It’s time for school to start!
Parents and children look excitedly to the beginning of a new school year. Lists are made, curricula is purchased, and schedules are written.
If you are just starting the journey into homeschooling or are preparing for another homeschooling year, may these ABC’s for Your New School Year be a help and encouragement to you.
- Appreciate the opportunity to teach your children. Begin each day with thanksgiving to God asking for His guidance and blessing.
- Begin with the basics. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are fundamental. Focus on these subjects first thing each day. That way if you have an interruption, the fundamentals have hopefully been covered.
- Celebrate each child’s victory over a difficult assignment with a word of affirmation.
- Declutter throughout the day. Put away items as you finish with them so that you are not overwhelmed at the end of the day with clutter.
- Establish a routine but don’t be ruled by it. If a learning opportunity arises that will be beneficial for your children, then take advantage of it.
- Fortify the foundation. Review a few minutes every day. For example, drill math facts every day.
- Gather all needed materials for the next week before it arrives. For those who struggle with this, collect some small storage boxes and label each as one subject. Put all materials for that subject in that storage box. This will save you time and freedom from frustration.
- Have a wish list of needed items for grandparents or others who wish to purchase gifts for special occasions. What child wouldn’t like a microscope, telescope, or gem collection?
- Instill in children the desire to read. Set aside a specific time each day when children may read a parent-approved book of their choice. Younger children can look at picture books. This also gives you time to read or unwind.
- Journal your homeschooling accomplishments each day. On days when you feel like you are getting nowhere, pick up your journal and see how far you’ve come. It will encourage you.
- Keep a list of helpful resources. It may be librarians, internet addresses, professionals, wildlife officers, support group leaders, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you need help.
- Launch the new year with a special learning activity, field trip related to the first few lessons, or a New Year’s School Party. It may be just decorating notebooks or pencil boxes. Make it a memorable day.
- Mishaps will happen. Mistakes will be made. Maintain your testimony during these times. Don’t be shocked when they happen. Just pick up the pieces and start over. Life’s lessons can sometimes teach what we cannot. Learn from the mistakes and adjust as needed. Misplaced items will eventually be found.
- Network with other homeschooling parents. Share bits of wisdom and encouragement.
- Outline your objectives for the year in each subject. Keep the list before you each day to help you stay focused and not be led away by activities that do not support your school year.
- Prevent burnout with proper breaks, but keep progressing productively. Periodically check each child’s performance and adjust schooling as needed.
- Quiz orally and give children ample time to answer. Have older students defend their answers with facts.
- Revise curricula as needed. If a lesson plan needs to be retaught, do so. Try different ways to present a lesson.
- State simply what is expected from each lesson each day. Children need to know what is important.
- Tape recorders are great helpers. Children can use them to help with vocabulary drill, math drills, practicing oral communication, etc. Older children can record stories for younger children to listen to while you are teaching older ones.
- Utilize time wisely. Schedule your day. Be creative with chores and naptimes.
- Variety is the spice of life. Vary the way lessons are presented. Lecturing every day will bring learning to a standstill.
- Wake up to a new day and know that it is another opportunity to instill in your children what you wish for them to learn. Wisdom goes far beyond simple understanding.
- Expect your children to learn. Examinations are part of life. Test their skills.
- Yah is an informal word for yes. Yes, you can do this. Just remember that you are learning to discipline yourself just as you are teaching your children to discipline themselves. Yield to God’s leadership in this area.
- Zeal is required to finish any race. The course that you are on requires patience and devotion. Be committed to cross the finish line.
I hope these ABC’s for Your New School Year have been helpful and encouraging. May your homeschooling journey be the great adventure into learning that it is meant to be.
Does your family have a special activity for beginning the new school year?
Do you have any helpful ideas for those beginning their first year of homeschooling?
©2017 by Peggy Clark