Taking on the immense challenge of homeschooling is not to be taken lightly, it will take a level of dedication and commitment rivaled only by the vows we took with our spouse.
However, if we’re certain we need to do this, then there are a couple of options out there that will help us achieve the level of excellence we’ll ask of our young one(s).
The trick here is to make the most out of everything we can afford to alter in order to stimulate learning in all fields, free of distractions like the TV, pets, the PC etc.
Make a plan
When we’re set on the notion of homeschooling, we need to take a step back and figure things out. If we intend to essentially take the place of every single teacher, we need to be prepared…or at least seem prepared in front of our child.
Take time to research all the courses you want to teach and buy the necessary materials. After you’ve done that, it’s time to hunker down and create a course plan.
Every day of every week – you need to know what you’ll be doing and what they need to get out of it. Difficult? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely.
Set up a supply area
Simply put, the coming months will be nothing short of excruciating until both you and your child get the hang of this homeschooling thing and all the different ways your child can benefit from it.
The least you can do is alleviate the pressure a bit by buying school supplies in bulk and storing them away. This copious amount of, essentially, office supplies will need to be housed somewhere, so consider cleaning out a closet to make room for all the stuff you’ll need.
This will eliminate the need to go to the store during lessons with an already tight schedule as you’re juggling your child’s education and the rest of your obligations during the day.
Keep it functional
With so much stuff to take care of and things to keep in check, it can be pretty easy to fall into the trap of throwing things around in hopes of cleaning it up later. Avoid this way of thinking at all costs. The whole idea of homeschooling is to give your child a quality education from home – how are you supposed to manage that if you can’t find your supplies, your pen, his books?
Make sure everything is labelled and has a designated place, just like in public schools. Above else, make these rules crystal clear to the little one so you won’t have to go on scavenger hunts each time little Timmy needs to read from his English book.
Technology is your friend
Ah, the wonders of the information age. If you own a tablet or anything that is remotely movable, you’re in luck. Using a laptop or a tablet for books and any other need you might have will minimize the space your teaching will take up and will also have the added benefit of your child working in a familiar digital environment.
The only downside of this is that the very same laptop and tablet will still have all the games and “fun” things on it, so maintaining focus for the entirety of the class might prove a tad difficult.
Go outside once in a while
One crucial thing to remember is that kids still need PE. Take them out for a ride on their bike, go for walks in the woods, whatever floats their boat essentially. They need some physical activity in the day to spend their energy and get rid of the feeling of being bolted down in a chair for hours and hours (like in school).
A good middle ground for this would be to organize classes outside, this doesn’t need to be anything fancy, it can be just a simple lesson in the backyard. Spending the day outside and learning will come as a welcome change of pace and will more than likely revitalize their willingness to learn.
Clear out unused space
Ah, now comes the hard part – clearing out a room. Make no mistake, this is absolutely necessary to do and will greatly affect your child’s ability to absorb the knowledge he’s supposed to.
When you find a nice room you can make into a temporary classroom, throw everything out. Jokes aside, if you’re not able to move your furniture elsewhere within the house, there are plenty of super easy storage options out there.
This will keep everything safe and sound and let you focus on your child’s future.
Now that you’ve taken care of everything around the house and made a plan so you know what you’ll be doing and when, there’s only the small issue of getting our hands dirty and getting to teaching.
Teaching truly is one of the noblest professions and the joy experienced when passing on knowledge to young ones cannot be compared to anything else.
That said, dealing with children unwilling to learn is a whole other ballgame we’ll let you find out for yourselves, good luck!
Home safety is usually a concern for most people, but it can be more worrisome for those with hearing loss – especially for those who just recently lost it. So how do people with hearing loss protect themselves and their belongings? They can get an alarm system and have a few modifications added.
So, here’s my list of home alarm systems for people with hearing loss and how they can feel safe at home.
Invest in a Monitoring Service
There are a variety of home monitoring services with different types of packages to choose from. Some are self-installed while others are installed by a professional. They’re available for homes, rentals, and businesses.
Some of these services offer notifications by cell phone, which is great as you can have your cell phone by your bed with notifications set to flash (or vibrate) to alert you when the alarm goes off
Visual Alert Systems
Getting a visual alert system for all your home needs is an excellent idea. A visual alert system is a system that alerts you by setting up listening receivers that flash a lamp or strobe light plugged into them. They also come with a bedshaker to place under a pillow or between the mattress to shake you awake for a noise alert.
There are alerts for the alarm clock, doorbell, smoke detector, baby crying, and any other noise you want to be notified for. A noise receiver can be set up next to your alarm system to “listen” to the alarm going off.
Install Louder Alarms
If you don’t have a visual alert system or hear “fine” during the day with your hearing aid or cochlear implant, you do need to consider night time when you take your devices off. You can find alarm systems, smoke detectors, phones, and doorbells with extra loud ringers.
Be sure to find one that works in your hearing frequency. If you have a high pitch hearing loss you’ll need to find an alarm with a lower bass frequency to be able to hear it.
