Perhaps you are a young mom home with your little one and you are thinking that you may want to home school. Maybe you are certain you will send your child to school, but you would like to do more with them now while they are with you. I have been homeschooling, or better yet, educating my children at home for 16 years.
To begin with, I certainly don’t have it all figured out– that is never my intention in writing. However, I do think I have learned some things over the years that may help someone who is thinking about home school, or even a person who is home with their preschooler and wants to engage with them more and give them a head start.
Establish a routine
Setting up a routine, or even daily expectations goes a long way. A child learns responsibility through caring for his or her own body and belongings. Furthermore, it sets a nice rhythm for the day and helps to guide the hours. Not to mention it prepares them for the real world. Why train them to have everything done for them? That’s not my reality…I bet it’s not yours either!
Do your B’s
In our home, we have our children do their B’s. While I cannot remember where I got this idea, I find it to be very good. The five B’s are as follows.
Body: This means you get up and get dressed.
Bedroom: This means the night clothes are put away and the bed is made. If the room needs tidying up the child does it now.
Bible: For a reader this is obvious, they read their Bible. For a non reader this means praying, looking at a Bible picture book, or having an older child or parent read a passage or verse to them works well. This is just training them to set aside a few minutes early in the day for God.
Breakfast: Pretty self explanatory.
Brush: Take care of your teeth and your hair. For little ones, they bring me the brush and ask for help.
This is a very simple routine and in our home the oldest down to the two year old does this. If you see a child playing or milling around you can quickly say “Have you done your B’s?” This is the first basic expectation of the day.
Give your child chores: it builds their confidence and their self worth.
Ask anyone in the business or production world and they will tell you that most young people straight out of college lack work ethic. It seems to be a bit of an epidemic. Teaching your child to work may be one of the most valuable things you can do for them. Initially, they will not do these jobs perfectly. Just continue to train and encourage them. As a result, one day you will turn around and you will have very capable teenagers that can clean the entire kitchen, all because you started teaching them to help when they were very young. I heard somewhere that “Good enough is perfect.” I like that for my standard with young children.
Give age appropriate jobs
Even a two year old can work, and an 18 month old can pick up his or her toys. In our home, the jobs reserved for the little ones are the following:
- Sweep the stairs. Buy a little broom and dustpan and teach them to sweep up crumbs and dust. If you don’t have stairs they can sweep around the trash can or under their chair at the table.
- Empty the trash in the bathrooms. At first, this will take a bit of training, but even a two year old is capable of doing this.
- Empty the silverware in the dishwasher. Sorting and putting it away is fun.
- Dusting the furniture. This is super fun for them if you have a feather duster.
- Wiping down the doorknobs and light switches
- Feed the animals and collect eggs.
Set your child up for success
Above all, give them jobs that they can accomplish. Set your child up for success. As you give them responsibility they will feel more and more valuable to the family. As a result, they will have a greater sense of belonging and worth. Naturally you should praise them for a job well done!
For now, I hope this helps any moms who are hoping to add a bit of order to their day. Please feel free to ask any questions or add any tips in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe and get the free printable and weekly updates.