Managing your time
I think that if you homeschool and homeschool many like I do, time management is very, very important. In the beginning, long, long ago, when I first starting homeschooling I thought that I didn't need to schedule classes, chores, activities or anything else for that matter. I thought that I could just go day by day and see what the day brought. Well, that may work for some, but it didn't work in our household. When I first began I only had 2 children that I schooled and an infant. Well, now I have 5 children homeschooling with the youngest being only 3!!:) Times have definitely changed.
I couldn't do it in the beginning and I definitely would not be able to do it today if I didn't manage my time appropriately. I have found that if I schedule classes at a certain time that my children seem to get more done and are quite happy with their accomplishments. Of course, our schedule is not written in stone, but it helps to have something to follow on a daily basis. I also found that if I do not allow any television time during school hours, that they definitely appreciate it more, when they are able to watch it. I tape alot of educational shows for my youngest and that seems to keep him entertained if I have to let him watch while I teach the older ones. But for the most part, he enjoys his puzzles, coloring and play dough just as much.
I have mentored many through their adventures with homeschooling and the number one thing that I stress is time management and scheduling. This not only makes it easier for you as the teacher and them as the student but it is a valuable lesson for the latter years of schooling. My oldest who is a sophmore in high school, follows her schedule religiously. She knows what she is responsible for and is able to manage her time appropriately. It is very important when the children are involved in extra curricular activities as mine are or if they have part-time jobs like my oldest.
Now, don't get me wrong!! We can diverge from our schedules on given days to include field trips, but this is only done if they have kept up with their schooling and the trips coincide with what they are learning at the time. My kids love going to the library, even though we have enough books to open one in our home:) They love going to the zoo, the beach and the Museum of Science and Industry. I take advantage of their interests and make each trip an educational adventure. It has taken much time to develop our homeschool environment and it is ever changing, but with time management anything is possible:)