONSHIPS, not academics matter. That beautiful teacher in our technology filled world said she learned that from me! WHAT A TREASURE! (It was the first time she had even seen some of their faces! Imagine that!)

Don’t give up! Before you know it, you will get camera’s turned on, or kids making mud pies in the back yard for free choice learning!

It’s Ok to take a break

Everything we do daily as homeschoolers is learning, I have always stood by that gem of truth. My kids are learning DIFFERENT things than their grade level schooled equivalents, but they are LEARNING. And when push comes to shove,  they may not have gotten into the top colleges (BUT HOMESCHOOLERS DO!), they are THRIVING in college (and one as a senior in high school).

When you want to lay down on that mat because your opponent (fear) has kicked and beaten you, remember Mr. Miyagi’s wise words.   “It is ok to lose to opponent. It is not ok to lose to fear.”

Take a break from the day to day anxiety causing rig-a-ma-role. Whip out some fun spirit lifting activities and experience the joy of connecting with your children. Don’t be afraid to tell your students about the REAL YOU – like your upcoming birthday!

Homeschool Holiday has activities so you can be intentional with the time you spend with the children you teach. Everything you need for FAMILY FUN is ready to go. You can select from a holiday that correlates with the day, week or month you are working in, or an anytime activity! Head over to our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS or your favorite TEACHER MARKETPLACE and pick something to help you celebrate the most random holiday you can find!

 In both my home and my classroom I took pride in shelving the formal curriculum and making relationships and experiences the priority. That’s how we homeschool at the Happy Hive. 

If you would like to reach out to a listening ear – feel free to email me and we will slay that dragon of fear together.

If you are not already a member of the Happy Hive Homeschooling Curriculum Club, signing up is easy, FREE, and you’ll be downloading freebies in under 5 minutes ! I just need your name and email address.

As a member of the club you will receive 1 – 2 newsletters each month with educational tips and the latest Curriculum Club Freebie. You have access to all PAST freebies from 2020 as well. Fell free to check out our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES.

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

We hope you enjoy celebrating with us today and will consider subscribing to our website along the left menu so you won’t miss a post!

Happy Hive Homeschooling

Providing experiences for homeschoolers, classroom teachers and families. . . because there is always something to celebrate!

Homeschool Holiday signature image shows an image of Mrs. Crabtree and the Text: Christy "Mrs. Crabtree" Homeschool Holiday, Because there is always something to celebrate

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform for holiday based experiences.

Image contains the Amped Up Learning Marketplace logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Amped up Learning marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Image contains the Teachers Pay Teachers logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Let’s Connect

Feel Free to Pin this Post for Later!

Squirrel Activities are always in Season!

Fall is a popular time to study squirrels, however January is home of National Squirrel Appreciation Day and that peeks our interest for sure. So whether you have some awesome squirrel activities planned for science, nature studies or just to foster appreciation and understanding of these adorable rodents. We have some surefire ways to add to your fun.

Squirrel Appreciation Day was started to highlight the better qualities of these animals, and perhaps reclassify them in the minds of folks who think of them as pests. Often when we don’t understand something it’s easy to just think of it as, shall we say, a pest.

Spy on Squirrels

There are over 200 species of squirrel, so I would imagine there are some near you. Putting out food or water provide a great opportunity to observe their natural behaviors. You can do this in a local park or even in your own backyard.

What Squirrel behaviors do you see? Use this opportunity to complete a nature study. It can be a simple as a piece of paper or an elaborate as a squirrel notebook.

In our homeschool we like to take a week, put out walnuts (they are our squirrel’s favorite) ad sit quietly to watch. We draw the squirrels, taking time to note color and size, gender if we can. It’s fun to give them names like Chatterer and Nutsy, or just Sam, Sandy and Susan. In our notebook, we record the things we see each day, sitting in the same place at the same time. Here are some things you can look for:

Running and Chasing: It looks a lot like play, but what you see might actually be squirrel dating. In late winter squirrels chose mates. The males will chase females and males will chase away other males. If you watch you may get to see them run, leap and run some more quick as can be!

