This summer we’ve hit the pools and movies, done our share of fireworks, and even took some mini vacays. Even as a year-round homeschool family, we find ourselves getting sucked into the whirlwind that summer brings. And generally, by the time summer hits, we’re somewhat burnt out. So I’ve learned to just let each day come as it may.
We won’t be having a bells and whistles first day back to school like many families. Since we’ve been sliding in and out of school throughout our summer “break,” we will have a day we declare the first day of the new year. First days generally include a new twist on an old schedule, sometimes a whole new schedule, more often than not, new curriculum. Minds will be refreshed and ready for learning.
Are you a homeschool family like ours? Here’s some ideas on how to transition back to school smoothly and keep stress out of your homeschool this year!
Prepare and Plan
New Curriculum: Take some time to look over your curriculum and read through any tips that are included with your materials. This will prevent stumbling through a new teachers manual while your child stares at you wide-eyed, knowing you are less than prepared.
Supplies: Personally, I like to make a master school supply list that includes all those little things you will need for your science experiments and various crafts. Put this list in my smartphone for any impromptu trip to the store.
Stay Calm Through the Storms
As a new homeschool mom I used to panic over interruptions that threw off our schedule. We can’t fall behind! But the further we get into our homeschooling journey, the more I realize it’s those special, life interruptions that give us the best memories to carry forward into the school year. On a rough homeschooling day, a fun conversation about “remember when we had to…..” always brightens the day.
Commit to Family Reading Time
One of our absolute favorite times during our homeschool day is our family read-a-loud time. Our son reads silently every day and those are usually books of his own choosing. But, we also incorporate a family read-a-loud time. This doesn’t always include dad, because our schedule doesn’t lend itself to evening reading as a family. If yours does, please do it. Choose a chapter book and read out loud TO them. You don’t even have to be homeschoolers to do this. Some of our most meaningful moments are times we cuddled up together on the couch, engrossed between the pages of a really good book. Nothing speaks more for de-stressing than that.
Change It Up
Remember that school doesn’t have to take place in your classroom. Make use of that shade tree in the yard or pack a picnic and go to the park. You could even head to the beach! Your favorite public library is another great place to have school.
Take Field Trips
Let’s face it. Every amazing homeschool mom eventually needs a breather. What better way to do that than to offer your kiddo a field trip day? Tie it into school! Or don’t.
Relax, Breathe, and Have Fun
Don’t forget to mix in a little fun in your school day. Yes, everything school related isn’t fun. Multiplication tables and cursive writing anyone? There are things we just. have. to. do. But break it up if you can. It will help to go at the hard and ugly stuff with a little less stress.
Make snack time fun with creative treats (Pinterest is awesome for ideas). Have a tickle-fest to lighten the mood. Take a short walk or bike ride through the neighborhood during break time. Or build a fort in the living room and drag the school work inside of it for the day.
Make It Your Own
Please don’t forget, homeschooling is a lifestyle. There isn’t a cookie-cutter mold to fit all families. You have the freedom to make it your own. Set your own daily schedule. Follow the laws for your state. But take advantage of your freedom to be true to the beliefs and desires for your family.