ParentsPlanning
  1. Focus on the positive.

    If your kids are dragging their feet at the thought of going back to school, remind them what they have to look forward to! It’ll make jumping back into it more fun.

    Keep a journal or notebook nearby during lessons. When something great (or hilarious or “unforgettable”) happens, write it down.

  2. Pick a theme verse or quote each week.

    You can choose it. Your family can find it together. Or a different family member can pick it out each week to encourage a sense of ownership.

    Come back to your theme each day of the week. Say it together. Make an art project or song out of it.

    If it’s a verse, read the whole chapter together. If it’s a quotation, find out more about the person who said it.

    It’s amazing how a few words can set the tone for the entire day! As Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

  3. Pray.

    We forget to pray, or we wait until we’re totally overwhelmed.

    If you need motivation to drag your kids (or yourself) out of a cozy bed in the morning, He’s there.

    If you feel alone, He’s there.

    If you need help taking it one day at a time, He’s there.

  4. Evaluate last semester.

    Think through a typical day or week.

    What worked about your routine? What didn’t?

    What did your children love? What did they not love?

    What worked for you? What didn’t?

    Do any days stand out as your favorite? How can you create more like that?

    Keep these answers handy for step 5.

  5. Plan.

    Create a plan based on your answers in step 4. It can be more fun than it sounds!

    For example, if you noticed that focus goes out the window at a certain time of day, try adding a break or activity time then.

    Maybe you’ve always started doing school mid-morning, but you’re all dragging by the end of the day. Would it be better to start (and finish) earlier?

    Perhaps you’re used to starting with the least-favorite subject, but your children would look forward to doing school more if you started with their favorite subject.

    Since you’re in a fresh semester, it’ll be easier for you to try out changes in your routine.

    Don’t change just to change, but don’t feel obligated to keep doing school exactly the same way you’ve always done it, either.

  6. Take time today to get ready for tomorrow.

    You can pick out your clothes, your kids’ clothes, plan for breakfast and lunch, etc.

    But it will probably help you most if you go ahead and get everything ready for tomorrow’s lessons (e.g., materials, textbooks, workbook pages, quizzes). Review work from today, look over tomorrow’s lesson plans, and figure out if you need to add in any extra review, etc.

    That way, when it’s time to start, you can start—instead of spending the first five minutes fishing a textbook out of the crack in the middle of the couch.

  7. Use little things to make a big difference.

    Would a new pen or pencil bring a big smile and a joyful start to the day? How about more compliments and words of encouragement? Hugs? A little extra one-on-one time? More music, exercise, or art? A surprise field trip?

    Because you homeschool, you can make special moments happen all the time—after a math test… in the middle of grammar exercises… at 10 a.m. on a rainy Tuesday.

    So don’t focus so much on getting everything done that you forget to include the little things that help make homeschooling so rewarding.

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