There is a lot of planning that goes into starting out the new school year. You spend lots of time researching curriculum. You buy school supplies and curriculum. You spruce up your schooling area. You start filling in the new planner that you hope will make the coming year a better one. If you are a new to homeschooling, you are not sure what those obstacles to your day are going to be. If you are a seasoned homeschooling mom, you remember the past year and hope not to step on those same landmines you did last year.
Then that first day comes, and in spite of all your preparedness, you find that you just can’t be prepared for the obstacles. Every year is different, and every year brings with it its own unique challenges. How do you start off the new year heading in the right direction?
Pray – Remember that we can only succeed at homeschooling through God’s strength and grace. We need to head into the year and the week and the day with prayer. We need to be in God’s Word to help us have the attitude that we want our children to see and to follow.
Grace – We need to give ourselves and our children grace. Sometimes that first week goes off without a hitch, and then after that first few days of happiness, the struggles show their face. We won’t have the all the answers to all the obstacles. You might be dealing with energetic toddlers, and you will need to find ways to include them. You might have a struggling reader who needs more time one on one with you. You will be trying to figure out how to organize your day so that you will accomplish at the end of the week what you want to have accomplished. All of this takes grace, to get you through and keep you moving in a positive direction, even with setbacks.
Start slowly – Some people like to jump in and just start in on a full schedule. I am not one of those people. I like to ease into things. I find that once we have had some time off during the summer, we need time to get back into the schedule of day-to-day schooling. We start off with one or two subjects and get into a groove with those before we start adding more. It helps us figure out how to manage our day-to-day schedule. It helps us see how long we need to spend with a subject. This is the fabulous freedom that we have as homeschoolers.
The sun will come up tomorrow. If things don’t start off as smoothly as you envisioned, know that you can always adjust. And… tomorrow is another day. You have the freedom to adjust things, move things, and find a better place in your schedule for whatever needs adjustment. If you need to take a couple of days off and come up with a new game plan, you can do that.
Enjoy the journey!
Angela is a homeschooling mom of two beautiful children. She had a change of heart about homeschooling when it was time to enroll her sweet daughter in school. She now blogs about her journey with homeschooling at Homeschooling — A Change of Heart. She is married to her best friend Jeff. Two weeks out of every month Angela holds down the home front while Jeff travels for business. Angela loves to learn about photography and see what she can capture behind the lens.