Homeschooling Goals: Five Healthy Habits to (re)Develop

I am aware that the habits I instill in my children now are probably habits they will keep for life.  As most parents, I have done well in certain areas and not so well in others.  I have also worked hard at certain habits with my older three but have been less diligent with my younger two.

We spent five weeks over the summer focusing all our efforts on Shakespeare during which certain habits were neglected (for example quiet time and dinner at the table) and we have had the past four weeks off.  It has been glorious and very needed but we have now forgotten habits which were second nature a few short weeks ago.  We have also formed some not so healthy habits.  This term is about returning to some old comfortable habits as well as beginning one or two new ones.

So my home schooling must-have habits to retrieve over the next five weeks are as follows:

  • Morning Meeting – this is the time we all come together.  We have our snack, work our way through our Bible curriculum as well as discuss any issues which need resolving.  It’s also a time for read aloud and is generally a time enjoyed by everyone.
  • Quiet Time – this traditionally happens after lunch for us and is the time we all separate and have a break from each other.  This is essential to maintain healthy relationships as well as an opportunity to explore interests, read just one more chapter of a book or simply lie back and dream.  Whatever we choose to do, this has always been an essential part of our home school day.
  • Nature Walk – Whilst we were doing our one year pond study we spent time outdoors on a near daily basis.  Since that has stopped we haven’t been so good at gathering for time in nature.  This year we have decided to abandon the garden study which was going nowhere fast and carry out a meadow and woodland study.
  • Dinner at the table – During the Shakespeare summer we didn’t have a table (it was moved next door to mum’s to make room for our stage) so we got into the really bad habit of settee dinners.  No more!  We now have our table back and need to start sitting at it more regularly!  This is important because it is when the children are able to chat about their day and share with Daddy what they are learning.
  • To stay more up to date with current affairs.  I purposefully choose not to listen or read the news.  I know vaguely what is going on in the world through Gary but really, I avoid too many details.  I have good reasons for this.  I am a naturally upbeat person, but I have a brain which never seems to stop working.  If I allowed myself too much exposure of the horrors which go on, it would not be healthy for my mind.  My children are different, as is Gary, and I think in the main would benefit from knowing about the current affairs of our world.  I have been searching for the right type of news to give them.  By that I mean a slightly diluted version.  To this end I have found two such avenues.  The first is a weekly newspaper for children age 7-14 which costs a little over a pound a week and is delivered to your door for free each Friday.  The second is Newsround, a bbc television news program for children.  We can’t access it through our TV (we only watch DVD’s not broadcast telly) but we can access it and many other news videos for children via the computer.  This year I want us to watch the daily news on newsround as well as have the children read the weekly newspaper

What essentials do you ensure happen every day?