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I am trying to figure out how to stay motivated and focused on academics for our next school year. So far, my best bet seems to be a private school that meets once a week. They meet once a week and give out the next week's assignments. The problem is it is pricey (about $4000 for the year PLUS the actually book costs.)


I'm sure that I am not the only on who goes grocery shopping, talks on the phone, piddles on the computer, etc but not very many are open about it. I'm curious how others force themselves to actually do the work throughout the ENTIRE year.


Then again, maybe I am the only one who lets things go too often...

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My 15 yo son takes 3 online classes. For those classes, he is accountable to teachers other than me! He has learned how to manage his time and follow a syllabus. I recommend it. It's also been good for us because he's had teachers other than me to write letters of recommendation for summer programs and other programs he's applying to.


It also gives me a break. After we do German and Chemistry together in the morning, he's on his own to work on his other classes. I am free to work on my own projects or run errands. At 5 p.m. we work on test prep for about an hour. He's taking an AP test and two SAT subject tests in May.


He usually "checks in" several times during the day to let me know what he has accomplished and sometimes he even asks me to "sit with him" while he tries to figure out tough problems. He'll talk through the problems (which I can't help him with--he's beyond my abiltities!) and in doing so, he'll often find the solution.

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Firstly, it's a mindset. Homeschooling is my job. It is a big responsibility. One that I won't get to do over if I do an unsatisfactory job.


I post weekly assignment lists for all of my children on the wall. Things get crossed off as they get completed. They are in plain view for dh and anyone else who walks in, so I want things to get crossed off. Ask your dh to keep you accountable.


Also, keep rules for yourself. Turn off the ringer on the phone during certain hours. Wait until the afternoon to turn on the computer. Set a time to go grocery shopping, and plan accordingly so you won't have to return until the next scheduled time. Try to remove all the things that tempt you to "piddle" away time.


We also set goals for ourselves if all the work for the day gets done....play a board game together, a trip to the park, XBox, going for ice cream. This will help everybody want to get the work done efficiently.



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and not just b/c she's a friend :D


I found the biggest help for me is having a framework of sorts, predictable. The biggest hindrance? ME! I have had to painfully discipline myself *not* to check emails, etc., in the mornings. Not easy- my computer is right at my desk in the school room. Although, now that dh is out of work and home all the time, and 15 yo dd needs the computer very frequently, I'm forced to abstain ;)


The other thing that has helped me? I just simply do NOT do things before lunch anymore. Unless it's a very, very, rare field trip. For us, my kids know - mornings are reservedfor school.


I can definitely relate to your kids' ages. The toddler makes things challenging, no? Hangeth thou in there, let your yes be yes and your no be no, you can do it!

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Well, I get things done, but that's part of my personality. I love to check things off of a list. Edu-Track creates a weekly list of all of the school work I have planned for the week for each boy. We check things off as we do them each day. I have a checklist for all of the things I need to do around the house on a monthly basis(mop the tile, back-up computer); I usually get these done on the weekends. For things that have to get done around the house on a daily basis, I have a weekly planner for me (ala Managers of Their Home, but any format will do). I have time set aside for laundry, school time, dinner, etc.


I do spend a lot of time at the computer, but it's in the school room. Now that my boys are older, they do more independent work. My 5-year old is only in Kindergarten, but as he gets older, my time will become a little more school intensive, and my computer time will fall off.


It's all about priorities. For me, a $4,000+ expense would motivate me to keep on schedule...but then again, I'm frugal. You know what's best for your kids, and you know what you will and won't do. I'm sure in the end, you'll make the right decision for your family.

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No, I agree that I see a lot of folks who do this. I think that maybe if you've worked outside the home for a long time it might be easier to get into the schooling as another job and adapt to those daily behaviour patterns.


For us, setting an alarm and getting up every day and getting started at about the same time; working to a set end time every day; not answering the phone during the day; not doing errands or any type of shopping during the day; attempting to schedule appointments after school "hours"; and taking work with us to do in the car and waiting room when we do have to schedule during hours, has helped to keep us on track.


It's a job for me. If I slacked off at any job I'd be fired. I try to keep that in mind and not do anything that I wouldn't do if I were at any other type of job. Now, as I said, I think if I'd always been a housewife, I would find that a lot more difficult, as I'd be coming from a totally different point of view. And I understand that point of view, too.


Perhaps if you try setting yourself some rules now and following them for the rest of this school year you could get an idea of whether this will work for you going forward next year.


Good luck to you,



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Well you know, I talk about a schedule keeping me on track, but my 5-year old just came up to me and said, "Mom, did we do history today?" Ummm...no, we didn't. So I just finished up school with him and it's almost 8pm here. Luckily, it was one of the shorter chapters in SOTW Vol I.


Even though I schedule things out, I try to keep flexible. I give myself and my boys a lot of grace. We get things done that way, even if it's not quite what the schedule had planned.

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I realize that what stresses me out is doing too much. I like working with my children and learning right with them. My oldest is in fourth grade. I spend Monday-Wednesday at home. We go no where. The phone is turned off. We go out on Thursdays and Fridays for violin and piano.


If field trips come up, we are flexible.





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