Get Ready for a New Homeschool Year
I like doing DIY jobs around my house. The result and sense of accomplishment are great. I also just like projects and I like to stay busy. When I find something I want to do, I of course do some research to figure out what tools and materials it requires and exactly what it’s going to take to do the job. I can even often find step-by-step instructions on what to do to accomplish the project I have chosen.
Of course, they want to make it look easy, so even if there are 10 steps to complete the project they often make the post short with simple, straight-forward text and fun pictures to make it feel like it will take no time at all. One thing I have noticed with DIY projects is that it almost always takes longer than you think. The other thing I have noticed is that the section on prep, while mentioned and verbally emphasized as important, doesn’t ever really give you a full understanding of just how important the preparation is to the whole project.
It is no different from getting ready for school!
One of the most important things for the start of a new year is the preparation you as the teacher put into what you are teaching.
Here are four steps that you should do to get ready for the new homeschool year:
Familiarize yourself with the curriculum you have chosen
Take some time to look through and read the teacher books, the student books, and any
resources that you have so that you get very familiar with the curriculum. You should know
how to find things, what the flow of the curriculum is, and generally how you will use the books
Make a plan for at least the first 6 weeks of school
If you have taught in brick and mortar schools you know they make lesson plans and often
have them for the entire year before they begin school. If you are new to homeschooling you
may not know that it doesn’t always work that way with homeschooling. I would encourage
you to NOT make lesson plans for the entire year. Make them for about the first 6 weeks or so
to get you started. You may find that the curriculum isn’t working for your student, you need to
adapt a lot of the curriculum or that it works great. But if you have spent valuable time
prepping and then you switch curriculum you will be frustrated. Or worse you may choose to
keep going since you have so much time invested in that particular curriculum even though it is
not a good fit for your student.
Once you are familiar with the curriculum and you have a basic plan for the first 6 weeks, you need to make sure that you have everything you need accessible for both you and your
student. Not just everyday items like paper, pencils, rulers, etc. but also the special items for
projects and experiments. Keeping high use items on hand is so helpful for those moments of
inspiration and spontaneity in your homeschool life.
Get your student organized
Remember you are both the teacher and the mom now so you need to not only get yourself
prepared for teaching but also get your student organized so they can find what they need
easily and without your help.
You can start out your year on a high note by having done the necessary preparation for the school year. You can always tweak things as you go. You can add or revise lesson plans and rearrange things that aren’t working well. But you should always start with a plan and a routine to best help students.
Don’t just survive...THRIVE!