Every August, I feel excited about the new school year. Mostly, it’s because there are opportunities to do things better than I did the previous year. It feels as if we’re starting off with a clean slate, and I haven’t made a lot of mistakes yet. And the best part: we’re not behind! A fresh start with homeschooling can begin anytime.
Then we get to Christmas break. Most likely, we’ve gone through the same struggles we do every fall. We never quite seem to get into a good school schedule, extracurricular activities have me running all over town, and each day I’m more and more tempted to let the kids sleep in so I can have some quiet time. It’s not quite the scenario I had pictured back in August.
But that’s okay. Because a new year means a new start. It’s a time we make resolutions for positive changes. And it’s a time to start fresh with homeschooling again, even though we’re half-way through.
If you’re like me and your school year needs a boost, here are some steps you can take.
Set New Goals
Set new goals for the rest of the school year. Write down what you want to accomplish, as well as what you want each child to complete. Have your kids take part in setting these goals, too.
Create a Fresh Plan
Start with a fresh plan. Look at your days again. Since you’ve been going at this for about four months now, you can look at it more realistically. Decide what times your students need to be working on their lessons and make a commitment to stick to those times. Life has a tendency to get in the way, but it doesn’t always have to.
Find Better Curriculum
Swap out curriculum that just isn’t working. If your child is struggling with a particular curriculum, it’s a good time to try something else. Ask other homeschooling friends for recommendations.
Participate in Important Activities
Re-evaluate the extra-curricular activities your kids have been involved in. Do they really enjoy them? Are they worth the time, money, and effort it takes to keep them involved? Are there activities that would be more meaningful, teaching the kids how to give back? There are lots of good things to be involved in, but there is a limited amount of time. If either you or your child is feeling overwhelmed, decide which activities need to go.
Go Somewhere New
Look for learning opportunities you haven’t taken advantage of before. Are there museums, state and national parks, or historical sites nearby that your children haven’t visited before? Mark the days on the calendar when you’ll explore these new places together.
I’m looking forward to the new year and a new beginning. What are some ways you get a fresh start with school?
Photo by: Kelly Taylor