Preparing for Home School: 10 Tips to Launch a Great Year
It is summer. Whew! You have made it through a whole year of homeschool, taking charge in your child’s education and teaching them—not just school subjects but how to live healthy, productive, curious, and spiritual lives. Hopefully you’re able to take a break this summer and regroup. We have some ideas for how you can use your family’s educational hiatus to recharge, keep them learning, and prepare yourself for the coming year.
Take some time to recharge.
You worked hard this year to make sure your kids are getting the best education possible, and you’ve earned a little break. Spend some time under a tree with a book, visiting with friends, communing with God in scripture, or whatever it is that will help you come back into the next school year feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Take your kids on adventures outside.
Make nature your classroom! A camping trip or hike can be a perfect opportunity for them to keep learning. Here are some ideas for outdoor educational projects.
Review and file last year’s work.
Homeschooling your children requires a strong system of organization, and often the systems that will work well for each family require a lot of trial and error. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your organization failed you. Consider what aspects worked well for your family and what didn’t, and organize the work your kids did over the last year. As you are going through these assignments, consider which types of work added the most value to your child’s education and interested them the most and aim to focus on those kinds of projects in the coming year.
Look over the curriculum for next year.
If you’ve chosen your curriculum, now is the time to make sure you know what’s coming so you can be prepared. As you look through it you may want to choose some more interactive activities to supplement the material or do a little studying if you aren’t quite confident enough to explain it to your kids. One of the great parts about homeschooling your kids is that you get to constantly update and refresh your own knowledge base.
Make a schedule.
Once you’ve seen the curriculum you can start dividing it up into daily quantities. You can take that information and organize it into a schedule.
Attend a homeschooling convention.
There are a number of reasons to go to a home school convention. Here are a few of opportunities available at home school conventions:
Browse homeschooling products in person and talk to their publishers.
Engage with a larger community of parents who also have decided to home school their children.
Bring your kids! There are fun programs designed for children and teens.
Hear from speakers on solutions a variety of homeschooling needs.
Get encouraged, and inspired for the coming year!
Find used books and curriculum.
Start or join a home school group or co-op.
Partnering with other like-minded parents who are educating their children has a variety of benefits: support from other parents, diversity in expertise among parents, academic advice, exposure to other curriculum and ideas, and peer socialization opportunities. Summer is a great time to see what is out there and find community.
Research field trip opportunities in your area.
Learning beyond the classroom is a major advantage of home school. If you have the time, look for museums, factory tours, or other educational opportunities. Field trips can bring academic content to life, get your kids thinking about jobs that may interest them, and make learning fun. Check out these 50 ideas of possible home school field trips. You can plan to take these trips during the summer, or schedule them throughout the year to supplement your curriculum.
Talk to other homeschooling parents
Other home school parents can give you ideas for the coming year and remind you that you are not alone. You can also gather together to pray for your kids, each other, and the coming school year.
Read up on home school curriculum options.
There are so many teaching philosophies out there for homeschooling. While you have a little time on your hands, take a look at what new research is saying works well for kids, figure out your personal education philosophy, and always stay on the lookout for the next year’s curriculum.
If you’re looking for an alternative homeschooling option, consider online Christian private school. Enlightium Academy (EA) is a great option for parents who want their kid to learn from Christian curriculum, work at their pace, and have a flexible schedule. EA’s teachers are experts in their subject areas who genuinely care about your child and who will provide one-on-one support to your child as they work their way through the curriculum.