Another school year done. Another school year planning in the works. It was a good year. Really, probably the best one. Not bad considering we had SoldierBoy returning from deployment, quickly followed by a cross-country move, quickly followed by the holidays. Come fall, I will have an almost-10 year old and a 6 1/2 year old, plus the 4yo. So I think that moves me into the seasoned homeschooler category. (How did that happen?!) So…in light of that, here are four things that really hit home for me this year.
I determine the day. Mama being on task in the morning sets the tone for our day. Why do I forget this so often?! Limiting my computer time, getting my morning list done quickly. These things help our day start on time and go well. That isn’t to say, of course, that if I start the day well, we are guaranteed to have a good one or starting the day poorly guarantees a bad day. But, at the very least, my frame of mind starting well helps!
Preserve the relationship and shelve it! That math topic that reduces you and your child to tears? Set it aside for two months. Or three. Really. Time really does well. Maybe your child just needs more time for it to click. And maybe you need that time for the topic to not be a trigger anymore. So many times I’ve tried to force something that my kiddo just wasn’t grasping and we’d end up in tears. Sometimes we’d push through it and she’d never really get it but I could mark it off my to do list. (Go ahead and roll your eyes, I am at myself!) The times I was feeling less stubborn, we’d set it aside and pick it up again later. And, like magic, we’d breeze through it! Its the very rare topic that your child MUST get through RIGHT NOW. Really. Being able to shelve something is one of the beauties of homeschooling. (This really goes for any subject/topic…math just seems to be the one that triggers me!)
History is amazing! I learned history the way many of us did–world history one year, US history another and so on. I decided to go with a cyclical study for my kiddos. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned! And how many things I’ve pieced together! And realizing what was happening in one part of the world while something else was going on at the same time? Who knew?!
Schedule your breaks!! We started early last year (mid-July) because I knew we would take most of the fall off with SoldierBoy coming home from deployment, preparing for a move, making the actual move and then the holidays. The early start was great. I didn’t plan, however, any breaks in the spring. We went from January until almost the end of May without any breaks, save the occasional Friday when SoldierBoy had a long weekend. In mid-April, I realized my mistake. Next year I am planning (roughly) to do a six-week on/one-week off plan. Some on times will be shorter/longer than six weeks but it will be close. I am also going to schedule in the occasional Friday off.