We live in a culture where visits are NOT announced... they just happen. I am very schedule driven by nature so sometimes it is a little tough to change my thinking in this area. I have to constantly remind myself that my schedule is not the rule... it is a tool only. What has worked thus far is that I let people know I am a teacher. They are more understanding about time contraints... um... to a degree. I also have trained my children from the beginning to be fairly independent learners. I can set the work in front of them, and they come to me when they need help or do not understand something. (This also helps me spread myself between them.) I also glance at the week to see if there is something we need to go over in advance before they start the week. Our curriculum for the most part is pretty well scheduled... 36 weeks, 4 lessons each week with a test on Fridays. The children pretty much know what they need to cover each day. A good daily lesson planner is priceless! I have one student who is still younger and needs more one on one, but we are working toward him doing many things without me having to be right there with him.Two children often do school in their rooms. Less distractions, but I am very strict on the penalty for getting caught NOT doing their work. They would lose the room privilege and be back on the schoolroom! They have yet to mess that one up. YAY for them! They have to bring me each subject as they finish so that I can keep an eye on their pace. They have been taught that if I have a visitor, it doesn't mean they have a visitor. I have back-up (supplimentary) work ideas ready in case I cannot assist them. Sometimes I have the older two grade their own work. I, of course, look over it and give the actual grade when I get an opportunity. I want to make sure they understand, not just give the right answer. If I foresee a schedule interruption, sometimes I have them double up a little to get ahead. I do not plan 180 days... I plan for MORE days. Schedule interruptions are going to happen, so I build that into the schedule, too. We also see that ministry ****IS**** part of their education. Some some "interruptions" are considered school. Someone sick? We have a home ec day and they learn to cook something for that person, etc. If I had to choose between them learning to communicate by learning how to diagram a sentence OR learning to communicate God's love by ministering to someone, I choose ministry. But that thinking must be balanced with knowing that the better they learn the "school book stuff," the better they can communicate God's Word. Looking forward to seeing other people's advice and what works for them. Always looking for new ideas!
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