Pause to consider

Timing sometimes creeps up and bites us on the ankles, making us jump and flail and not accomplish as much as we might with a cool head.

Look at me, for example. I started this “planning” workshop late, and being without Internet the next few days will push it later, and I worry that maybe someone’s waiting for that “gem” that will get the homeschool year off to a good start. (Ah, ego.)

Ok, are you ready? Here are a couple of gems for you. The first is a link, that at the time I post, is still working. It’s good reading, and great food for thought.

Here’s another thought for you. If you’ve pulled one or more children out of school because they weren’t doing well, and you’re in a panic thinking you have to recreate a school day and all those subjects lined up in a row like little tin soldiers on a shelf, think again.

Why would you want to re-create the system that failed your children in the first place?

Don’t be in a hurry to start academics this year. Find some good books to read aloud. If the weather’s nice, pack a picnic and take a blanket and find some grassy, shady place to sit and read together. Take some paper (sketchbooks would be better, if you have them already or can afford to buy them) and pencils and go in the back yard or to a park and everyone (you, too!) find something to draw: a bug, a tuft of grass, a tree, a flower.

Read aloud from good books and get outside every day (Get field guides from the library to identify trees or caterpillars or animals or birds). Play games together. Get the house in order. Go to the library and get a lot of the nonfiction easy readers in subjects that interest your children. (Sports? Insects? Reptiles? Horses? Dogs? Cats?)

I was going to say “slowly add in academics” but reading good books together and doing nature observation *is* academic!

While you’re doing this, you can be reading up on home education, various methods, advice from other homeschoolers. There are a lot of how-to books out there, and a lot of websites that will tell you about homeschooling.

Since I’m going to be “gone” until Friday, let me add this last suggestion.

If you’ve been planning all along, and have a class schedule set up for your studies, you can make it a lot less stressful for yourself and your children if you start small and add to it. What I mean is, we start with our most important subject (Bible and hymn singing) and that’s all we do “school-wise” the first day or two. Then we add math, so all we’re doing the rest of the first week of school, formally, is Bible and math. Then we add another subject, building over the course of a couple of weeks to our full schedule.

I will hope to see you on Friday, if not before!


2 responses to “Pause to consider

  1. I like how you build the curriculum of your home schooled students slowly over time. I think slowly acclimating your students back to learning is a must after a long summer of mental relaxation.

  2. homesweethomeschool

    Thanks! I don’t remember where I first heard that advice (it might have been in Teri Maxwell’s “Managers of their Homes”) but it’s worked very well for us.

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