Talking:  The noise squirrels make is really surprising. I love to hear them “scream” at the backyard cats! They are warning each other, and the cats to keep away from their food! Squirrels squeak, make clicking noises and “chatter” to talk to each other. They also flick their tails as a form of communication. Sit quiet and listen to what your furry friends have to say!

Climb, Jump, Flip and “Fly”: You don’t need to go to the circus to see top performing acrobats. Just watch the squirrels race through the treetops! Squirrels use their tails for balance and have feet that grip tightly to branches. They love to climb and jump from branch to branch, often making it look like they are flying!

Nesting: Look carefully and see if you can find a squirrels drey. That’s a nest they build in a tree hole or branch using leaves and twigs. It will likely be up high so other animals don’t disturb it.

Squirrel Activities

We also have some engaging squirrel lessons you can use! There are plenty of activities to spread over a week, or you can use this in it’s entirety for Squirrel Appreciation day!

Click on the picture to purchase SQUIRREL ACTIVITY PACKET from my Amped Up Learning Store.

Activities include a coloring page, gratitude activity, squirrel reading room with links to 10 different squirrel books, internet search relating to squirrel facts and a comprehension worksheet for my all time favorite squirrel video – Why do Squirrels Dig? from Sci Show Kids.

Not sure if these activities are for you? Curriculum Club members can TRY BEFORE YOU BUY with our special download available in the Members only area.

If you are not already a member of the Happy Hive Homeschooling Curriculum Club, signing up is easy, FREE, and you’ll be downloading freebies in under 5 minutes ! I just need your name and email address.

As a member of the club you will receive 1 – 2 newsletters each month with educational tips and the latest Curriculum Club Freebie. You have access to all PAST freebies from 2020 as well. Fell free to check out our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES.

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

Once your registration is complete you can download your SQUIRREL SAMPLE PACK (as well as lots of other great freebies!)

We hope you enjoy celebrating with us today and will consider subscribing to our website along the left menu so you won’t miss a post!

Be sure to check out the other AWESOME Holidays by using our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS page! There is even a downloadable calendar for you with all available Homeschool Holiday Curriculum!

Happy Hive Homeschooling

Providing experiences for homeschoolers, classroom teachers and families. . . because there is always something to celebrate!

Homeschool Holiday signature image shows an image of Mrs. Crabtree and the Text: Christy "Mrs. Crabtree" Homeschool Holiday, Because there is always something to celebrate

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform for holiday based experiences.

Image contains the Amped Up Learning Marketplace logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Amped up Learning marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Image contains the Teachers Pay Teachers logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Let’s Connect

Feel Free to Pin this Post for Later!

Helping Learners Do Hard Things

This article first appeared in the Homeschool Holiday January 2021 Newsletter. If you are not receiving the Newsletter, you are not a member of our Curriculum Club! It’s easy to sign up and it’s FREE.

You get an Exclusive Freebie each month, previews of upcoming holidays and coordinating products, coupons and MORE! Just click the image below to sign up!

Click Image to Sign up for the Curriculum Club – FREE!

As a private school classroom teacher…

As a classroom teacher I’m used to parents and students “trusting” that I am the “expert” and they should do the work outlined – somewhat because “I said so”. But more importantly because I have always put a lot of thought, effort and research into my lessons and assignments and have never been one to just give students busy work. My goals have always been to help them develop as learners, the same as I would my own children. Ultimately I hope to inspire learning among those I teach through the relationship we develop, and I recognize that everyone learns differently. This didn’t always happen because kids are kids and work didn’t always get done. 

Missing work dilemma

When work wasn’t completed in the classroom, it was added to a packet of missing work and students were kept in at recess and lunch to finish. If  the work really got backlogged it was sent home over the weekend, but it absolutely got done, because just “not doing it” wasn’t an option. Our school didn’t give zeros, instead we wanted the students to have the knowledge they needed to build a proper educational foundation, and build grade level by grade level with as few gaps as possible. I found that when work wasn’t finished in the classroom it was due to a lack of interest in a subject, or because a student struggled in that area. One on one attention, when at all possible was an AWESOME solution to this chronic problem. I spent many recesses with students and work packets! I also worked HARD to make my lessons as appealing and engaging as possible to AVOID this problem in the first place. 

