9 Things to Start Your Homeschool Year Right

This post was written by Beth Gorden of 123Homeschool4Me

Many homeschoolers have just started back into their regular homeschooling schedules. As you jump in {or as a good self-check if you’ve been back for a while} here are the top 9 things to ensure you start your homeschool year right. 9 Things to Start Your Homeschool Year Right by Beth Gorden

#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 co-op this year?
  • How often will you take field trips? 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 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. 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 well with your family’s natural rhythm? 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 field trips!

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 it special (special breakfast, back-to-school pictures, etc.)

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 with a clean slate

homeschool room makeover

Anyone else find that it is hard to be productive when the house is less than 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 busyness of life, try to intentionally set aside some time to clean, tidy, and de-clutter 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. We try to guard our family time carefully.
  • I limit weekday activities so that we only leave the house 2 days a week. One day we try to have field trips 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 roles we have: wife, mother, teacher, cook, cleaner… And then there’s the worry over 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 kiddos cursive – that’s okay too. 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 emphasize 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 a wonderful homeschool year. 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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Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of three who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123Homeschool4Me where she shares 150+ {free} printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.

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Comments

  1. Teri says

    This post is a great reminder to me to keep it simple. We took our son out of public school to homeschool and I went CRAZY buying curriculum to “make sure” he got a top notch education. We are now months into our year, and we use not even half of it! LOL! The basics are all we needed. So much for my elaborate plans, to the minute schedule, and emulating. Public school. We decluttered, reorganized, bought a cart to make work boxes, developed our own routine, and now we are truly homeschooling:)

  2. joy says

    Thank you so much for your post and resources. Me and my 3 kids start back monday so very timely. Thank you for the reminder to cover them in prayer!!!

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