Install Motion Detector Lights
Installing motion detector lights in your front and back yard is a great deterrent from break-ins. They’re also great for added safety for walking to and from the car at night time.
Some alarm systems come with motion detectors as well and can alert you to movement in the house. Even though these are not attached to lights per say, you’ll know if someone’s in your place.
I personally have a motion detector light in my front hall entryway. It’s pretty dark in there during the daytime as well. It’s a motion detector for the light socket. It comes on whenever someone comes in or needs to go out. An added bonus is that since I don’t hear the door open and close, I can spot the light come on and go check who’s here.
Get the Neighbors to Help
These days many people are so busy that they don’t even know who their neighbors are. Go and make friends with a few of them, offer to help them out if they need anything (mowing, errands, and such).
In return, they can help keep an eye on your place by letting you know of strange visitors or noises. They can also be a contact person for the alarm service to contact too.
Get a Pet
A cheap (and cuddly) alternative is to get a dog or a cat. Allow the pet to share your bed. In the event of strange noises, a break-in, or anything, you’ll feel your pet barking, moving around, or even bolting off the bed. Then you’ll know something is wrong and go investigate.
Many disabled people can safely and effectively look after themselves, while living independent lives, however, achieving the most effective home security can pose some extra difficulties to those with an impairment.
Burglars and home invaders are not the types of people that are likely to have qualms about victimizing a disabled person. However, with some diligence and planning, anyone, no matter what their disability, can achieve home security to an extremely high level. While everyone’s needs and abilities are different, some general tips have been outlined to stop intruders.
Keep Everything Within Reach
While most disabled people are mobile and self-sufficient, some may still find it difficult to reach key items. If locks and deadbolts are too high, then they need to be moved within easier reach. The same goes for an alarm system control panel. You should also keep a mobile phone within easy reach at all times.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You may pride yourself on your independence, but that doesn't mean you can't ask others for help. A family member or friendly neighbor is always a great option to make the most of, especially if they have some basic DIY skills. They will be able to assist with installing a security camera, fixing windows or doors, or any other jobs.
Another benefit of having a good relationship with a neighbor is that you can call on them if there is anything suspicious happening on your property. If they are home they can be around in seconds to help. Most people are happy to do this, especially if it's only a few steps away.
If you truly feel like your home is about to be broken into, or somebody is already inside, then don't hesitate, call the police straight away. People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or those with speech difficulties can text rather than call, however, they generally have to be registered for this service in advance.
Get A Professional Handyman
Your doors and windows are the key access points to your home. This means they should be sturdy and shut and lock securely. Now if you can't find someone to help with maintenance for your doors, windows, and locks, as well as other tasks, then just contact a professional. Make sure they understand any limitations you may have so that they can create the best solution for your situation.
Use A Security System
There are many security systems that are optimized for the disabled. For those with a sight impairment, there are voice activated systems. For those with hearing loss, it is possible to get a strobe light alarm. Regardless of what your disability may be, there is likely to be a system that you can use without issue.
Remember, you want to optimize the visibility of your property. It can be difficult for those with limited mobility to investigate suspicious occurrences. Setting up multiple security cameras can give a panoramic view of your property. The feed from these can be sent straight to a phone or computer. A video doorbell is also available which may help. This means you will know everything going on around your property, and when the doorbell rings you can see who is there no matter where you are in the house.
Consider A Dog
Dogs can have special benefits for disabled people, such as guide dogs for the blind, and service dogs for those with limited mobility. Not only can these dogs transform the life of a disabled person, but they can also provide invaluable home security. The sight or sound of a dog is generally enough to ward off most burglars, not to mention giving advance warning to their owner. If you already own a dog, then that's fantastic, if not, consider the ways they could potentially assist you, as well as improve your home security.
Don't Be A Victim
You want your home to be your castle, where you feel safe at all time. Just as you don't let your disability hold you back in other areas of your life, don't let it hold you back from achieving excellent security. Taking these tips into consideration is the first step on your path to optimizing your home for security, safety, and peace of mind.
About the Author:
Joanna Sommer is the Senior Editor for InformedMag and is passionate about security and tech. She has been working in the home safety and security field for 5 years. Joanna loves to travel and enjoys going to hot yoga and Barre classes. She is dedicated to creating articles that both educate and help people make an informed purchasing decision.
I wrote this for Stir4All back in April 2016 and I thought I'd share my original writing (with some changes)
I was born profoundly deaf and legally blind (my eye doctor suspects Retinopathy of Prematurity). I eventually got glasses that corrected my vision to 20/200, and a pair of hearing aids. Other than this, growing up I had no other adaptations, I held books and toys closer to my face and sat closer to the television.
During the summers as a child I was assigned an Intervenor from the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) to facilitate involvement in the community. She and I would go to community events, libraries, science museums and the like. She worked with me one-on-one to relay what instructors, guides, and other people were saying, and showing me up-close what to do (build a paper airplane, and such). For one or two weeks during this time we went to CNIB’s summer camp where I got to hang out with other deafblind children.
