Summer is here! Long days, tired, happy kids and homeschool moms planning the next year’s curriculum, right? But before you jump into it, remember to use this down time to energize your upcoming school year.
Here are 5 specific ways you can do that.
1. Watch your kids:
No one knows your children like you do. Especially if this is the first year you will be homeschooling, don’t jump into it immediately and definitely do not run out to buy curriculum just yet. Take some time to “de-school” them.
Let them be bored for a little while. Watch what they like. If you’re so inclined, do some informal, gentle testing of their abilities. What is the first thing they reach for after they’ve been doing nothing? You might learn something new about them and it could help your curriculum choices or schedule in the upcoming year.
2. Homeschool Conferences:
I intend attending at least a couple this year. Homeschool conferences are invaluable for families. They can keep you updated on laws and other situations that can affect you, they can make you aware of a different style of teaching, and most importantly, they can give you a support group.
Homeschooling can sometimes get lonely. Conferences help you find that group that’s just right for you so you don’t have to be.
3. Play with schedules:
Summer is a great time to play with different schedules. The days are longer, so you feel like you have more time. Also, you’re not trying to get through a specific plan. Use the warm months to think through how best to approach your time in the coming months.
If you need to, buy a planner, but don’t fill it up with a schedule. Instead, mark out the days you will take off in the upcoming year. Work backwards, with the end in mind.
Summer is also a great time to train the youngest member of the family. Many moms will potty train around this time of year, but it can also be helpful to reconsider sleep schedules, eating habits, play times, bath times. Play around with putting these in different parts of the day and see what works best. You might find that a change is necessary.
4. Read to the children:
I have written before about how we have only just now begun to enjoy reading aloud. If you have failed in the past, it may be time to revisit that goal. Reading to them could be another way to uncover interests you did not know they had.
5. Change one habit for each person, including yourself:
Habits are hard to break, but summer is a great time to do so. Take an inventory of each of your children and yourself to see which habits work and which no longer serve you (and them) well. Make a plan to change them. Just be sure to work on one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Summer can be a great time to energize your home, your homeschool and yourself. If you’ve been dragging the past few months, take some time to think about how to approach those problems in the coming year. “Spring cleaning” your schedule, your style, even your self, could make a world of a difference!