Wow, summer just flew on by! It’s time to get ready to get back into the swing of things, more specifically: School!
For us, this will be our third year Homeschooling, my daughter is four but we’ve implemented a learning-through-play/intentional play time since she was very small to help encourage her with her speech delay. This year, we’re joining the big guns – a homeschool Co-op!
What’s a homeschool co-op? There are all different types of co-ops, but in general, it’s a group of Homeschooling families who meet. Some meet weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. This year we’ll be meeting weekly, so school for us will have a little bit of a different routine to it this year.
Many times we hear about back to school tips for the kids, these tips will be for you- The parent! Spending all day with your children is a huge blessing, but finding pockets of time to get what you need/want done can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips I’m implementing this year to help us have an easy going school year.
1. Fill your cup
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t meet my needs before I have to meet everyone else’s, I’m an anxious hot mess. So, I wake up at least an hour before everyone wakes up rather then waking up when everyone else wakes up. This gives me an opportunity to get into the word of God- one of the most important things that help me with day to day life. I’m able to shower in peace and get ready for the day. Literally, it sounds so insignificant but trust me. Getting that time to take care of yourself in the mornings, makes a world of a difference and it’ll help you serve others better, too.
2. Meal plan for the busy days
Co-op days will take up a huge chunk of your day. I’m the type of person who if I’ve been out all day, the last thing I want to think about is what I have to cook for dinner when I get home. So, I’ve designated co-op day our official crockpot day! Pinterest has a ton of dump-and-go crock pot recipes perfect for busy families. If you’re not a fan of crockpot meals, give your busy days the easy meals. One pot or even oven meals to take off the load of the day.
3. Start the school year off stress-free
This will be our first year using multiple curriculums, like actual curriculums. The last few years we’ve done a lot of hands on learning with toys, puzzles, books, and a little bit of curriculum mixed in. We’ll still be doing that this year, however we’ve added some more structure to our day.
It was SUPER overwhelming trying to make lesson plans with all brand new things. SO, what I’ve done to help ease us into this school year is create a 3 week refresher where our focus will be 1. Getting into a homeschool rhythm that fits for us 2. Re-visiting all that we’ve learned last year and working on what needs improvement and 3. Making lesson plans as we progress!
Homeschooling is all about helping your child learn with the learning style that best fits their needs and starting off the year this way, I feel, can be less intimidating and you as the parent can see what your child needs and go from there. Rather than jumping in at 100 miles an hour.
4. Get out of the house
The beauty of homeschooling is that learning can take place literally ANYWHERE! I am an introvert by nature, but I also recognize how getting out of the house when homeschooling can really help with minimizing burnout. Don’t get so caught up in textbooks that you for get to live! We’re making designated library and park days to help mix it up!
5. Make a plan, but don’t let it own you.
For many new homeschooling families, the pressure of creating a public school setting at home takes over. The specific structured learning times, the pressure for learning to only happen at a desk with a book, the pressure of only and always sticking to the plan! Let me tell ya, that’s not what homeschooling is about!
Make a general plan for the year to help you get an idea of what you’d like to touch on this year, but don’t let the plan own you. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility! I decided to plan out general things I’d like for us to work on this year, rather then writing down specific structured plans for specific days and times.
This not only allows you to work with your child on a certain subject or topic how ever long they need, but it’ll also help your child not feel so pressured to 1. Please you by trying to move forward with the lesson even if they don’t fully understand it. 2. It takes stress off of your back from feeling “behind” or feeling like you have to “catch up”. Can I tell you a secret? There’s no behind in homeschool.
Lastly, have fun!
Have fun with it! Homeschooling is what you make it, and it can be the best experience (or your not so favorite) but the reality is, it’s your school! You can change and move things around for what best fits your family’s needs. Create fun homeschooling traditions for the first day, or even the 100th day! Celebrate the milestones as you hit them and remember to HAVE FUN!
I’ve connected with some amazing bloggers to share some Back to school tips! Getting back into a schedule, school supplies, diy projects, etc. Head to each of their pages to check out what they are sharing!