I was mainstreamed in a public school with specialized classes for speech, hearing and English with other deaf and hard of hearing kids, but spent the majority of the day in the regular classroom with a powerful hearing aid and a microphone for the teacher. After a good deal of bullying from the other students I asked my parents to start High School at the Deaf Institute.
After graduation I tried hunting for work, I thought the only drawback I had was not being able to drive, but I could do anything else. I quickly learned the reality of discrimination after numerous rejections because of my dual-disabilities. After two years I decided to attend University to improve my chances of employment. After four years and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I still struggled to get past judgmental headhunters to find employment. I had a few sporadic jobs throughout my adult life.
I realized I had a naïve view of the world as I only could understand things within my 5 foot “bubble” of what I could see or hear, or what was relayed to me. This is the reality of a deafblind person.
With the advent of technology like the internet, and later, social media, my world exploded open. With online chat rooms I could keep up with conversations and was not prejudged for my disabilities. I met my future husband in one of these chat rooms, after revealing I was deafblind in a private chat, he taught himself sign language to ease communications. We’ve now been together for twenty-one years and have two children who are teenagers now.
Eventually my vision worsened to where I reluctantly had to accept using a white cane, my hearing also worsened too where I then opted for a Cochlear Implant.
Being an adult and a parent I go out in public frequently, to shopping malls, play areas, doctor’s offices, school, and so on. Occasionally I come across people expressing an ignorant view of my deafblindness, “Where’s your caretaker?”, “Who helps with the kids?”, “It must be so hard being you”, “I could never be deaf or blind”.
I’m DeafBlind and that’s okay. It may take me longer to do things, or do them in a different way, but I’m still a person, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, an ASL tutor, a blogger, and a freelance writer. I take care of the house, kids, cooking, bills and anything else a wife and mother does.
I don’t need special treatment aside from the standard accommodations of an occasional ASL interpreter or SSP (Support Service Provider – an American version of an Intervenor). I don’t need people’s patronizing attitudes, stares, doubts, discrimination, or misguided help.
I’m just a Deafblind woman going about living my life to the fullest and enjoying the ride.
I was sent this post by a reader and have gained permission to share it.
It was posted on ZooMax.co
I hope you enjoyed this article and have a great week!
I've been busy making profiles on a variety of freelancing sites and online tutoring sites that I forgot to make a Post last week.
So, between working online and doing house chores tere's been some goofing off where I get pulled into reading my social media accounts and scrolling through Pinterest.
There's also that hour and so first thing in the morning where I'm like a Walker from "The Walking Dead", just stumbling around with a coffee mug.
So I want to research how to manage my time better and share it with you.
1. Use a Schedule
Using a schedule allows you to see where your priorities are. What work is scheduled or due dates; children's activities; appointments; and so on. Make a home cleaning schedule and break down the chores into smaller increments to do between work assignments.
Use a wall calendar instead of an App. That way it's more clearer and you can use different highlighters for different items. You can use your calendar App to send you notifications of upcoming times.
Here's a great Planner to use:
2. Make a Daily To-Do List
Write a list the night before of everything that you need/want to get done the next day. All the work assignments, the cleaning chores, the kid's after school plans, and the dinner plan.
Do the important and harder work and chores first and get them out of the way. That way your day goes smoother and you'll feel better the rest of the day (instead of feeling tension by not looking forward to doing it).
3. Give yourself Extra Time
Estimate the time it'll take for each assignment on your to-do list and cushion it with extra minutes. This way if it does run over time, you won't feel stressed rushing to the next assignment.
Also do give yourself a small block of time throughout the day to take breaks, get away from the desk, zone out and relax.
4. Learn to Say No
Learn to prioritize and give yourself a healthy balance between work, family and play. My family comes first in any situation so that's a no-brainer for me. If a kid's activity is scheduled, such as a music concert, I'm there.
Don't forget to schedule time for yourself. To exercise, to read, to relax or to nap. (The last one's my favorite). Also schedule time with your spouse or partner, just to chat and catch up on the day.
5. Schedule "No Contact" Times
Minimize distractions by scheduling several "no contact" times through the day. This is where you are absolutely unavailable. This time is used to buckle down and concentrate on the task at hand.
If you're easily distracted by social media and such. There's an App called Freedom that can lock out all Apps for a time period.
Also do the same for your clients, schedule "no contact" times for them as well. Tell them that those times you will not take calls, answer e-mails, or do any assignments for them.
I know as a mom, this is a hard one to do. Learn to delegate chores, give some to your children. My kids are teenagers so they help empty the dishwasher, take out the trash and they're responsible for their own laundry.
Another thing about delegating, you'll have to let go of your standards and not nit-pick over their work. Keep doing that and you'll be back doing it yourself in no time (and with upset kids and hubby).
So I hope these tips helps you as well as myself. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to send them my way!