In either August or September, kids from all over prepare to go back to school for a new year. Parents are excited, while the students have mixed feelings. Boredom has usually overtaken them, although sitting in a classroom isn’t necessarily what they have in mind. It’s time to buy school supplies and new clothes, which helps bring some excitement and interest to the table. For those who are homeschooling, starting a new school year may not be as interesting. However, there are many preparations that need to be finalized before the first day of school.
Curriculum and lesson plans
Many families are capable of completing school in the home without following a lesson plan. However, some need the accountability and organization that comes from having a plan written out. Selecting the curriculum to be used can be fun and inexpensive when purchased during back to school sales. This is a great time to analyze what worked and what didn’t the previous year. Trying new ways of teaching can make the difference in helping a child understand and retain information.
State laws can change from one school year to the next, warranting the time to check the laws again. Staying in compliance is crucial to homeschooling without hassle and legal problems. Once the laws are understood, a school calendar can be determined. Decide when school will begin, end and any holidays that are important to observe. Some families school year round, taking a break every few weeks or months. Others follow a traditional school calendar so their children can interact with friends from public school.
Children who are homeschooling need supplies just like their public-schooled peers. Taking advantage of back to school sales is a great way to stock up on things such as pencils, crayons and paper. Younger kids may need finger paints and safety scissors while older kids could use colored pencils or a calculator. Some stores release sales on clothing, which may be a great opportunity to buy clothes even though the kids aren’t required to dress up.
Give the classroom a fresh look to help the children look forward to a new year. Some of the decorations may have been outgrown as the children mature, warranting something fun for older children. Shelving can be purchased fairly inexpensively to allow each child to have their own space for keeping schoolwork, binders or other supplies. Rearranging furniture can make the room feel new, setting the pace for the new school year.
Encourage the children to let go of anything negative from the previous year. Likewise, the parents need to do the same thing. Carrying over problems from before will get the new year off to a poor start. Allow everyone a chance to start over and remember that the pressure does not need to be there like it is in a public school.
School at home is not what homeschooling is supposed to be about. It’s about helping the child enjoy learning by finding methods that work based on his learning style. By definition, this means that things are constantly changing for the child as he matures, warranting new methods. Relax, and enjoy the learning together.