Whether it’s your first homeschool day back or your first homeschool day ever, nothing beats a strong start! It’s the secret to homeschool success. Here are some ways to start the new homeschool year strong.
Homeschool success, enjoyed on the first day, only happens after careful preparation. Here are some simple things to do before your first day to get you set up for a strong start.
- When school books arrive, make each child responsible for checking inventory and noting missing items. You’ll probably need to assist younger children.
- Set up a filing system for each child, labeling three folders per subject. One folder will hold quizzes and tests to be taken. The second will contain tests and quizzes to be graded. The third will house graded work used to create the annual portfolio.
- Carefully choose a start date that fits the family schedule. Be sure to avoid other big events.
- Start on a Wednesday. This decreases back-to-school stress.
- Two weeks before your start date, have each child clean his or her school space. Take a day yourself to get things organized. Visualize the “flow of operation” by rearranging children and their stuff based on current needs and physical growth spurts. This allows time to get new furniture if needed.
- If you’re doing Abeka Academy, have your students do an equipment check.
- Plan a Back-to-School Bash. It can be as simple as a pizza party or as elaborate as a weekend getaway.
Make a Transition Schedule
Ease your children back into the school year. Consider an abbreviated schedule to help overcome the initial transition weeks. Here’s an example:
(Wednesday, half-day) DVD, desk equipment setup; make a list of needed school supplies. Shop for supplies and enjoy lunch while out.
(Thursday, half-day) Lesson one for the first half of the subjects.
(Friday, half-day) Lesson one for the second half of the subjects.
(Monday, half-day) Lesson two for the first half of the subjects.
(Tuesday, half-day) Lesson two for the second half of the subjects.
(Wednesday) Lesson three for all subjects.
(Thursday) Lesson four for all subjects.
(Friday) Lesson five for all subjects.
Incorporate the morning routine while transitioning: morning chores, personal devotions, hearty breakfast, and school start time.
Keep things simple during the transition by deep cleaning the house in advance, making sure everyone is getting enough sleep. Freeze casseroles for dinner and provide an especially good breakfast. You can never be too prepared when it comes to food.
Discuss daily (usually at family supper) any issues or concerns that arise. Resolve these issues as soon as possible.