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When you have multiple children you're homeschooling, it can be challenging to juggle the amount of work and attention involved. It's important to have a good system in place so that both you and your children know what to do and what's expected.
As the mother of a middle school student (my eldest), it's imperative I set her up for success as she prepares for the high school years. Over the years I have been laying the foundation for her to be able to learn, research and think on her own.
While I hope she will always seek help when it is needed, I also hope I've equipped her to try to solve the problems on her own first, exhausting every resource and option.
My job right now is to lay out the plan for her and allow her to tackle it. This is where Illuminations comes in -- one of the most powerful homeschool planning tools I've ever come across.
How to Set Your Middle School Student Up for Success
- Convey your goals. In order for your child to work the goals and plan you have for them, they need to fully understand what they are.
- Follow up. Even as adults we need accountability. Do not pass off the plans and never check in. In order for our growing children to learn responsibility we need to make it known they are accountable for their work. Check in consistently. Depending on your child it could be weekly or may need to be daily.
- Answer their questions. Being independent learners doesn't mean they will never have questions or need help. Give your help generously. They will get to a point all on their own when they know they no longer need your help. But do communicate and encourage your student to ask for help if they need it.
- Encourage and praise them regularly. When your student takes the initiative or goes above and beyond, be sure to praise them for it! We want them to know those are acts of being a successful and motivated learner which would eventually spill over into their work later in life.
What Makes Illuminations Such a Power Tool
Illuminations is a software program created by the developers at Bright Ideas Press. It is designed to coordinate with their curriculum and recommended resources. However, it also has the option to customize subjects into the planner in case you choose not to utilize certain aspects of their curriculum or recommendations.
We are currently using Illuminations Year 5: Civil War to Cold War. We are utilizing both levels since we have such a wide array of ages in our homeschool. :) There are no shortage of activities for the K-5 kids.
It comes equipped with detailed plans and worksheets for your student and answer keys for you.
Here's an example of a Literature Guide:
Each guide is unique to the book. You can tell just how well thought out these resources are.
These sheets can be printed out and placed into a binder for easy access for your student. That way, if a computer is not available, they still have access to their resources.
You can also access other resources within the curriculum portion of Illuminations, such as coloring sheets, puzzles, timeline figures, tests, book lists, schedules for the resources and much more.
I look forward to sharing more about a few of these subjects up close and personal and in more detail.
In the mean time, I encourage you to check out Bright Ideas Press, browse their website.
And if you have any questions regarding this post or anything I shared, please don't hesitate to ask by leaving a comment or replying if you're reading in your email. I'd love to help you out!