Tips and Traditions
Published: July 29, 2016
By: Kerrie McLoughlin
Sure, homeschooling is a bit different from brick-and-mortar school, but some things are certainly similar. Here are some things to consider when you are getting your child ready for a new homeschool year:
1. Set a start date. It’s important for your entire family (and friends and neighbors too!) to know when school is starting. Vacations and events should be scheduled around the first day of homeschooling.
2. Go back-to-school shopping. If you are enrolled in a virtual school, they will send most everything a kindergarten student would need, including watercolors, jumbo crayons and pencils, construction paper, math manipulatives and more! For the older kids, they make sure to include plenty of scratch paper for writing and doing math problems. No matter what curriculum you are using, your kids might enjoy some new things to call their own, such as a colorful fabric bin to keep all their homeschooling goodies and projects in, or a new set of markers or special notebook.
3. Plan some freezer meals. You’ll want to focus on figuring out the routine and rhythm for your kids and for yourself. Having some freezer meals (or the pizza delivery place on speed dial) ready to go, will save your sanity and help you focus on the lessons each day during those first few weeks.
4. Plan some extracurricular, active and social activities. Add in plenty of time to play and socialize during the school year by putting events in your planner or on your calendar so the kids can look forward to them. Plan some field trips with other families or groups so your kids can meet up with other homeschooled kids while you get some time to meet other homeschooling parents.
5. Half price books or other supplemental, fun trip for goodies. Put a line in your budget for a bookstore visit or trip to some other type of curriculum store for some learning supplements your kids will enjoy.
6. Review the curriculum ahead of time. Take some time to check out the curriculum so you are prepared to teach the first week of lessons. Fill in a lesson plan book for the first week to set your mind at ease.
7. Start the day right. Prepare a special breakfast to get that brainpower going for the whole family.
8. Don’t forget to take a family photo. The photo of the first day of school is always one to treasure and look back on with fondness.
9. Celebrate the first day of school. You might want to go a little bit light and ease into your first day of school, which is a wonderful benefit of homeschooling. After you’re done for the day, consider going out for ice cream or heading to a park so you can all blow off some steam. You could even have your fellow homeschooled friends over for a potluck picnic dinner in the backyard!
10. Finally, have your students keep a journal for the year. This can be an inexpensive spiral-bound notebook or in something fancy your kids create and decorate themselves, but the point is to try to jot something down daily throughout the school year. Even little ones can draw a picture of how they are feeling or of something they did that day.
Kerrie McLoughlin is the chaos-loving, homeschooling mama of five. You can find her (and all her offshoot projects) at TheKerrieShow.com.