Hello Moms! I do hope that you are doing well today. Or are you feeling overwhelmed with housework, and tending to the children? And how do you fit your homeschooling day into all of that? I know I struggle trying to get everything covered in one day. Either the kids have a great day of homeschool and the house is a disaster zone, or we spend the day cleaning the house and the homeschooling hasn’t been fully completed. Stephanie Walmsley has put her skills to use and created Successful Homeschooling Made Easy (SHME).
Depending on how you look at it, The Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course has either come to me at just the right time or just the wrong time… When I started this 26-week course, I was just finishing up a project for a fellow blogger and I was trying to get the house organised for my parents to visit for a month (they’re here now!).
I was feeling very overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done. Homeschooling, reviews, bloggging, virtual assistant work, spring cleaning, a child minding inspection, doctor and dentist appointments and then the usual never-ending housework. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. How would I manage to fit in another review? But then again…could I afford not to spend some time each week learning how to ‘get it all done’ and avoid burnout?
How is Successful Homeschooling Made Easy structured?
For 26 weeks you’ll receive an email from Stephanie that will contain that week’s lesson in a PDF. From time-to-time you will also receive a ‘bonus’ email with additional information that you will find helpful.
I’ve been receiving lessons each Tuesday and I always look forward to them. Stephanie suggests that you set aside a time each week to print out and read each lesson. I try to do this with a cup of tea that Phil makes me after the children are asleep.
I haven’t printed out all of the lessons, instead I download them and save them to a dedicated folder on the PC. At the moment I just can’t handle seeing more papers around reminding me how much I need to do. But I do print out the ‘homework’ portions so that I can fill in the questions and schedules.
Each lesson comes with suggestions on ways to improve an area of homeschooling. There isn’t homework each week, but at times there are questions for you to consider, thinking about the goals that you want to achieve, as well as creating schedules.
For the first 8 weeks you’ll create a VERY simple schedule to get you back to the basics, and then you’ll receive an updated schedule in which to fit in more. By this point you’ll have received lessons in math (I enjoyed the recommended books in this section and have purchased one to use with an upcoming project), how to involve the kids in housework so that you can keep a tidy home more easily, as well as other topics.
This course isn’t all about reading a book and setting it aside and getting on with life. It’s set out with lots of other resources for you to look into for further expansion and understanding. There are also some questions that I found difficult to answer, at least in words. Of course, since this is not a graded course I didn’t have to come up with an immediate answer and I am mulling over some of these questions in the back of my mind when we’re out walking or while peeling potatoes. Food for thought.
This course isn’t a ‘miracle cure.’ so don’t expect it to be. You’ll only get out of it what you put in, as is the case with most things in life. Homeschooling is hard work and always evolving over time. We can forget what the important things are and it’s nice to be reminded about these things and to take the time to slow down and enjoy the time we spend with our children.
By receiving a chapter a week, you won’t be overwhelmed with information overload, and you’ll have time to think about what you’re doing, and start to plan and implement the lesson before moving on to the following lesson. Each lesson will leave you looking forward to the next and wondering what bits of wisdom Stephanie will be sharing with you.
Stephanie is a lovely lady and easy to chat to. I emailed her early in the course because I was amused by some coincidences. In the ‘special edition’ on math, she used games from a teacher in Regina, Saskatchewan (my hometown back in Canada). Stephanie knows about being an ex-pat as she’s moved from the UK to New Zealand. Another coincidence is that one of her blogs used to have the same name as my close Kiwi friend. It also turns out that her family are originally from Northern Ireland, which is where we are currently residing. Such things just make the course more fun for me.
I have taken a mini-vacation over the past 3 weeks that my parents have been here. I haven’t been on the internet as much as I usually am. I’ve tried not to think about the stack of work that needs to be done as well as upcoming commitments. I’ve even gone into Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway by train and taken photos like a new tourist. A simple day out like this is sometimes just exactly what I need. And full nights of sleep – I haven’t had so much sleep since before I had kids (please tell me I’m not the only one who misses sleep)!
We homeschool year-round, and not always to a schedule, but I do believe that we work better with one. When Mom and Dad return to their quieter lives and we get back to our ‘normal’ – whatever that is – we’ll be starting with the beginner’s schedule for a couple of weeks to get us all back in the habit before moving on to the more advanced schedule and really getting ourselves organised.
I have lots of ideas in my head already. With the longer days of summer arriving it’s easier to get up and get going in the mornings, so this is probably the best time for me to start a better routine and for us all to get used to it so that it will be second nature to us by the time the days begin to shorten all too soon again. (Or at least this is my hope!)
Families new to homeschooling will find lots of useful advice in the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course. We’re into our 4th year already and there’s lots I’ve been learning. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel organised and on-the-ball, but now that I have a plan of action and a place to start I’m more confident for the very busy year ahead. I’m sure that more experienced homeschool families will also either find new information within this course, or at the very least be reminded of things they used to know, but have forgotten in the day-to-day life of raising a family.
I’ve decided now that this course has come at just the right time! I’m looking forward to receiving my Tuesday updates and having a few minutes to sit and relax, read, learn, plan and be thankful that we are on this homeschooling journey.
To read more reviews about Successful Homeschooling Made Easy by the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 80 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Successful Homeschooling Made Easy, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook.