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    Slow Schooling in Times of Stress

    Slow Schooling in Times of Stress

    "My kids haven't learned anything in months!" I've heard this from several moms. It's been a weird year, friend. But you aren't failing your kids! Maybe you are just in a season of slow schooling.

    Whether you homeschool or are temporarily schooling at home, there is stress on your routine. My doctor explained to me that stress is anything different that requires you to think outside of your normal routines. Your brain has to work extra hard to be present when things are different or uncertain, even if it's a good kind of change. 

    Think about family vacation. Why is it stressful? Your brain is working overtime to calculate all the details, respond to unplanned circumstances, and help your children navigate the changes in routine.

    So even if you are enjoying the rest as a family or the change is slowing down your pace of life, you can feel the stress of always being "on" instead of relying on habits and routines to get through life on "auto-pilot".

    So, how does that relate to school at home? 

    First, it's okay to have seasons of slow learning in times of greater stress.

    That's one of the beauties of schooling at home. We've had seasons during moves, pregnancy, sickness, and intense therapy with one child when book work wasn't happening. In those times, we go into "maintenance mode". A little bit of math every day, phonics workbooks or reading, and lots of playing outside. As long as their brains keeping working a little bit, I find we can jump back in without any skills lost.

    While this may not be as easy with virtual school, you may be able to ask for modifications from teachers to help slow down the pace.

    Second, when you are learning at home, you can get more done in a short time.

    If you have a week or two devoted to a specific topic, you can really dig in a learn a lot...maybe even as much as a teacher can get to in a whole semester. Try to plan a time to deep dive into a topic so that you can use your brain energy more efficiently. This is how adults learn, right? We get excited about something and research it until we have satisfied our curiosity on the subject.

    This can reduce your stress overall because you have a plan and you aren't using up little bits of time each day. Get everyone excited and talk it up. They'll be ready and eager to learn instead of drudging through busy work each day.

    Again, with virtual schooling, this may require talking to the administrators to find out if you can get credit for special projects instead of doing what everyone else is doing. Maybe you can work out the end of the semester due date, instead of turning in work daily or weekly so that you can work at your own pace.

    slow schooling in times of stress | Pretty Nerdy Press

    Finally, there's more to learning than book work and lectures. 

    Take some time to connect with your kids each day about their emotions. (Brighter Fun is a great resource for teaching younger children about emotions!) Emotional intelligence is a key factor for success in life. Yes, math is important. But a few months of math maintenance and lots of love are going to do a lot more for your child long term than pushing through math facts and hating life.

    Give yourself grace. Give the kids grace. Don't add extra things to think about that cause more stress. Find good routines, even if they don't include schoolwork every day. Slow learning in times of stress may be the best thing you can do for your kids this year.

    Read more about some life lessons I learned from my parents that were far more valuable than math facts.

     

     

    School at Home Starter Sets are here!

    School at Home Starter Sets are here!

    School at home. It's not the same as homeschooling, but it's what many of you are doing this year. I feel for you. It's hard enough getting organized when you plan to homeschool full time, but setting up a temporary space is a challenge, for sure.

    I've been chatting on Etsy with a few moms that are setting up for the year. They want inspiring spaces for their kids to learn, but don't want their homes to look like a classroom. That's literally the exact reason I designed these posters!

    I know from experience, children learn more easily and retain information better with visual reinforcement of concepts. They love to engage with visual aids. Colors help them latch on to ideas and keep them in their memories. You know how you remember what color a book cover is when you are looking for it on your shelf. It seems like kids do the same thing with facts in their minds. "Oh, I remember...the 5 pluses are the pink ones."

    With fresh & natural colors, we create poster designs that are engaging to children AND beautiful enough to hang in your living room. You don't have to transform your house into a classroom to create a delightful learning environment for your children!

    The truth is, it doesn't have to be perfect. You don't need desks. A comfy couch and a kitchen table are fine. You don't really need tons of fancy curriculum or posters either. The most important thing is the atmosphere of peace and love you create around learning. Your encouragement and curiosity to learn with them will go much farther than drilling facts and forcing hours of book work. It's new and hard, but you can do it!

    With all the other challenges and decisions, this doesn't have to be a hard one. We've chosen our bestselling designs and we're giving you our biggest discount. A happy little learning corner can add some fun and inspiration to the challenges of the day.

    We've created two starter bundles that include the best of our modern elementary designs. The lower elementary bundle includes a printed blackboard alphabet chart, a hundreds chart, and addition fact families. The upper elementary bundle contains a cursive blackboard alphabet, a modern multiplication chart, and a periodic table.

    You'll receive 3 large posters as a set for 20% OFF our retail pricing. 

    As always, our matte, high-quality posters are printed on durable, archival paper and shipped to you, carefully packaged in a cardboard tube. Our printer is currently printing and shipping within a few days, so you'll be ready to go for the beginning of school!

    New "Books of the Bible" Poster in the Shop!

    New "Books of the Bible" Poster in the Shop!

    We just added a new print to the shop! Some of my younger kids have been struggling to learn the books of the Bible in order, so it was time to create a beautiful visual aid!

    I love making posters for things that I want my kids to memorize. It really helps them to make connections and store important information in their memories. I hope it does the same for your kids!

    You can pair the poster with any books of the Bible song and get them buried deep in your kids' brains. I still sing a song and remember a little video clip I saw about the books of the Bible when I was a child when I'm looking for Bible passages.

    Books of the Bible Posters | Pretty Nerdy Press 

    The poster comes in 2 colors, an earthy brown that would look great in a boho natural living room filled with plants and a soft blush pink that would work well in a farmhouse or girl's room.

    We also have 2 sizes, 18" x 24" and 12" x 16". As always, they are printed on a high-quality matte art paper with rich ink colors and sharp lines. They are shipped in a sturdy tube, rolled carefully, and protected with tissue paper.

    (Below is an Amazon affiliate link, which means I make a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. Thanks!)

    If you are looking for a beautiful way to display them, I love these poster hangers! The are modern and inexpensive, plus you can easily swap out new designs if you are low on space and want to rotate your favorites in and out.

    Click here to buy a Books of the Bible poster or read more about it!

    Teaching Kids to Do Laundry? 3 Things to Consider...

    Teaching Kids to Do Laundry? 3 Things to Consider...

    Are you overwhelmed by the mountains of laundry in your home? I see your posts on Instagram and Facebook. Other stuff takes priority. Laundry is often a burden and we wait until it's taking over to tackle it. What if teaching your kids to do the laundry could "lighten the load"? 

    Our laundry system isn't perfect. Life happens, and we get behind. But having a system has lightened the load the last few years. The kids do a large portion of the laundry and we don't have laundry crises very often anymore. 

    It's easy to think everyone else has it all together, but let's face it, laundry is a struggle for every family. Don't be discouraged if it is still a struggle. Take one step to make it easier and go from there. ☺️ It doesn't have to be perfect! 

    Here are a few things you should consider when teaching your kids to do laundry:

    Teaching Kids to Do Laundry | Pretty Nerdy Press | Free ebook to help you create a laundry system that works for your family

    Create a laundry system that works for your family.

    It's important to create good habits and a system that works for your family. Work is easier for children (and adults) when it becomes a habit. Think about the chores and habits you have each day. They come naturally because you have created habits (whether good or bad). Children will help more and complain less when they know what work is expected of them each day. 

    Each family functions differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution for creating a good laundry system. The important thing is that you have some type of routine and establish some habits. 

    You can get my free ebook with printable charts and a worksheet to help you create a good laundry system. It won't be the perfect fit for every family, but it will help you brainstorm some ideas that might work for you. I share what works for our family of 9, offer ideas for adjusting my approach, and share tips and resources for training kids to help with laundry.

    Assign age-appropriate laundry chores.

    Toddlers are eager to help fold and put away clothes. Don't worry about perfect folding! You can train them later. Take advantage of the eagerness to help and build good habits while they are young. 

    School-age kids can move loads to the dryer, help with sorting, and also with folding and putting away. Preteens should be able to start a load and see it through to the end. 

    Train the children to do laundry.

    Kids need patient training to earn new skills. Laundry might seem pretty easy to us since we've been doing it for so many years. Don't forget how much you know about types of fabric, wash temperature, sorting, and stain treatment. It may take a few laundry training sessions to make sure the kids feel confident in helping. 

    It's best to have them observe, then gradually give them parts of the process, and then hand over the whole process. For example, you can start by letting them add soap and choose the cycle while you keep a close watch, then by giving them loads of towels to wash so they don't ruin nice clothes. Over time, you will gain helpful partners in your laundry system. Not only will your home chores be shared, but you can also have confidence that your kids will leave home knowing how to wash their own clothes!

    Tips for Teaching Kids How to Help with Laundry | Pretty Nerdy Press

    Need a better laundry system? Free ebook and printables! | Pretty Nerdy Press

    Cultivate Hope in Your Homeschool Day

    Cultivate Hope and Beauty in Your Homeschool Day | Pretty Nerdy Press

    February can be a tough month for homeschool moms. The weather has been cold and wet, the kids are bored with the curriculum, and everybody is ready for some summer fun! But...we still have a few more weeks until spring break and warmer weather, so we need some encouragement to keep going.

    Cultivate Hope in Your Homeschool | Help! for the Homeschool Mom | Pretty Nerdy Press

    Sarah, at My Joy-Filled Life, is hosting an encouraging series of articles called Help! for the Homeschool Mom. You'll find inspiring posts from fellow homeschool moms and lots of giveaways (including one of our posters and several packages from curriculum publishers)!

    Would you like to learn to Cultivate a Hope-Building Habit of Seeing Beauty in your Homeschool Day?

    Does your home look like the beautiful Pinterest and Instagram images you see in your feeds each day? Neither does mine. But I continue scrolling Pinterest and saving beautiful home ideas because I think there’s a place for aspirational and beautiful images in our lives.

    In order for your children to cultivate a habit of seeing beauty, you must personally develop the habit of seeing it and pointing it out to your children. Surround them with beautiful things in your home (this doesn’t have to be expensive!), expose them to beautiful places (you don’t have to go far!), and invite beautiful people into your lives. The more you do it, the easier it becomes! Read more on My Joy-Filled Life...