Tag Archives: schedule

Easing into School

Remembering back to my elementary, middle, and high school years, the first days of school were always an exciting time when I met my teachers and found out who shared my classes. Then the teachers went through the school handbook and discussed all the rules. Though we may have had a homework assignment or two, it was a good way of “easing” into the new school year.

Well, my kids already know their teacher and classmates, and the rules of the house are still the same. Because of this, I tend to want to jump back into school “full steam ahead.” I have to remind myself that we haven’t been on a regular schedule for a while, and it might take a few days to get into a regular routine again.

But there are things we can do to make the change easier for us all to adjust to:

  • We’ll spend time talking about the subjects they’ll be learning, and how and when I can help them individually. We’ve had the problem in the past of one student interrupting me while I was trying to help another. This time, they’ll know just what to expect.
  • I’m not assigning them work in every subject…yet. We’ll tackle a few of the basics first, especially reading and writing. I’ll introduce the other subjects as the week goes on and they’ve had time to readjust.
  • Although the kids are going to wake up at the same time and eat breakfast together, they’re going to go through the day at their own pace.  Some of my students will get right to it and get things done, while others will work in a much more leisurely manner. I’ve found it only frustrates all of us when I try to keep everyone on task together.
  • We’ll play some educational games together.
  • We’ll plan an outing with friends towards the end of the week, giving them something special to look forward to.

Even if you homeschool, or rather, especially if you homeschool, those first days can still be an exciting fresh start!


Photo by earl53


The Best-Laid Plans

img_1852We began this past school year in early August. I printed off calendar pages and marked in our school days to 180. I planned for our breaks around holidays and family visits. By all calculations, we would be finished in early to mid-May.

Now it’s mid-May, and I’m looking again at the number of school days we have left – more than a few. I’m also looking at the amount of work we still need to finish – also quite a bit. So what happened? To paraphrase John Steinbeck, the best-laid plans of this homeschool mom often go awry.

Each year, I plan out our school days, and each year, life always alters those plans. This year we had some health issues, family issues, and financial issues to deal with, all of which didn’t work into my scheduled days. So, once again, we’ll be schooling into the summer in order to be ready for the next school year in the fall.

But that’s one of the advantages of homeschooling. Life brings challenges to everyone, but when you’re homeschooling, you have the time to step back from the studies and work them out. If you’re child has a behavioral problem, you can cut back on the math assignments and deal with it. If a struggling friend needs someone to talk with, you can delay the history lesson for a day. If a family member is facing a health crisis and needs extra help, you can pack up the kids and the schoolbooks and lend a hand.

I know I’m easily distracted by minor things that come up, and I need to be diligent in helping the children get their schoolwork done. But as a homeschooler, I can also feel the freedom to take care of bigger problems when I need to, knowing that there’s always the summer to catch up. I just have to convince my children that year-round schooling isn’t so bad.