Most of us are just starting a new year of homeschooling. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to run their homeschool in whatever manner they see fit. And we’ve all got different ideas on the best way to homeschool. But, did you know that there are a few key things we should ALL do to start the homeschool year successfully?
Homeschools run the gamut from unschooling to classical schooling – from eclectic to using a big box curriculum – from roadschoolers to stay-at-homers. But there is one thing we all have in common. We ALL want our homeschool to be a success and for our children to enjoy learning.
Here are 6 Secrets for Starting the Homeschool Year Successfully:
1 – Celebrate
Some homeschoolers get together and have large Not Back to School celebrations on the first day of public school in their area. Others intentionally do something that doesn’t involve bookwork on their first day back to school. Our family always takes our family vacation the first week that everyone in our area is back in school. Try to come up with some sort of special celebration that first week so that your kids will look forward to being back in school.
2 – Be Selective
Don’t feel that you have to start every subject that first week. It’s often much better to ease your kids back into school than to shock them with a pile of work right from the get go. Consider starting with some of their favorite subjects. After a few days, you can add in a few more subjects until you’ve gotten your kids up to speed.
3 – Make it Pleasant
Make your home a sanctuary so that you and your children will enjoy spending the majority of your time there. Hang up beautiful art on the walls. Have soft classical music playing in the background. Diffuse essential oils near wherever your kids are doing their schoolwork. And attempt to use a pleasant and engaging voice when talking to your kids. Be inspiring!
4 – Take it Outside
If the weather in your area is conducive for it, consider letting your kids take their schoolwork outside. Allow them to run around and play some games between subjects. Or come up with some kind of cool project that your family can do outside together. Make it fun!
5 – Mix it Up
Try to mix more active subjects in and around the more sedentary ones. After a long, lazy summer it can be difficult for kids if we suddenly expect them to sit still for hours with a pencil in their hand. Even older kids do well if we allow them to get up and move around between their lessons.
6 – Get their Feedback
As homeschoolers, our goal should be to give our kids a great education without killing their love of learning. One way to ensure that this happens is to ask them how they feel homeschooling is going. If they say that they don’t want to learn how to read, that isn’t something that you can implement. But if you know that they dislike reading, you might want to try to incorporate more audio books or read alouds. Do what you can to accommodate your child’s learning style. And work with them on areas in which they struggle. The more you listen to your kids’ feedback, the more they will take ownership of their own education.
If you want your kids to enjoy learning and for your homeschooling experience to be a pleasant one, try to incorporate as many of the above secrets for success as you can this year. Not only will your kids appreciate your efforts but you will also benefit from starting your homeschooling year off on the right foot.