9 Things to Start Your Homeschool Year Out Right

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

9 Things to Start Your Homeschool Year Out Right

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For many homeschoolers we are about to start back into out regular homeschooling schedule. But before you jump in {or as a good self check if you are already back}  here are the Top 9 things to ensure you start your homeschool year right.
9 Things to start your homeschool year right - Great tips for homeschooling

Homeschooling Back to School

Before you jump into back to school, let's make sure you are equipped for success!


Here are 9 things to think about to start your homeschool year out right.





#1 - Have a Plan of Attack

There is a reason companies, armies, and schools make plans. Plans help us to be organized so we can meet our goals. Now I’m not advocating a rigid plan. But it is important to have at least a basic plan for the year.  So grab a piece of paper and write down answers to these basic planning questions.
  • What grades are you teaching?
  • What curriculum are you using?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish this school year?  {i.e. learning, character, or relational goals?)
  • When will your school year start/end?
  • How many breaks will you take? {don’t forget to check out state laws}
  • How many hours are you planning on “doing school” each day?
  • Are you joining a coop this year?
  • How often will you take fieldtrips? Where will you go?
  • What enrichment classes are you planning on signing your kids up for?
  • How are you keeping track of attendance, grades and anything else required by your state. {use free Homeschool Forms to help you get organized}
  • How are you planning on engaging {entertaining} younger siblings while you ‘do school’ with older ones?

#2 - Buy Curriculum in Moderation

Now I know it’s no secret that curriculum can get expensive. But somewhere between the enticement of a cool new curriculum and our desire to provide our kids with a perfect education {as if that’s possible} we all tend to go a little nutso when buying curriculum. {yep, that’s me too!}


So this year, let’s all try to start with the basics. We can always buy more. We can always add to our program. But once we buy it we no longer have that money, shelf space, or time to complete the curriculum back. So please buy curriculum wisely and in moderation!


#3 - Learn from last year

Take a couple minutes to think about last year.

  • How did it go for you and your kids? 
  • Did your schedule fit with your families natural rhythm well? 
  • What do you wish you’d done differently? 
Consider these things so you can learn from your mistakes and continue with strengths.


#4 - Take advantage of prime time for fieldtrips!

homeschool fieldtrips

Don’t forget one of the advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility we have. Make sure to take advantage of great weather, lower crowds, and discounted prices to go on some really neat field trips or a family vacation. After all, those are usually the most memorable and character building times for kids and families.

 

#5 - Make Back to School Special  

We all know kids grow quickly {way too quickly in my book!} So make this moment memorable and special.
  • Make a special breakfast
  • Have a progressive fast food dinner
  • Have the 1st day at a park
  • Take silly back to school pictures
  • Wear clothes backwards or all in the same color for the 1st day
  • Make a special lunch or treat during your day

#6 - Start on a clean slate

homeschool room makeover

Anyone else find that it is hard to be productive when the house is less that perfect. I know I’m not alone on this. So if you struggle with keeping your house tidy {like I do} in the midst of the business of life try to intentionally set aside some time to clean, tidy, and declutter your home before school starts. {Come see our {DECLUTTERED} School Room}

 

#7 – Avoid Over scheduling

I know I told you to make plans. But when making your plans please be careful to not over schedule yourself or your kids. While kids will benefit from a variety of well thought through activities, they also benefit from unscheduled time to play and hang out as a family. Enjoy this season of life where you get your kids under your roof. To give you an idea, here is what works for our family. Your family is wonderfully unique – adapt this for your family!
  • We limit evening/weekend activities to 1 per child per quarter. That is just what works for us. We try to guard our family time carefully.
  • I limit weekday activities so that we only leave the house 2 days a week. No depending on your perspective that could be super strict or a still a little chaotic. One day we try to have fieldtrips or social opportunities for our kids. The other day is a mixture of library, necessary errands, and a class the kids have scheduled {music, ballet, art, piano, etc.}

 

#8 - Don’t stress!

I know it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the rolls we have: daughter, wife, mother, cook, cleaner, teacher…… And then there’s the worry if we are doing enough, are our kids going to be competitive in today’s market, are they growing spiritually ……

To be honest some things in your house won’t get done this year – and that’s okay. You might forget to teach your kiddo cursive – that’s okay too {I mean who really uses that now anyway}. You aren't going to have perfect kids – but then again they don’t have a perfect parent either. Try to leave your worries and anxiety in the arms of our heavenly Father! ONLY He is strong enough to hold them all.

 

#9 - [and most importantly] Cover your Homeschool in PRAYER!

pray for your homeschool

I can’t stress this enough. So many of us get swept up in the planning, preparing, and stressing because we want to do our best.

The best thing you can do to ensure you have a successful homeschool year is to turn your year, yourself, and your children over to God

Cover them all in prayer and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as he directs your school year. I hope you all have wonderful homeschool years. I hope your kids learn, grow in spiritual maturity, develop Godly character, and that you have some precious times enjoying your children.

 

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