The homeschooling difference

In Homeschooling there are no missing assignments, because I simply don’t move on until the assignments are complete. Homeschooling “incompletes”  still exist in theory and are for similar reasons because not every assignment is What’s the Weather?  or Mapping Major League baseball teams

Everyone DOES learn differently and that is so very important to recognize. Some learners thrive when given a challenge, and others feel overwhelmed before even trying. The thing is, even when we choose homeschooling to provide our children with an education unlike that of traditional school, that doesn’t always mean avoiding hard things. The desire to avoid work happens even in the best of homes and classrooms! 

I don’t have a magic wand (because if I did it would be doing the laundry) but I do have some suggestions. 

Outlining expectations

Clear expectations and routine are essential in any learning environment. It can be as simple as:

 From time A to Time B is learning time… you may choose from these 3 activities. 

Or it can be, Math is at 8 am, Science is at 8:30 am… Math is always done in pencil on graph paper, with one digit in a square. In Science, You are expected to read then draw a picture of what you read. Your picture must be in color.  

It is important the expectations are age / ability appropriate. Can your Kindergartener copy their own math problems? My son had vision issues that made his writing HUGE, one digit was never going in one traditional graph paper box. We made special “graph” paper for his work. 

When you are sure your routine and expectations are appropriate, keep encouraging what I call “best work”. Because everyone learns differently, best work looks very different among learners as well. Encourage communication. Why is or isn’t this particular item “best work” – does it need to be re-done? Why or why not? You can read more about
BEST WORK HERE
and Giving Grades HERE

Your learner should be helping to make the  decisions about routine and best work. This helps avoid the “teacher/ parent” being the authority as I was in the classroom. It’s even ok for your learner to NOT enjoy every assignment… unfortunately it still needs to get done. 

Why it matters

Would your boss (Or a future boss for your child)  let you off the hook if you didn’t want to do “IT” – whatever “IT” might be? Ultimately we are educating our children to enter into the world, our lessons and strategies need to match that in a loving, supportive manner. So when a not so desirable assignment comes along, rely on those routines, expectations and philosophies of “best work” giving your learner the confidence to stick with it, even when it is difficult, or something they don’t want to do! 

Because I’ll tell you what… I don’t WANT to do the laundry…but 1.) can’t afford to always buy new clothes every day and 2.) No one wants option 2 :-)! 

To help facilitate an environment in which learners don’t avoid hard things here are a few tips:

  • It’s ok to help, just make sure your child is doing MORE work than you are. Don’t let them rely on you for things you know they can do! Encourage them by saying, “I saw you  do that just last week, I’ll sit with you, but how about you give it a try first.”
  • Use language that encourages mistake making as the key to learning. Celebrate mistakes! Say things like, “I love how you created your own unique animal when  (insert mistake here). 
  • When emotions run high, take a break. There is no learning going on when anyone is upset, but go back to the task when things calm down or learners will quickly learn how to get out of the “hard, frustrating” stuff. This may be the PERFECT opportunity to whip out a random Homeschool Holiday activity. They help build relationships and provide educational value! It doesn’t HAVE to be Find a Rainbow Day to study rainbows! Just go for it! 

Educating little humans isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. Take some time to pause and celebrate! Get out in nature, read together, and ultimately pat yourself on the back you ARE doing a GREAT job!

If you enjoyed this article – feel free to check out our other great HOW WE HOMESCHOOL at the HAPPY HIVE as well as the NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES.

We hope you enjoy celebrating with us today and will consider subscribing to our website along the left menu so you won’t miss a post!

Be sure to check out the other AWESOME Holidays by using our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS page! There is even a downloadable calendar for you with all available Homeschool Holiday Curriculum!

Happy Hive Homeschooling

Providing experiences for homeschoolers, classroom teachers and families. . . because there is always something to celebrate!

Homeschool Holiday signature image shows an image of Mrs. Crabtree and the Text: Christy "Mrs. Crabtree" Homeschool Holiday, Because there is always something to celebrate

Be sure to visit your favorite shopping platform for holiday based experiences.

Image contains the Amped Up Learning Marketplace logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Amped up Learning marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Amped Up Learning Store
Image contains the Teachers Pay Teachers logo. Click the image to visit the Homeschool Holiday store within the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace.
Click on image to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

Let’s Connect