As everyone is wrapping up the school year and heading for homeschool conventions, it can be easy to skip thinking about the new school year. It can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. I think there are a few things you should start doing during the summer months. It’s time to start preparing for a new homeschool year.
Preparing for a New Homeschool Year
Clean out the old curriculum.
Before you move into something new, take some time to clean out the old stuff. This means sorting through all of your curriculum to sell or give away. It also means going through paperwork from the finished school year and deciding what can stay and what can go. Taking the time to do this will save you from ending up in a curriculum and paperwork swamp unable to see the coming school year.
Take stock of the past year.
Every school year has its wins and losses. It is important to take some time and take stock of the past year. Where did you struggle? Where did you succeed? Looking at both of these areas before planning the coming year can help you to plan in a more healthy way. When we look at our struggles we are able to truly own them and figure out how to move beyond them.
Ask for advice.
You were never meant to do life alone. One of the biggest mistakes some homeschool moms make is to barrel forward without asking for advice or help from other moms. Sometimes the wisdom of an older homeschool mom can be just what you need to set you up for an amazing homeschool year. Take those areas where you struggled last year and ask fellow moms how those could be improved upon.
Skip the impulse buys.
It can be easy to spend too much on curriculum you won’t need. Skip the impulse buys. Instead, spend some time researching the options you are considering. Does it really work for your family? Is it affordable? Does it work with the way your children learn? These are important questions to ask before blowing your homeschool budget on a curriculum that won’t be a fit.
Have an honest conversation with the kids.
Every school year we take time at the end to assess our year. It’s important to hear from our kids on their school year. We need to know where they stand on their curriculum and the coming school year. While this may not change certain choices, it will help you to plan more effectively. Ask your kids what they loved and what they didn’t. Find out what curriculum they loved and what curriculum should be thrown out a window.
Plan but don’t overplan.
It can be easy to try and plan the school year too much. Do yourself a favor. Make your plans but make them in pencil. Life will happen. Kids get sick. Curriculum doesn’t work out. The best you can do is to have a flexible game plan and roll with the chaos as it comes.
Plan a fun first day.
Starting a new school year can be boring. If you want to have fun with it, change things up. Make the first day of school a fun one. This could mean special breakfast, a fun outing, or doing more creative learning on the first day.
Use this time to rework your schedule.
Summer months are a great time to work on schedule issues that may have prevented you from thriving in the past. This could mean finding a better routine for meals, setting a new wake up time, or giving the kids a chance to tell you which subjects they would prefer to work on first. Sometimes using the Summer to rework your schedule can help you to truly thrive in the coming school year.
Make sure to buy any supplies or manipulatives.
There are few things more frustrating than setting up a lesson only to find that you don’t have the supplies you need. Take some time to go through the beginning of your curriculum. Make a list of supplies and manipulatives you will need for the coming year. It will help you to use the Summer months to find the best deal possible on these items and prepare in advance.
Reorganize your school room.
Once you purge all of the supplies you don’t need from your homeschool, it’s a great time to find a new way of organizing your homeschool. Sometimes we need to tweak things. I know that for us, our homeschool setup has changed from year to year and sometimes in the middle of the year. It’s completely ok to rework your homeschool room, change your storage setup, and modify how you store your school.
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