Each week, I receive many emails asking about particular parts of our homeschool: how our day runs, when I find time to cook, how to keep the littles busy during school time, and many more.
I thought it would be fun to occasionally write a post answering those questions. If you missed the first Q&A post, click on over to read about how I choose curriculum, how I keep a clean house while homeschooling, and give each child enough teaching time.
This week I’m tackling a few more questions!
Do you have a burning question? Just curious about something homeschool related? Leave a comment on this post, or shoot me an email!
I take these questions straight from your emails, so feel free to submit one…or five.
Q: Do you give grades?
I start to give grades on tests starting in fourth grade. At the present time, my children only take chapter tests in English, Latin, and Math.
I do grade other work such as writing, but that’s more for corrections and editing and not for grades.
I check their work each day and mark the answers that are incorrect. The next day, my older two go back and make corrections.
With my younger two, I’m usually sitting with them while they work and check as they go along. If they complete an assignment independently, I check as soon as they’re finished since their work goes quickly.
I’m not required to keep grades by my state, so I only start to give them when it’s beneficial for my children. In my experience with my older two, grades become somewhat beneficial in helping them see where they come up short starting around 4th grade.
But we only take grades with a grain of salt here at the Hill House up through the middle school years. They’ll become much more important in high school.
➡ ETA: I wrote a more in-depth post on giving grades in homeschool. You can read that here: Let’s Talk About Giving Grades in Homeschool
Q: How did you keep your little ones occupied while you did school with your older children?
I’m pretty sure I’m going to revisit this same topic again when our youngest one hits the toddler years. He’s only 7 months right now. 🙂
I have a couple of places you can check for ideas:
→ Several years ago, I wrote a whole post on Occupying the Littles During School Time. It has marvelous suggestions, so make sure you check that out!
→ I also have a Keeping the Littles Busy During School Time Pinterest Board.
→ While you’re on Pinterest, head over to the Busy Bags Pinterest Board. Busy Bags take a little bit of time to put together, but OH MY you’ll reap the benefits from them!
Q: What do you do when you want to quit homeschooling?
Sigh. I think all homeschooling mamas face the ‘I want to quit’ feeling at some point. Depending on the season of life and the challenges I’m currently facing, that can surface more easily.
Usually, I have to give myself a good talking to. After spending time with the Lord, I’m usually pretty okay for a bit. God reminds me that my job (literally my day job) is to educate my children, disciple them, help mold their character, and teach them how to be responsible people who can take care of themselves.
That is no small task, I tell you.
After praying over whatever it is I’m feeling down about, I look at why I want to quit.
I’m tired. Just tired.
I feel overwhelmed with the homeschooling task ahead of me, whatever task that might be.
I haven’t been alone in many days or weeks to recharge. (I don’t recharge being around other people.)
I’ve let our schedule get too out of control and we spend too much time out of the house.
I’m w-a-y behind in checking the kids’ work or in planning our week.
I have a child that needs some extra work on character training.
The all-consuming nature of it is just too much sometimes.
Once I can ever get down to the real reason I want to quit, I can make a game plan for how to make things better.
If I know I’m wanting to quit because I need to be alone, I ask my husband for help in taking the kids somewhere so I can be in the house by myself.
If it’s because our schedule is out of control, I cancel things that I can and make sure nothing else is added for a few weeks.
If it’s because I’m way behind in checking work or planning, I make sure I schedule time with my husband solely watching the kids so I can scurry and get those things done.
Getting to the why is the key.