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Homeschooling can be tough.
New babies, moving, family health crisis, or just a busy season of life can derail your homeschool in a flash. But those times are inevitable. You will eventually hit a crazy point in life, where homeschooling is pushed to the back burner. Mom will need to spend less time preparing lesson plans and more time taking care of other business. And that’s okay. Life happens and no matter how prepared you are, it’ll throw you for a loop.
Last fall, we were dealing with a devastating loss of a family member and my kids just couldn’t focus. They couldn’t concentrate on school work and were struggling to stay on task. Basically everything we did resulted in tears.
The kids and I were both quickly beginning to hate our school time. I felt guilty that they hadn’t learned a single thing about the Roman Empire in weeks and they felt forced and all around down in the dumps. Every math problem was heart wrenching and every science lesson was exhausting.
I finally threw my hands up and said it was time for a break from school. I wasn’t going to push them anymore.
After about a week of deschooling while replacing school time with relaxation and plenty of hugs and kisses, I decided to give it another shot. This time, I was armed with a secret weapon: the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal.
Over the next couple of months, we dove right in and learned through our Do It Yourself Homeschool Journals. The tears and frustration ceased and their love of learning started to appear again.
Using our Do It Yourself Homeschool Notebooks was a game-changer in our homeschool. It taught me a lot about my kids and how they learn.
10 Things I’ve Learned Using the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journals
***(I was NOT compensated by the Thinking Tree for this review. I genuinely love the books and wanted to share them with you!)***
My Kids Can Teach Themselves:
After a kid has learned how to read and write, there is nothing standing in their way. This is huge when a homeschool mom is struggling to keep up with everything in her life. By choosing topics that cover all subjects, your child can essentially teach themselves anything from history and science to literature and spelling. My 8 and 11 year-olds girls had no problem completing about 4 hours each day in their journals, without my help.
School Doesn’t Have to Look Like Public Schools:
Far too often, we think we need to replicate school at home. Whether that means setting up classrooms, complete with desks and huge chalkboards or thinking you need to do at least 4 hours of each subject per week. Homeschooling looks different for every family, so don’t try to compare. We learned just as much when we chucked our curriculum and used the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journals as we did when we were using popular curriculum.
My House CAN be Clean While Homeschooling:
We have a pretty good routine when it comes to chores. We all pitch in and keep the house picked up. But when it comes to dusting, cleaning baseboards and deep cleaning, I could never seem to squeeze in the time. But the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal helps. It gives me a few hours everyday to get stuff done. I don’t need to sit and monitor the kids’ work because they eagerly dive in and get it done by themselves.
My 3 Year Old Thrives With One-on-One Attention:
Too often, we’ve pushed our little man to the back burner while homeschooling has taken a front seat ride. With the older kids doing more self-taught learning, he has thrived. Having mama all to himself has made him more confident and allows him to interact with me, without interruptions. He loves this time, whether we are doing tot school or playing with his farm animals.
Kids Learn Better When They’re Interested in the Topic:
Sometimes we forget what school is really for. We force subjects that kids have no interest in because we think they need to know it. But do kids really need to know how to correctly spell the scientific name of each animal class? Probably not. (And that’s a good thing because my kids’ teacher can barely pronounce half of them!) 😉 But we insist they learn all the details about it anyways. With the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal, I’ve found my kids will retain the information so much better when they’re interested in the topic. Obviously I think they need to learn about some things that they don’t find interesting at all, like ancient world history. By allowing them to study a few subjects of their choice, it is much easier for you to sneak in a subject they don’t enjoy as much.
An entire hour, every single day is devoted to reading in the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal. It’s broken down into 15 minute sessions, which makes it much more manageable for younger students to complete on their own. For an entire hour, you will not hear shouting, whistling, humming or other obnoxious noises that sometimes fill our homes. Not only does this give homeschooling moms a chance to catch up on chores, phone calls or Facebook, but it also gives you a chance to recharge and change the direction of your homeschool day when needed. Whether we choose to spend our quiet time curled up with a book on the couch next to the kiddos or soaking in a bubble bath, it’s nice to have that time every day where you can get some stuff checked off your to-do list.
Kids Will Beg to Do Schoolwork:
I’m not kidding you. The Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal can revolutionize your homeschool days. I used to drag the kids out of bed and hurry them along to start the day. I had to nag them to finish breakfast and do their chores. They were becoming reluctant and had lost their natural drive to learn.
When we use our Journals, it’s another story. They literally grab their Do It Yourself Homeschool Journals first thing in the morning. They no longer beg to watch cartoons or play on their Kindles while they “wake up.” They often eat breakfast with their reading materials sprawled out in front of them, before I’ve even mentioned starting school work. Some days, I’ll find them in their bedrooms, long after we’ve completed school for the day, working in their journals. They have rediscovered their love for learning and that has started a fire in me to help them dig deeper.
I’m a Hands-On Mom:
I like to know what my kids are learning. I like to be able to quiz , discuss and engage with them on what we’re studying. Just as I found with the free online curriculum we tried, I find myself wanting to be more involved while the kids are basically teaching themselves. I want to spend those hours everyday learning beside them, watching them grow. During the busy seasons of life, I use these hours to get things accomplished without feeling like a complete homeschool slacker. And during those seasons, the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journals are a God-send. But during the normal day-to-day schooling, I prefer a more hands on approach but sometimes that just isn’t possible.
Bookwork Doesn’t Have to be Boring:
By integrating coloring, logic games, audio books, screen time, nature studies into more “boring” studies, like copywork and spelling, the kids will never get bored. Yes, similar pages are repeated throughout the book, but each one is just different enough to make it interesting. Creative writing, spelling word “hunts” and other activities take the bore out of necessary school work.
The Cost Is Worth It:
I’m what you would call an extreme cheapskate and I’m not going to lie: I cringed when I saw the price of the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal. Averaging between $20-$30 a pop seems extremely expensive for a workbook. But I knew as soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to try them. No, I needed to try them. To spend $60 on the 2 workbooks I would need was hard to justify. I had already purchased more than enough curriculum for the year, and there were plenty of other things I could spend my money on for our school.
Then I realized that curriculum is a lot like shoes. You can buy the best, most expensive shoes in the store but eventually you will outgrow them. You don’t continue to wear shoes that you’ve outgrown just because you already have them. Instead, you buy shoes that are a better fit. Just as we outgrow shoes, we also outgrow curriculum. What worked at the beginning of the school year doesn’t always work 3 months later.
Instead of forcing it and causing strain in our homeschool, we should realize that a change is needed. For us, that change was the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal. After using them for a few months, I realized that they really aren’t that expensive after all and were worth every penny. They replaced our history, geography, science, writing, spelling and reading curriculums.
Each book offers 6 weeks of work if you do the recommended 10 pages per day. (We do an average of 6 pages per day, so they last even longer for us.) If you are using a 36 week school year, the price for a complete curriculum would only be $200 per year! Are they worth it? Definitely, without a doubt. Could I make them myself for cheaper? Maybe but it would be a lot of work and wouldn’t be worth the measly few dollars you would save by creating, printing and binding it yourself. It’s one of those things you think you can do cheaper but end up wishing you’d just spent the money and saved yourself tons of time and work. In reality, the peace and ease of homeschooling with the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal is worth the price and so much more.
If you are struggling in your homeschool, trying to figure out how to get everything done or just want to rekindle your kids’ love for learning, I highly recommend the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal. The calmness they have brought to our homeschool days during the chaotic moments of life are priceless.
To see your kids really enjoy learning again is worth more than the book’s weight in gold.
Give the Do It Yourself Homeschool Journal a try. You won’t be disappointed!