We will soon be starting our first real year of homeschooling. We technically started homeschooling last year, but my oldest was still at his charter school so we were only doing kindergarten with our five year old, and we mainly focused on reading, writing, math, and having lots of fun.
This year, all my kids will be homeschooled! Our kids are 13, 6, 3, and 2 so I’ll be homeschooling some and entertaining others. My 13 year old is in eighth grade, my six year old is in first, and my three year old (who will be four this fall) will be doing some preschool acitivities. Who knows what the two year old will be doing! 🙂
My natural tendency is to jump into things impulsively and go full steam ahead until I burn out. Probably not the best strategy where educating my kids is concerned. Instead of setting an unrealistic goal and quickly becoming discouraged or overwhelmed, I’ve decided to start of first real year like the tortoise. Slow and steady wins this race!
We’ll be easing into the school year by doing the following things:
1. Having a fun first day!
The first day of school was always one of my favorite days. It was the day I finally got to play with my new supplies, reconnect with friends, and not have to worry about actually doing any work. I’ll never forget how disappointed I was when I started high school and realized the good old days of easy first days was over. My kids don’t know it yet, but I’m planning on surprising them with fun treats and activities for our first day. We may not be able to do all ten things, but we’ll definitely do some of them.
2. Prepping our space
One activity I’m definitely planning on for our first day is prepping our space. I’ve already done a lot of work to get the room ready (and I’m hoping to share my homeschool room soon!), but I want my kids to take some ownership over their classroom and home too. I want them to practice their organizational skills and to really be in charge of taking care of their belongings so we’ll be organizing their desks, binders, and supplies on the first day.
3. Starting slow
As much as I like to dive right in, we’ll be starting our school year on a slow schedule. I don’t have an exact date chosen yet, but I’m thinking about starting on a Wednesday or Thursday so we can take a weekend break only a couple days into our new routine. I’m also planning on only focusing on a few subjects for the first week or two. I’ll gradually add additional subjects until we’re doing a complete course load, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself or my kids. I want them to enjoy learning and not feel stressed because, ultimately, the whole point of this crazy adventure is to grow life long learners.
4. Thinking long term
It’s easy to lose ourselves in the details of day to day life and become discouraged when things don’t go according to plan. This year, I’m doing my best to plan for the long haul. If we aren’t able to get to every single item on our to do list finished every single day, that’s okay. If we have to take a day off from a family emergency (preserving mom’s sanity falls into this category!) or even for fun, that’s okay too. I’m going to do my best to keep my main goal in mind despite day to day chaos. We’re homeschooling for many reasons, none of which are to plow through curricula at a breakneck pace.
I’m both anxious and excited to get the year going. I still have a few pieces of curriculum to buy and need to finalize our schedule, but I really think this is going to be a great experience! I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did just a few months ago. We’ll see how I’m doing a few months from now!
How are you starting your school year?
Allison @ Frugal on the Prairie
I love the idea of surprising them by making the first day a fun day. My friend’s son started school this past year and was so disheartened by the schedule that he’s not looking forward to starting again this fall. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be! But your game plan sounds exciting.
That’s so sad! I hope the little guy has a better time this year.
I think this is such a smart approach, keeping the big picture in mind! This is pretty much what the start to our school year will be looking like too : ) I think we’ll start end of August or maybe even as late as the Monday after Labor Day – love the flexibility we have in homeschooling!
The flexibility is amazing! I don’t know how we lasted through a typical school year for so long! lol I hope you have a great school year, Sybil!
My days of homeschooling are behind me, but I have many fond memories. I remember field trips – lots of them – some as more formal “research” but others just fun and enriching. I remember practical math – measuring for cooking and crafts, practicing clothes shopping and figuring taxes, etc, before really going shopping. Figuring out tips and manners, at restaurants. Growing edible and beautiful plants while studying biology, not to mention our cockatiel breeding (genetics, anyone?). I remember my 3rd grader choosing ” The Hobbit” as her reading book
Sounds wonderful, Rebecca! We only really started earlier this week, and we’ve already had so many great moments. I’m so glad we’ve made this decision.