Seriously this is what I deal with day in and day out people!!! (okay…they are pretty fun..but..we don’t get alot accomplished when we are in ‘these’ moods!)
To be serious about what is involved in ramping up a homeschool semester…here are some of the things a homeschooling family needs to do:
1. Audit their curriculum choices. Are they still appropriate for your child’s new quirks and talents? Do you need to adapt a new curriculum to new needs or life situations?
[this is what we are doing this year. It is, honestly, a monumental task to be sure that we are making the correct choices, that the curriculum chosen will be money well spent, that it will be a FUN way of learning for our students...]
2. Just like everyone else in the US, homeschoolers have a “List” of “Needed School Supplies”. The difference? Ours is not issued all at once. It happens almost every ‘week’ versus once/semester.
“Oh, we are doing a science lab on evaporation next week, need to be sure and snag an empty 2 liter. ” or “We are into the area of Math where a algebraic calculator is needed. Need to look for one of those.” See the difference? It is ongoing.
My eyes are always peeled for a “Sale” on supplies I think we “might” need.
[which is one of the reasons so many homeschooling families have supplies coming out of their ears! We buy it cuz we ‘might’ need it and don’t want to ruin a day of school because we did not have the right supply.}
3. Prepping our students! Not as easy as you might think. Some think it looks like this….”Trey, it’s 3:00pm. You’d better at least get a chapter of reading in today before you go to Tae Kwon Doe.”
“Okay kids. We have our new homeschool uniforms hand-sewn and ready! They are laid out on your bed. We want you to be dressed, at the breakfast table by 7:30am where we will do devotions then you each have your pre-printed lessons for the day. Today’s work will only be about 8 hours of study! After that, however, you all have violin lessons with Dad.”
In REALITY..it is more like: “Guys…We are starting school next week. If you need to sleep in that is fine but you are expected to get all of your work done before have ‘freedom’ to do anything else. I will be working with the little kids from 1pm-3pm. I am available for questions and help after that.”
Yep…it doesn’t have to be super-complicated. Our kids are used to “just getting back into the groove of ‘school’” with a big deal or hoopla. Sure, we have some “first day of school” treats and take pictures but…after that hour or so..it is really just back to ‘normal’.
We find that our kids are MUCH happier once school is “back”.
Do they complain? Sure.
Do they wonder if public school is easier? Sure.
However, they are getting old enough to compare notes with their friends and are beginning to realize that homeschool is a pretty sweet gig if you let it be.
4. The Teacher’s Life. Ha. It’s sorta “gone” in a way. It always takes me a few weeks to “find myself” again after formally starting a new semester.
I think it’s really just my personality because I jump from one thing to the next and don’t really “settle” until after some time has passed.
I do not feel ‘bitter’ that I am ‘stuck at home with my kids’. Honestly, I would be miserable without them.
As much as my husband is ‘supposed’ to love earning an income and enjoying his career, I -too- am earning an income (it is just not in dollars but in memories and moments) and I enjoy my ‘career’.
I NEVER EVER expected to be a homeschooling Momma.
This is our 11th year. It still seems odd to me. However, I also feel proud of myself because I’ve somehow managed to do this.
5. Addressing Special Needs. If you have a Special Needs student and you are in the public school system, you have already or soon will meet with his teachers, school social worker, school therapist and set up “goals” for the year.
Instead of having all those people at our meeting, my husband, myself, and God figure out what is needed for our kids with Special Needs.
We have therapists, social workers, and experienced special needs teachers whom we rely on and have access too.
But we do it at our own rate, at our child’s timing, and within our family calendar. We are most always present during any therapies so we can continue that therapy at home.
6. Organization. Oh my! I have tried EVERYTHING! From a “one room schoolhouse” kinda thing to each kid has their own folder to work out of to sitting at kitchen table while schooling.
It was nice, until recently, to have “school” in ONE room. In fact, that is, over the years, what had worked best for us.
Everything was kept there, including my ‘master control station’ of a desk, the kids’ desks, all the bookshelves, etc.
This way I could ‘keep track’ of the kids, if they were staying on task, if they had questions I was right there.
However…being ‘at my desk’ during school hours got to be a smidge trying when I was / am dealing with Post Traumatic Stress. The noise, clutter, etc made me feel completely overwhelmed.
This year, we have remodeled our downstairs to include an enclosed “Library”. (a remodel we’ve talked about for awhile)
This is where all the homeschool stuff will be held, organized, etc but there will no desks, etc., in there. Just “books” and necessary supplies.
My “master control station desk” (it is purple by the way will be placed in front of the library. I will be ‘available’ to the older kids as they work but they are no longer going to be working right in front of me.
They are old enough, now, to pick their own, private spot…and focus on their work. I think they will really enjoy this. It will also spread out the noise!
Having this set-up will also allow me to have school with Aven without interrupting her brothers’ concentration. To school Tye without him feeling like everyone is ‘listening’ to him and making him feel shy.
I think that is enough for now…yes?!!
It, truly, is a large under-taking each August (or whenever we ‘start’ school that year) to make sure all of our “ducks are in a row”.
It is, as you see, still an adventure as is the traditional “Back To School” journey. Just a little bit different.
We take homeschool very seriously (don’t let the video fool ya and feel that, since we feel this is best for our kids, have a duty to – in fact – make it the best option for them!
Open to any and all questions….about HOMESCHOOL that is
yes..I laugh obnoxiously whilst on video and in real life. whatever!