Christmas is next week, and for some homeschooling families, this time of the year marks around halfway through the school year. While many families take a break around the holidays, it can feel like only a short rest before jumping back into the daily school routine.
How do you stay the course for the homeschool year to make it to the finish line? Here are 5 ideas of things you can do in the next week or so to help that happen:
1) Take a complete break before school starts.
This may sound like the opposite to gearing up for the new year, but taking a true break this next week (or two) is key to hitting the ground running.
We all need time to refresh and replenish, and this is true for both students and teachers. The week before and of Christmas are also often so busy with their own activities and preparation that it is helpful to carve out some true rest time around them. The break will only help re-energize you all for the school times ahead.
2) Reflect on what worked and what didn’t.
Before school starts again after the break, take a quick minute to assess what has been working and what hasn’t been this school year.
Perhaps you come to the conclusion that you need to switch curriculum (check out these great ideas first!). Maybe a better morning routine would really equip your family to get school days off to a good start.
Whatever you come up with, putting an action plan in place to address things you’d like to change will be easier with challenges identified.
3) Refocus on your values, goals and reasons for homeschooling.
After several months into the school year, it can be a good time to bring to your mind afresh why you are homeschooling and the longer-term perspective of what you are accomplishing through it.
We all have times when it can be discouraging or overwhelming when we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Stepping back from the here and now lifts our sights on the goals we are aiming for and the vision we set before ourselves when we said yes to this journey.
Reading through encouraging articles and resources (see here for a list of some possibilities) can also spur you on as you determine to stay the course this next session of homeschooling.
4) Plan at least 2 fun field trips between the start and end of the next school period.
Adults and children alike love having something special to anticipate and look forward to in the near future. Penciling in at least 2 fun local field trips (or out of town if you’re feeling extra adventurous!) can be a great way to motivate and excite everyone about this coming school session.
You can tailor these field trips to your children’s ages, your family’s budget and interests. They can be to locations that are old favorites or exciting new locations. If your children are old enough, you can even involve them in the selection process – they will love it!
5) Think of one thing to make the first day of the new school session special.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Maybe it’s a special breakfast or a game you play together before lessons begin. Connecting with your children is priceless, and often it only takes putting a little extra time and effort into making something ordinary just a bit more unique and exciting.
Again, your children’s ages and interests will help guide you as to what would be meaningful to them as a special “first day” experience. The main thing is to keep it simple yet special and it will help launch the new school season with wonderful memories.
Staying the course this homeschool year thus far has taken persistence and dedication. Just like anything worthwhile in life, there are exciting, fulfilling days along with frustrating, challenging days. By following these ideas of things to do to make this next stretch of homeschool more enjoyable, hopefully parents and students alike can find motivation, balance and rejuvenation heading into the next school session.