Is it that time already?
Summer is creeping to an end for us, and the boys and I are going ahead and jumping into our school year today.
While we attempt to get back to some kind of routine around here, I thought I’d share my back-to-school tips for the homeschool mom!
These tips are the result of my own mistakes over the years and I hope they offer you some encouragement as you begin your year with your children. It’s time to take a deep breathe, say a prayer, and relax. It’s going to be a great year!
Yes, I’m telling you (and me) to slow down before the year has even begun. I’ll you why.
As homeschooling moms we carve out a large amount of time from our summer to plan the upcoming school year. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been in the planning trenches for weeks now, your head is spinning with ideas and expectations, and you’re excited to jump into the many activities you have planned. Sound familiar?
It’s so important to remember that our children haven’t been planning away all summer. They have no idea what we’re up to and we can’t expect them to be on the same page come day one. I recommend planning your first week (or so) with a staggered start. Introduce a few subjects each day, rather than everything at once. Give your children a chance to get excited about the material they’re learning without overwhelming them or you.
Observe and Listen
Our children have grown over the summer. How have they changed? How have their interests changed? Don’t you remember how different you felt venturing back-to-school in the fall?
The summer has a way of changing us.
Sometimes, we forget to take notice of the growth in our children over a summer because we’re with them every day. We don’t miss seeing them for a long period of time and it’s easy to forget that they are different this August then they were last May.
Get to know your child’s learning style again. How will your observations shift your expectations?
Don’t Over Plan
Once you’ve had a chance to get through this first week (or two) with your children you’re going to have a better idea of how long it will take to complete a math lesson, read literature, or compile a notebook page. Were you able to complete each activity you had planned? What subject seemed to take forever? How could your time be managed more efficiently throughout the day?
I recommend using a general to-do list the first week with no times attached. Make a list of the subjects and activities you want to cover according to your new moderate start mentality. Try to cross everything off, but don’t fret if it doesn’t go as planned. Simply take notes on what worked and what didn’t. What subjects are your struggling to get to and why? How can you adjust your day to better fit that subject? After the first couple of weeks have passed you’ll be able to sit down with clear picture and realistic expectations. You’ll be able to better plan your detailed schedule for the year after some trial and error.
There’s no sense in penciling in months of lessons that are bound to change! I have notoriously hand written months of lesson plans only to toss my planner and start over time and time again. Please, let me save you the trouble. Once you find your groove, then you can really embrace long term homeschool lesson planning for the year. You’ll get there! Give your children and yourself time to adjust to school again.
What are your back-to-school tips?