Welcome back to our Back to School Survival Series! We are thrilled you are here.
Are you wondering how in the world do you get through an entire homeschool year?
Let me show you what I do!
I am a woman of action. I see a project and without thinking I jump in with both feet. The problem is that I start strong and then I start to drown in whatever it was that I just took on.
Homeschooling my children is no different. That is why I quickly learned that I have to play it smart. I have to have a homeschooling game plan.
Having a homeschooling game plan will help both you and your children start the school year strong and end the school year even stronger. (Not to mention you will maintain your sanity.)
So how do you even begin to map out a homeschooling game plan?
Set realistic goals for your family
Every family is different and every child you teach is different. The things that my children are learning are not always the things that my other homeschooling friends are learning, and that is totally fine. Let’s let go of the legalistic homeschooling box that we have placed ourselves into! Embrace our differences and our children’s differences and start setting more realistic goals.
Some goals to consider
- specific number of books read per child
- math facts memorized (addition, subtraction, multiplication, whatever!)
- complete a fun lapbook
- pick an animal you have never heard of to learn about
The point is to have fun, and grow with your children throughout the year! Make sure that when you set the goals for the year that you are setting them for your family and not because you are trying to tailor your homeschooling adventure to look like someone else’s.
2. Be Realistic
Set up a realistic system
Our first year of homeschooling I drove myself crazy. It wasn’t until I learned ways to cater to my OCD nature and still allow the children to feel as though they were in some control of their own learning that we truly began to see some sort of peace in our school journey.
Let go of the OCD
This did not come easy, I had to do a bit of research and I had to ask other homeschooling moms what they were doing to organize their day. However, peace can be found. I believe that you can find that peace too!
Some ways I found peace by getting my children to help with our plan
- allowing them to pick a special unit study
- allowing them to pick a fun lapbook
- offering them choices of what animal/area we will cover in our next unit
- providing many different options for arts and crafts on the topic we are studying
This gives them the sense of control without giving up my OCD nature. It is totally a win/win!
3. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
One of our biggest mistakes is the need to jump in full force on the first day of school. Why? Instead, start slow and build it up.
This is what our first day typically consists of
- a little review of math, reading, a short writing activity
- a small introduction to our science and history
- after that we spend the day in our yard carnival.
We want to make them excited that they are jumping back into school not dread it and walk away overwhelmed.
No one wants to dread the tasks that they have no other option than to complete! Make it exciting and they will be begging for more!
4. Gimme a Break
We are a year round homeschooling family. This means that we have a little freedom as to when we want to take breaks. Sometimes we take breaks while everyone else around us is doing school. The point is we make sure that at the beginning of the year we have breaks planned and in our calendar so that we can all see when they are coming.
As the year goes on we may find we need an extra break and that is OK too. However, most of the time the kids and I have found we can push through when we see those breaks are actually marked on the calendar and are coming soon.
Here are some that you should be taking regularly
- religious or national holidays
Breaks are essential to any homeschooling schedule. Make sure you are taking them!
5. Make it FUN
Don’t forget to schedule in some fun
Make sure to have silly fun days. These will help both you and your children actually enjoy all the hard work that is taking place. No one ever wants to work and work with no pay off. For our children the pay off is fun. Let them be little. Let them have fun.
It is worth it!
I promise that when you learn to follow these steps your life and homeschool plan will become a bit less stressed and more enjoyable!
What would you add to this list?
I hope you all have an amazing school year and remember to just keep Soaring 4 Him
This post is part of the Back to Homeschool Survival Series by The Multi Taskin’ Mom. It was written by my friend Bridget.
Get to know Bridget:
Bridget has been married to her best friend for 13 years. They have 4 amazing and wild children. Bridget enjoys reading, writing and stealing stolen quiet moments to curl up to a good movie. Her goal is to inspire moms and wives to be the best that they can for the glory of God.