This post is from contributor Sharla Kostelyk originally published in 2014.
Every August, I find myself excitedly scouring the Internet for ideas, furiously making notes, getting organized, making photocopies, and planning out the year to come. I have ideas for fun snacks and activities to correspond to some of our lessons and my excitement is infectious as the kids seem ready to learn and eager for the year ahead.
(Image Copyright: pavelgr / 123RF Stock Photo)
I have our days laid out in my planner weeks ahead of time. The calendar in the kitchen is neatly filled in with one ink colour. The fridge is stocked. The homeschool room is organized and clutter-free.
By mid-October (or sooner…), the kitchen calendar is scribbled with three or four colours of ink, with items crossed out and arrows drawn to move appointments around. The homeschool planner is often written in as I teach instead of weeks ahead of time. Snacks are thrown together using whatever is in the fridge, which, by the way, is no longer well-stocked or clean. Most days are a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants catastrophe and I’m beginning to wonder why in the world I ever decided to homeschool.
Come December, I’m holding on by the tips of my fingernails, looking ahead to Christmas break as an excuse not to have to figure out what to teach the kids. It may not be a pretty picture, but it’s the truth. Thankfully, many of December’s regular activities like holiday baking and crafts can be counted as homeschooling, because otherwise, we’d hardly get anything done!
But then somewhere in the holiday chaos, something begins to shift in me and as I look to a New Year, I begin to get some of that August excitement back and am able to channel it into a fresh start for the second half of our homeschool year. Here are my suggestions for giving your homeschool a mid-year boost:
1. Set goals.
Have your kids make New Year’s Resolutions and see which of those you can incorporate into your homeschool plan. This simple printable can help them set clear goals in a few areas, including learning. If you have a homeschool mission statement, print it out and hang it where you will see it. Remind yourself why you homeschool and set your goals accordingly.
2. Take a break.
Sometimes the best way to hit the reset button is to give yourself a chance to clear your head. Put the homeschooling aside for a few days of fun. Enjoy your kids and let them enjoy you. Once you’ve brought back some joy, then start to think about what you might want to accomplish in the second half of the year.
3. Get ready.
Have your kids help you de-clutter your homeschool space. Re-arrange some furniture or if funds allow, throw on a fresh coat of a new paint colour! Buy yourself a new pen and get to work filling that planner again. Don’t forget to throw in some fun field trips and hands-on activities so that everyone (including you) enjoys themselves.
4. Start fresh.
Give yourself grace. Remind yourself that relationships with your kids and their relationships with each other and with God are more important than getting all the book-learning done. Let any failures you feel from the first half of the year melt into the background. Take a deep breath and start the second half of the year with hope and a smile!
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