For the next 5 days, I’m going to be covering the topic of homeschooling for the busy family.
Here is a preview of the coming days.
Day 2: Making the most of every day
Day 4: Homeschooling on the go…
Day 5: Keeping it Simple
As a busy ministry family, homeschooling is a blessing and a challenge.
A blessing because we don’t have to call anyone when we are out of town, we don’t have to worry about homework or projects interfering with our evening activities and we don’t have to worry about being to bed early because of early morning bus times.
We can work around our schedule and do our school when it is convenient to us.
Homeschooling as a busy family can be a challenge because it can be difficult to find time to get it all done.
So, how can you be a busy family and still provide a quality home education?
That is what I’d like to share in this series. Just some tips that I’ve learned to help you in your homeschooling during the busy seasons of life.
Busyness can be a way of life for you like it is for us or it can be spurred on by a family emergency, a vacation, a move or other big life event.
Either way, I hope that these tips will help you continue your homeschooling journey no matter how crazy your schedule becomes!
Today’s post covers my first tip in homeschooling for the busy family:
Start early in the year!
I know some of you may school all year round… so this may not apply, but we try to follow a traditional school year because our summers are completely full of travel and camps and retreats. We are not home much through the months of May, June and July. Well… April can be a bit crazy for us too. And, this year, August is shaping up to be quite busy as well!
But, the theory of this tip is that the earlier you start your school year in the month of August or even at the end of July, the more flexible you can be with your school days throughout the traditional school months.
I have some homeschool mom friends who think I’m crazy for starting school back up by August 1st because they don’t start until after Labor Day.
For us, though, starting early has been a huge blessing because Fall is full of harvest events and Christmas program practices and other church events. I’ve been known to take 2 full weeks off in the fall and then take another 2 weeks at Christmas. With a 4 week headstart on everyone else, this isn’t a problem at all!
Then, spring brings another crazy season for us with kids retreats, Fun Arts practices, church Easter events and ministry conferences.
The past 2 years, we have been done school by the last week of April, which fits our family perfectly.
Reading and other unschooling methods always play into our summers, but the main subjects are completed in the Spring.
What are some good reasons to start early?
1. The kids are bored anyway! Even with just the few days my girls are home each summer is enough to make them bored and ready for organized days. Might as well get them learning!
2. It is crazy hot outside! My girls do not like playing outside when it is super hot unless they have water to play in. So, if they are inside anyway, again… might was well get them learning!
3. By September, you have a whole month of school under your belt. Much less stress over the holidays! You can take those days off and not feel behind at all.
4. The dreaded homeschooling months of February and March are not so grueling because you know you are almost done!
What are some ways that I gear my girls up for an early start?
1. Talk about the upcoming year’s curriculum all summer long. I start talking about how much fun we are going to have, the projects we will do, the field trips we will take, the books we will read, the history we will cover, the science we will experiment and the new workbooks I have waiting for them long before we ever begin a new school year. By building it up, they are more excited than I am to start school!
2. Let them help get the school room ready. Now, this can be hard because as the teacher, you want to organize and prep things yourself. But, cleaning and stacking books and organizing craft items are all great ways to get their hands in the school room before school even starts.
3. Begin early bedtimes about a week before school begins. My girls’ nights get later and later as the summer goes on so it is quite a chore to get them back on some kind of sleeping routine. It is a huge benefit to our school year if I can get them used to the school sleep schedule before we have the first day of school.
4. Remind them of all the days off they have throughout the year when other kids are schooling! Because, yes, they are smart enough to realize that the neighborhood kids are not doing school yet and most of their homeschooling friends are not doing school yet. It also helps to remind them of that when, during the school year, we are on break and their friends are all in school. A simple, “See? Starting in August is a good idea!” will help them see the good in starting early.
I hope these tips will help encourage you to get an early start to your school year.
I also want to point out that this can work the other way… If your family’s busiest season is the fall, start in October and school through June!
One of the best parts of homeschooling is that you can fit it to your family.
Get creative and let God lead you as you school your children at home in the midst of busyness. It can be done!
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