5 Quick SLOCA Home Day Tips
September 26th, 2017
A few weeks ago we posted some fantastic advice from SLOCA parents who have learned a thing or two over the years. (If you missed it, read it here!) Today’s post falls somewhat along the same lines, but offers a few immediate, practical tips that you can use right now. These little tweaks could make a big difference in your home day flow:
1. There’s a lot of reading right now, especially for Intermediate, LMS, and UMS. Which means a lot of reading aloud! Break up the reading by getting through one or more chapters the night before your home day, then read the remainder on your home day. Some families try to do a bit of the reading on Sunday afternoon. Another great strategy if you are finding that it's difficult to get through all the reading during the day, is to divide up the week’s chapters and make the SLOCA literature your bedtime reading. The books are wonderful, and with a little flexibility, its possible to get all the reading done and to look forward to that precious time spent together.
2. If you’re reading aloud to your student and they have a drawing/art assignment, have them work on that while you read. Or they can draw something from what you are reading, to be used for a history journal entry or home literature assignment (depending on your child’s level and assignments). Multitasking usually isn’t helpful, but here’s one time that it can be!
3. For Primary through LMS students, it may be a good idea to begin the day with Spelling and Grammar. We know, we know… but remember these are foundational skills! They don’t take long on their own, but when you’re tired after a long day of more challenging subjects, no one wants to do them. So get them done first and build that firm foundation – it will help them grow stronger in the other subject areas too. (Use whatever incentive you need… my kids and I now enjoy the tradition of having a popcorn party every year when we finish the Spelling book – extra motivation for all of us!)
4. Parents, read the Singapore Math Home Instructor’s Guide (HIG) the night before your home day, or in the morning before you call your child to do math. Gather any materials ahead of time too. When you start math and have to pause to read the HIG or find manipulatives, often you’ll lose the attention of your student and it takes longer to get you both back on track.
5. We shared this one last year, but it’s soooo helpful and we can always use reminders – whenever possible, leave your cell phone in another room during home schooling. This might be hard to do, but it’s more of a distraction than we often realize! Not only will you avoid being interrupted by all those pesky beeps and buzzes, you also won’t be tempted to make a non-school call, check something online, look at Instagram, etc. Save it for lunchtime and breaks (when you send all the kids outside and sit down for a few minutes!). Last year we heard about a group of SLOCA moms who agreed to do this and told each other to call their house phones if they truly needed help during a home day. Smart!
And here’s a bonus tip: Many of our classes are using sketch noting right now – consider buying a fun new set of markers for your kids to encourage them to make the most of this creative and helpful technique!
Have an additional home day tip to add? What have you learned in these first weeks of school that you can share with our community? Leave a comment below!
PHOTOS WANTED! We love having home school photos from our families to use occasionally with blog posts. SLOCA parents who want to help with this, will you take a few photos on your home days and email them to Down Home, or post them to our Facebook page? Thank you!