Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Basic Tips for Getting Started with Homeschooling

Greetings and Blessed Love,

If this is your first time homeschooling, be prepared. No matter what, be prepared for what is to come. Teaching is a job. It has steady hours 5 days a week, and requires you to get up early and focus on completing scheduled tasks. You have to genuinely love this to do it. You've got to harness every creative bone in your body and have the right attitude. Not everyday will be fun and wonderful, you can suffer burnout and so can your little students. It's important to not let yourself crack under pressure, it's important to have a positive outlook too. Sometimes you feel like you aren't getting anywhere, that the yutes aren't learning or behaving. These things will happen, but don't let it be taken as defeat. Remember that children have their own interests, they easily lose interest and they tend to give their full attention only when they are in the mood. 😃😃😃

Not every day will be perfect, but homeschooling is extremely rewarding nonetheless. There will definitely be days when classes run smoothly, there will definitely be days when your students are on the ball and learning and participating and getting their work correct. There will be days when you're excited to start something new or learn something new together. It's a win win partnership with your children, and once you are committed and find your teaching style and flow, it will start to come naturally.

So here are a few tips that may be obvious to some, but which I think are so necessary to consider. I advise you to make this list and expand upon each point for yourself and use it as a guideline for what needs to be done and what can be improved. And there is always room for improvement and to get things right, remember that.

I don't have this list in any particular order.

1). Be on time - When the yutes are left to their own interests too late in the morning, it's hard to rein them in to settle and start work. However, set the time that works best for you and your family.

2). Make and Stay on schedule - plan a schedule that works for your household and stick to it - of course you can tweak it when or as necessary, but enforce it so that everyone falls in line and knows what the day is like. Class times, break times, durations, that kind of thing.

3). Take breaks - It's important for everyone's patience and good mood to take a short break! And since homeschool isn't like public school the children shouldn't have to go too long before taking a breather. Never try to do all your lessons without a break! The younger the child the harder it will be to get a lot done in one sitting so plan shorter lessons for pre-K and K. Aim for two lessons at a time, or if one lesson takes a while and required a lot of writing or use of hands, give them a break.

4). Prep snacks and meals - You can't spend too long while on break or their interest will disappear, so it's better to have food ready or at a state where it won't take long to prepare.

5).Stay calm, be firm. Because they are home - or because it's you - children might feel like they can just get up and go on their way, or kick up a fuss to get out of lessons. Change direction if their attention is waning, give them a learning activity instead.

6). Have a syllabus. I use the local Trinidadian syllabus. Familiarize yourself with the content and make notes on the topic areas to be covered for the year for each subject. This helps tremendously with planning you term and your weeks.

7). Buy workbooks the local schools use, or find some online that better suit you. Go online for printables - you can get a ton of them free. Having these types of resources help a lot!

8). Make your own resources like anchor charts and flashcards. You can even make simple worksheets. I do this all the time using markers. It saves on printer ink. It's important to get creative. You should always have poster board, cardstock, construction paper and printer paper in stock at home.

9). Use youtube and online learning sites. Children love using the computer and there are lots of online pages that let them learn through games and quizzes that are colourful and animated. Youtube has lots of videos that teach as well, so you can get good reinforcement that way.

10).  Have your schoolroom stocked with art supplies, stationery, magnetic/foam letters and numbers, reading books, activity books, whiteboard and markers, puzzles, maps, and all types of learning resources for reading, phonics, math and science.

11). Give rewards and praise when your children do well, also know how to discipline with taking away privileges when necessary. My son knows he cannot use the computer to play Minecraft if he doesn't settle down and do his work. Or he cannot use my phone to watch youtube.

12). Keep a school diary. Use it to plan the lessons for the week and to keep record of what is completed or not. My diary keeps me organized and clear on what I need to do next. I make notes of everything to keep on top of progress.

13). Block out the comments of others who have a problem with homeschooling. They can comment how much they want, it won't change anything. You do what you want to do and be proud and determined!

14). Be supportive of the spouse who homeschools, give them support and help where or when you can. It's important!

15). Familiarize yourself with the topics you are teaching. Find teaching resources online, you can also download or buy lesson plans. Read the workbooks and see how the topics are set out.

16). Keep your lessons interesting, handso-n and fun as much as possible! This won't always be possible but try your best to use toys, cards, games, counters (can be anything from coloured sticks to bottle caps, to coloured paper clips), and other items that will help, like for math and phonics for example.

There are so many things to consider but I hope these tips help you in some way.

Please do subscribe as I will be posting more tips to go along with my worksheet packs.

Happy teaching!
Ila Addis

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome to Rasta Homeschool

Greetings and Blessings for the Gregorian New Year 2019!

It has been a dream of mine to expand ILA "I Love Afrika" Designs into the field of education. I have homeschooled for the last seven years and I could not have done it without accessing the many resources that are available online. Over the years, I have collected many resources and ideas that helped me teach my children in learning Math and Language Arts through sites like Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers. I combine what I gather from these sources with textbooks I buy locally in Trinidad which correspond to the primary school curriculum used here.

However, one thing that was always lacking for me was bringing Rastafari culture into the classroom, to keep the children familiar and interested. There are not many resources online that include Rasta images and themes from the most basic level of learning (pre-K to K) and up and this is a problem that we must fix. Jews, Christians and other people do it, so why don't Rastas?

So this is my goal moving forward from 2019 onward. Just like RastaWifeLine, Rasta Homeschool will be a blog for the homeschooling Rasta Mama or Papa, where you can find resources that will include our culture and images for the sake of the youth, to keep their minds in tuned with the livity while they learn to read, write, count and so on.

Until I obtain help with this huge overtaking, things will move a bit slow at first. I will be starting mainly with the pre-K to K levels, or about ages 4-6. But rest assured that as I am able, I will start adding worksheets for older children.

I have compiled all these resources myself which is a very very lengthy process, from drawing and uploading images to creating the worksheets to compiling them into packs - so I give thanks for those who support and purchase those packs which are not free downloads. I am grateful to my kingman Jahmaro for his help with the more complex drawings (for me) such as the images of Rasta people and so on. He has been kind enough to slot in my requests in between being a teacher himself (high school level) and working on other art projects like designing for our t-shirt brand Ancient Lionage.

So please stay tuned! I will be posting Rasta Homeschool notifications on Pinterest and Facebook as I upload my resources for you on Teachers Pay Teachers. I will give teaching and homeschooling tips here on this blog along with links to the packs which will be available at the Rasta Homeschool store
and also on my website here.

I pray that we all stay inspired and livicated (dedicated) to the youth as His Majesty would want us to be. Education was Emperor Haile Sellassie's and Empress Menen's great love, personally and for their people. The King Himself was Minister of Education for many years. As Rastafari we must always remember to live by the example of the King and Queen and we must realize that the world won't change if the youth are not taught to be, do and think better. We must keep Rastafari thriving by doing our part as parents, giving them a solid educational foundation to stand upon. Let us teach them with the theme of Rastafari, let us not keep it separate from the classroom so that everything they learn will be connected to the principles and Image of JAH Rastafari.

I look forward to serving you and HIM in 2019
Blessed Love
Ila Addis