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Monday, July 18, 2022

5 Back to HOMEschool Tips

 Back to HOMEschool Tips!

It is back to school season, which can very exciting, but also very nerve wracking.  Your child may be sad their neighborhood public school friends are getting on that yellow school bus.  Or you may be comparing your days to happy smiling kids on Instagram with new shoes and backpacks.

Make back to HOMEschool just as fun as the retail market tries to make back to school fun.

Let’s give our kids a tangible ways to celebrate their first day back of homeschool. I believe every homeschool family can find some type of “beginning” to celebrate, even if you’re unschoolers or school year-round. 

Trust me, excitement is contagious. When they are excited, you will be too.

Back to Homeschool Tip #1

Our first day of school is our first half day too! Some of the best advice I’ve ever received from a mentor homeschool mom was to ease into my year with a few subjects at a time. If may be hard for those of you who like to check off all your boxes, but a slow start for the year is a healthy way to allow a students’ confidence to grow for each subject as it comes, and as the teacher I can get a handle on our school year routine. We start history and science on our first week, add math the second week, language arts the third, and by the fourth week we are full steam ahead. The half day also allows us to do some of the other fun first day traditions.

Back to Homeschool Tip #2

A simple treasure hunt gives real joy to your morning, without derailing the schedule for the day. We have four to five simple clues, and the prizes at the end are always inexpensive and related to school. This year the prizes were erasable colored pencils and chewing gum. It is OK that the clues are easy and the hunt only takes five minutes, because the object of the game is NOT problem-solving hard riddles. The object is to start school with fun! I thought my junior high boys would have grown out of this tradition this year, but it was just as exciting as when they were in 1st grade. We have each boy take turns reading and solving a clue. Make sure you have enough clues for each of your children

Back to Homeschool Tip #3

Let’s face it, food talks. Make it a holiday for your kids with their favorite breakfast food. If I’m feeling really overwhelmed , I just go to the store the night before and buy a box of donuts! Kids are not picky when it comes to sugary treats; they just want something out of the ordinary, anything that says “This is a special day!”

Back to Homeschool Tip #4

You may think your big second grader is all grown up, but years from now you will look back at and see how truly tiny they really were. Give yourself grace to be authentic. Last year my kids were freshly bathed with new clothes and a beautifully decorated chalkboard sign on their first morning of school. The next year our “first day of school” pictures took place on the fourth day of lessons at 4:30pm and I had to beg my kids to change out of pajamas! Give yourselves a break! You are the mom, the cook, the principal, security guard, and teacher. It is OK to not be the perfectly scheduled yearbook photographer. The key is documenting the beginning of something new, not how Pinterest-worthy your pictures are.

Back to Homeschool Tip #5

Celebrate your freedom from the public school calendar! Take your family vacation in late August or September, instead of July. Go on a camping trip, or enjoy the quiet beach all to yourself! Go to museums during weekday daytime hours. Invite your homeschool friends to the best park in your town, on a Tuesday at 10:00am! Use this season to revel a little bit in the freedom we have as homeschoolers.

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