Organizing home education for multiple children can certainly be challenging.
“How do you manage with so many and get it all done?”
This is a question I get frequently. I know it can be overwhelming so I thought I would share one of my favorite tools – a 5ft x 6ft dry erase, white board. This board was on the bid lot at John’s former company which means they were ready to throw it away! While there is nothing wrong with it, they had no further use for it. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” certainly is true! This board now holds a prominent place in our home.
The board is divided into sections for each child with their name at the top. These divisions are made with a Sharpie permanent marker that will not wipe off but can be washed off. There is also a blank section for notes, numbers and whatever. Inside each section, the child’s subjects are listed along with their chores, brushing of teeth and musical instruments to be practised. These are also written in permanent marker.
How does this help? In the morning, each item to be completed that day is marked with a dash (-) using a dry erase marker. As the child completes a task, he/she marks through the dash forming a plus (+) sign.
The board provides an easy way for me, John and the children to see what has and has not been completed.
What I have seen work the best through the years, with different families, is to have the involvement of both parents – not just the mother. Living in Alabama, John would mark the board before leaving for work. Upon returning home in the evening, he could quickly see if someone had not completed their work and responsibilities. The children were accountable to him which seemed to give them a greater sense of urgency to finish everything “before daddy got home”. With our lifestyle change, John is in and out throughout the day and he helps encourage and motivate.
Home educating is a lifestyle. A very rewarding lifestyle. After all that goes into raising and training before the age 3 (sleepless nights, potty training…), why should I allow someone else the joy of teaching my children to discover the wonders of God’s world?