August is always that month that is filled with last vacations, trips to the beach or pool, and cookouts.
No one wants to admit the summer to coming to an end, and with it – a new school year is ready to begin.
But as a homeschool parent, or a parent considering homeschooling your child, August also means you can no longer wait to start planning the school year. It’s time to start thinking about books and lesson plans.
To help you get started, Calvert Education has put together some helpful back to school tips to get you into the homeschooling groove. By using these tips, and creating a detailed list of tasks to accomplish over the next few weeks, you and your family will be more prepared, and ready to get back into the flow of learning.
Make sure you have ordered your curriculum, so you can start to outline your child’s education goals for the first few months of the year. Calvert’s Enrollment Advisors can help you understand our curriculum options and help you select a program that meets your child’s educational goals. If you are considering homeschooling for the first time, use our free placement tests to ensure your child is placed at the correct level. Proper placement will help your child become a confident learner.
Once you have your curriculum, start to outline your educational goals, including the areas of learning that need the most attention, the activities you’re planning to do with your children, the homeschool groups (if any) you are going to join, and how your kids will spend their time when they are not learning.
Every homeschool student needs a consistent area that can be their place of learning and work. You may have a different place for art, science experiments, and messy projects (like the basement), but overall, your child needs one place to complete projects and study. It does not need to be an office (kitchen tables are fine), but ideally, the best place for learning is one free from distractions.
Your student also should have easy access to books and supplies they need, as well as ways to keep their subjects and projects organized. When you have your curriculum and outline done, it will be much easier to know what supplies you need, and arrange things in a way that will make the commonly used items most accessible. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas on setting up and organizing your homeschool space.
If your child is old enough, you may have him/her participate in creating their work space with you. This will help make the environment more comfortable, and feel like their own.
For your student, it is highly likely that switching from a summer of fun and relaxation to a schedule of learning won’t be as easy as flipping on a light switch. With that in mind, the last thing you want is a lot of adjustment chaos when your school year begins.
To help your student prepare and get ready for school, we recommend that you ease into a learning routine over a few days.
If your kids have different hours for the school year than summer vacation, start by going to bed and waking up at school year time.
Let them initially do fun things in the morning after they wake up to help them embrace the routine. Then gradually introduce different aspects of how their day will function during the school year.
Routines are helpful for kids of all ages. They also are helpful for parents, especially those new to homeschooling.
A key component to a successful year homeschooling is connecting with support groups and friends. It makes guiding and teaching your child easier when you have a circle of people you can rely on.
Calvert has teacher support and parent groups, that provide easy access to homeschooling experts who can answer your questions. Groups of parents in close geographic proximity to one another can help co-host activities, lessons and other aspects of the homeschool program.
Beyond Calvert, homeschool parents should also make sure they communicate with friends and family. Refresh all your connections prior to starting the school year, and let them know what you are doing. By sharing your homeschooling plans with others, you can create new learning opportunities and have a more successful year.
Every parent-teacher needs a teaching center. This is a place for your books, lessons plans, school materials, forms, administrative paperwork, project lists, and a calendar of each day’s activities.
Make sure everyone in your home can view your weekly calendar with lessons, activities, appointments, and outings. This will help your children learn to budget their time and help everyone in the family be prepared and on time.
Your student has a space for their learning. So, it is only logical that you create a space for yourself as well. It will help keep you, and everyone else, organized and on-target with their learning.
The first few weeks of homeschooling after a summer vacation can be a tough adjustment on everyone. Minimizing the things that could be disruptive to the learning flow is especially important.
For the start of your homeschool year, plan out meals and easy-to-make snacks. Once you start learning with your children, you will be surprised at how quickly the day goes by. Before you know it, it’s dinner time. Encourage your children to help with meal planning, recipe selection, and age-appropriate kitchen and cooking tasks. See our Pinterest boards for easy nutritious meal planning ideas and homeschool lunch ideas.
Homeschooling represents an exciting experience. But it also can be intimidating for some kids, and cause anxiety and concerns about how different their life will be. This is why – before you actually start to homeschool – you should take some time to explain to your young student what your plans are for the school year. Of course, on the flip side, you also want to take time to listen to any concerns from your child. By establishing two-ways of communication before the school year starts, you will have a great system in place that will allow you to address any problems during the school year, and have a better learning experience for both you, and your child.