Take the Stress Out of Starting After a Long Summer Break
Restarting your homeschool routine after a summer break can be hard – for both you and the kids! Many homeschoolers may do a year-round schedule, taking small breaks throughout the year to alleviate the tension of starting again after a long break. However, it works for many families to take a traditional break during the summer months. And there’s nothing wrong with that! After all, as homeschoolers, we have the freedom to choose our schedule for what works best for our own families.
If you’re a family that takes a summer break, you might find a little resistance that first week of starting learning again. Again, totally normal and totally fine! We have the luxury of starting slow and easing into a regular routine. Not only can that work best for your kids, but it’s also usually easier on you as well!
Here are some tips to help ease you and your kids back into a regular schedule for their school year. A lot of it depends on your homeschool style, the ages of the children, and how rigid of a structure you practice. What is important to remember is that there’s no “right or wrong” – it is what works best for you!
Get Organized. A week or two before you plan to start the school year, take the time to get organized. This includes curriculum, lesson plans, and getting supplies organized. This is a good time to get the kids involved as well! It’s a great time for some “spring cleaning” if they haven’t yet cleared out papers and books from last semester. Let them organize their homeschool space, get supplies as needed, and depending on the age, allow them to be a part of the decision-making as to the books they’ll be reading for the year. It’s easier to restart feeling refreshed and with a clearer mind when everyone is better prepared.
Review Your Plan. This is a good time to look at what changed from last semester, what worked and didn’t work well last semester, and whether you’re changing curriculums or introducing something new. You may decide it’s a good time to add in some extracurricular activities, a co-op, or electives so it’s best to plan for it now.
Allow Your Child to Help Choose. Depending on the “grade” of your kiddo, it might be a good time to discuss with them what really interests them. If they want to learn more about a subject, a language, cyber-security, an instrument, whatever it may be, exposing them to what interests them and giving them the independence to focus on what they are truly interested in will not only get them excited about starting the school year, but it’ll also show them you value their interests.
Ease Back In. Nothing says you have to jump back in with a full schedule on the first designated day of schoolwork. If you have young school-age kids, take the time to start a new read-aloud, play some educational games, or spend some time exploring nature or a fun project.
If you have older kids, you can introduce subjects a week at a time. For example:
- Week one. Math lessons, new read-aloud, or start a new book, and one engaging activity
- Week two. All of the above plus Language Arts and/or Science or History
- Week three. Add back in the rest of the subjects not started yet.
Take a Field Trip. Consider starting the year off with a fun, educational field trip to get their curiosity and minds going again. Check out a local museum, a dairy, a nature preserve, or a tour of a factory or plant. Growing up, I remember going to the Jelly Belly Factory. No, it didn’t make me want to be a factory worker, but it did open up my mind and curiosity as to how things are made, all the moving parts it took to create a product, and how everyone had a part in the delicious finished product. Nothing gives a child a better impression of the real world than hands-on learning!
My Homeschool Hub is a resource for like-minded homeschool parents to benefit from a homeschool community to get support, resources, and tools for successfully homeschooling their children. Have questions or concerns? Our Mentor Moms can help! We can alleviate your worries and help you so that this journey is enjoyable for the entire family.