Back to Homeschool, 3 of 3

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One more week of summer break and then we are off to the races! Maybe you have a few more weeks. But I need to think about starting in a very real way. What is there to do, once you got a plan, organized your schoolroom, and ordered your supplies? Put some finishing touches on your preparation.

Relaxing at the pool

Relax by the pool while you still can.

Start by putting yourself first. As I said in a blog post around this time last year, homeschool moms need self-care. Do you have enough time in the day to exercise and clear your mind at regular intervals? I need about 30 minutes every morning to myself: reading, writing, praying, answering urgent emails or social media communication with my family – these are all important to me as a person. If I do not take care of “me,” it will be incredibly hard to focus on my children’s needs for the rest of the day. Continue reading »

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Back to Homeschool, 2 of 3

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Last week, we analyzed your homeschool’s performance in the previous school year and planned for the next school year. This week, we will spend some time cleaning the school room.

Boy hides behind cape at hairdresser's.

My son hid behind the cape at the hairdresser’s when I took his picture.

Do you have a school room? If you do, chances are you could spend at least one hour organizing its contents. If you do not, you probably have some book shelves and drawers or cabinets for your supplies. It will help you to go through your inventory and determine if you need any school supplies. Soon, stores will be dropping prices on school-related items and you can go there with a clear list of what your need.

Amazon, Rainbow Resource, or other online retailers offer great deals this time of the year, as well. If your children attend a co-op, they probably need a lunch box and a backpack. What about other gear? Special shoes or sports clothing your children have outgrown?

Yesterday, I noticed that my son has grown even more, to make his black dress pants too short for the next school year. He wears them for concerts with the youth symphony or other formal occasions. So I added “black trousers, size 14” to the list of things I need to get for the next year. What about haircuts? Why not get them out of the way now?

In conclusion, don’t think of cleaning the school room as drudgery. Think of it as an invitation to make a shopping list. Shopping for our homeschool has got to be my favorite activity, but I like to know that I have a plan of action and a reason for spending money.

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2016-2017 School Year

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Ready or not, we commence another school year this coming week. I have changed a few things compared to last year. The biggest change is that we will school five days a week. Last year I did six days a week because I wanted to try it.

It was tiring but I just could not let go. I had to take the experiment all the way to the end of the school year.

Father, son and daughter picking up fireworks for July 4th

Picking up some fireworks for the 4th – one of the memories of the summer which is coming to a close slowly but surely

This year, we are going back to schooling Monday-Friday and taking the weekend off. I am hoping this will relieve some of the pressure I felt last year. It will give me a full day to catch up on my writing deadlines and housework. And the kids get a full day to free play. Knowing them, they will spend some of that free time coding on ScratchContinue reading »

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Thoughtful Thursday Week 32 – Back-to-School

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This is our first week of going back-to-school and it has already presented some challenges. But in my second day, God spoke to me through Zechariah 4:6 and reminded me that WHAT we do is not as important as HOW we do it. You may be familiar with Zechariah 4:6: “… not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord.” I would like to submit to you that this verse holds the secret to homeschooling successfully.

The Lord called you to a mission – homeschooling – and He will provide the spirit in which to do it. If you are listening, you will hear His still, small voice and will know to turn this way or that.

Back-to-School

If you go into Strong’s Concordance for the original Hebrew words, you will find that “might” can mean wealth and “power” can mean physical force. The way I see it, homeschooling does not need the most expensive curriculum or an angry call to obeying the schedule. No wonder Charlotte Mason calls it the gentle art of teaching.

You know how some people who are afraid of homeschooling invoke the need for structure in a child’s life? Well, I dare say that a child can have a structured life even without having to be in a school building by 7:50 every morning. A homeschooled child also can learn structure without being a slave to the clock.  Continue reading »

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