Last month, we talked about how to finish last year strong, what to do with all those papers (including the prolific artwork!), and what tools you can use to assess how the year went—plus some ideas for enjoying the summer. (If you are new, you may want to file that post away to come back to later in the year.)
Now, we’re looking ahead to the new school year. Whether you are getting started homeschooling, or you are a seasoned veteran, a new school year is a fresh slate. So here are five tips for a solid start in your new year:
1. Remind yourself why you decided to homeschool. It helps to write the answer on paper. Once you remember your focus, then you can set your goals accordingly. Need help finding or renewing that vision? Check out my article “Back to Homeschool Basics.”
- For those of you who homeschooled last year, the Lessons Learned worksheet we discussed last month can help you evaluate any re-direction for this year.
2. Adjust your plan to meet your new goals. This includes evaluating not only your curriculum options, but your lesson planning as well. Along those lines, these articles may be helpful for you:
And remember that there’s more to your curriculum than just the books. Be sure to think about extracurricular activities and field trips. Don’t have any activities near you? Consider creating your own opportunities!
3. Get a jump on recordkeeping. We get lots of calls from May to July about how to create report cards. You can get a jump on recordkeeping by keeping a running report card file—digital or paper—so pulling it together at the end of a semester or the year is a snap. Our recordkeeping section highlights articles on what to keep as well as resources to help you stay on track all year long, including—drum roll—the oft-requested report card templates!
4. Set aside some time to de-clutter and get the house organized for fall. What does household organization have to do with phonics and multiplication tables? Well, you might be surprised to discover that order in your home can energize your homeschool! And whether you’re a “messy mom” or an organizational queen, here are some articles to equip and encourage you:
- “Organize Your Home, Energize Your Homeschool”
- “Organize Your Home to Create a Learning Lifestyle Environment”
- “Help! I’m Organizationally Challenged!”
5. Focus on relationships. I’d encourage you to remember not just your obvious family relationships, but friendships and mentoring relationships that can keep you refreshed and supported. Some helpful reading for you:
- “‘Jump Start’ to a Joyful Year”
- “The Life-Changing Gift of Friendship”
- “You Aren’t in This Alone”
- And many other articles in our Encouragement section
As you plan ahead to make this coming year a time of learning, discovery, growth, and meeting new challenges, remember that HSLDA’s educational consultants are here to come alongside members, to cheer you on, and to help equip and encourage you on your homeschool journey. We’re just a phone call or an email away!
Photo Credit: iStock.