After months of lazy summer fun, it can be kinda tough getting back in the groove of another homeschool year, especially when the dog days of summer beckon us to come and play. That’s why I’m a firm believer in just easing our way back into the new year. Hey! We’ve got all year to plunge in. For now, let’s just get our feet wet.
- Choose a good devotional or one of the shorter books of the Bible to begin reading as a family. This will help get some of those out-of-shape spiritual muscles back in shape.
- Pick a fun classic or award-winning book to read aloud to your children each afternoon. Great Reads are a wonderful way to build strong family bonds and make precious memories.
- Focus on the 3-Rs. You have all year to complete the rest of your subjects. Take the first week or two to cover reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic only.
- Determine where your kids are in math. Since the first third of a math textbook is typically just a review of the last third of the previous year’s textbook, spend the first week or two determining where in their books your children need to begin. If they can easily complete one math problem from the first lesson then move onto the second lesson. Can they successfully complete one practice problem in that lesson? Then move onto the third lesson. Continue in this manner skimming over five to ten lessons each day until your children finally begin showing signs of difficulty. Now you know exactly where they need to begin! Why make them start at the beginning of a math textbook when they are perfectly capable of starting in chapter 25…or even 50?
- Take a trip to the library and let your kids pick their own reading material…within reason, of course. It’s amazing how much children enjoy reading when given the chance to choose their own books. Do they have specific interests? That might be a good place for them to start. The library is a delightful treasure trove! Let them discover the gems it holds.
- Offer fun and creative writing options as a means of easing back into English for the year. Have them write about something they did this summer, a postcard to a friend, a grocery list for something they want to cook, silly poetry or limericks, or even start a journal. The point is to take it easy and make it fun.
- Take school outside. Summer is still here! Why not take advantage of it and spend the cool of the mornings doing school outdoors.
- Schedule a four-day school week…at least for the first week of two.
- Plan afternoon outings. Go for a hike or swim, meet friends for a picnic, take in a movie, read your family read-aloud in the shade of a tree, make crafts, or do a unit study.
- Most importantly…HAVE FUN!
Easing into another homeschool year will help settle those back-to-school jitters, get everyone back in the groove, and set a happy tone for the coming months. Who knows? Your first two weeks may go so well that you decide to adopt a few of these ideas for the entire year!
Here’s to your family and another wonderful year!