Monday, August 20, 2012

Quick Ideas for Times of Chaos

It feels pretty ironic to write about homeschooling when I'm 15 days postpartum, starting 'school' with half our books lost in the mail (seriously!), barely able to feed everyone, and sure to be late.  Anywhere.

But hey, anyone can homeschool when life is calm and the waters are quiet, right?  It's keeping the ship afloat when the storms are swelling that tends to keep the homeschooling mama awake at night.

I may not be a veteran homeschooler, but in just a few years, I've schooled through more than a bit of chaos.  In this quick, nursing-at-keyboard post, I'd like to share my personal sanity savers- the ones that have seen me through my times of trouble.

1) Books on tape (or CD, but we still have tape players, and tapes are really cheap when you can find them!).  Almost any book, classic or crazy, can be found.  Our favorites are Radio Theatre recordings from Focus on the Family.  Watch vocabularies and grammar skills grow effortlessly!

2) Ed Emberley drawing books.  Don't have time for handwriting?  Worried your son will never be interested in writing legibly?  Ed Emberley to the rescue!  These books don't feel like work, but they work magic in the handwriting department.  "Accidentally" leave a couple out on the breakfast table and see what happens!

3)  Math games.  If math is the thing you put off when the going gets rough, then be sure to supplement your environment with a supply of sneaky math fun.  ABA-CONUNDRUMS will teach anyone to do speedy math on an abacus (a REAL abacus!), but don't say so; the game is too fun... dads especially will get into the challenge.   Pattern Blocks  in a pretty basket on the dining table are addictive! 

4)  Mad Libs.  Remember these?  These are probably why half the adults of generation X can tell you the difference between an adverb and an adjective.  Still more effective than a dry grammar workbook, and way more fun!

Look- you just covered the 3R's right there.  So go ahead, snuggle up.  Babies don't keep!

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep. 
~W.H. Auden
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. 
~Albert Einstein

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