Parenting is really, really hard. And especially finding the balance between being mom and teacher. I don’t have all the answers. But these are the easiest homeschool parenting hacks that, in my book, have created some of the most positive results in our home!
1. Switch up the locations of the books in your home
We have a lot of books. Like… a lot. Books in the kids’ room, books in the living room, books in the family room, and books in the playroom. Sometimes, literally all it takes is a bit of a switcheroo to get the kids interested in reading. Put your books in new locations, switch what books go where, rotate out where you store your library books. It’s seriously so easy to catch your kids’ eyes and make them pick up a book- but the trick is don’t say anything. Just do it, and wait for them to catch on. And then when they ask you to read to them, drop everything if you can. Then they’ll see that books are a priority and a pleasure. Everybody wins!
2. Homeschool Parenting Hack #2: If they clean up their playroom, they can play video games…
Here’s the catch to THAT rule! If they don’t clean up the playroom… they can’t have video games! Some of you out there might be rolling your eyes at that, because you want your kids to learn to pick up after themselves. I totally get it. I want that, too! But, I’m not brokenhearted if my kids choose not to pick up, and play with their toys instead of using screens. At some point, obviously, they have to choose to clean up, and it’s a bit rough for all of us depending on the size of the mess. But, I have found my kids spending so many more days without video games, and instead, using their imaginations, and engaging in cooperative play. So, I call this one a winning homeschool parenting hack… for the time being!
Hack #3: Never Overestimate the Power of Your Lap
My final homeschool parenting hack is hard-won: use your lap to engage your children and keep their interest. This is particularly effective with children who respond to hugs, but really, it works for any kid. Even my 8-year-old wants to sit in my lap sometimes! My middle child is my preschooler, and his attention span is, shall we say, brief. But he will sit with me for stories, worksheets, the whole nine yards, as long as he can have some lap time. It’s really special for both of us! And it makes him much more willing to listen. Give it a try! And then, please leave me a comment and tell me if it worked! I want to hear what you think of all three of these ideas, and any other hacks you know that I don’t! Please share them! It takes a village, right?
Before you go, don’t forget to grab a copy of your free guide to writing your homeschool mission statement!