Well it’s about to get “real” here today…..I’m going to be pretty transparent about our homeschool year that just ended. Let me say….I’m SO HAPPY we are done with that year! I have several reasons why but let’s just say it was a “not so great” year for us!
After many years of doing school at home I believe if we are honest with one another there are good years and not so good years. There are also good days and not so good days.
For us, it was a year of many transitions that I was just not ready for. Here are a few things as I reflect back on this past school year that I believe made it a “not so good” one:
1. Lack of preparation. Let me first say, I did pre-buy my curriculum and also many school supplies, but I wasn’t as prepared as I could of been. Having a ton of books, videos and sharpened pencils just doesn’t cut it when your trying to school 5 kids for a school year. It takes so much more to be prepared mentally too for the big task of schooling so many children at one time.
Another area I was not as prepared in, was dealing with my one son that needed extra help with dyslexia. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been through many evaluations with him but we were hitting so many road blocks that I was beginning to get frustrated with the lack of help I needed & could find! I’ll be writing more on this later of how we turned the corner and had a major break through & why I’m so excited!
2. LOTS of distractions. Now there were many things that came under this point. One was my oldest daughter leaving for college in another state! Wow…that was really huge for me and the rest of the family. Having a part of your heart going hundreds of miles away can be a huge distraction. It also took a lot to get the “new” family routine up and going. It was a tremendous change and with that came lots of phone calls, texts, e-mails, etc. (Which interrupted our schooling day most of the time)
3. Lost the “fun”. Yup, unfortunately the fun was not there! There were moments and pockets of times but overall, it was lacking something. I’ll have to admit because of the lack of planning, I ended up not incorporating much “fun” things like arts/crafts, cooking/baking, projects, library time, nature walks, creative things, etc. We did do field trips here and there but it got rather boring for me and them just doing workbooks and “the next lesson”!
4. Unorganized. Oh boy, this is a huge one. I am confessing it right now! I was NOT organized like I should of been. This also stemmed from not being as planned as I should of been. It’s all a domino effect. I really set myself for failure not preparing way in advance. Like I said before I was pretty consumed with getting my daughter ready, packed and off to college so that was a big factor in this past school year.
5. Loss of motivation. As with anything, we start off great (well in our case it probably wasn’t the greatest start) but soon into it, you just lose your groove! Everything become stale and old and out goes the motivation! That is not a good place to be. There was better days here and there but overall, I really lost my heart in homeschooling. I easily forgot the reason why I started homeschooling, which is to guide and train their hearts toward the Lord.
Now comes to the exciting part! Let me encourage you if you had a “not so great” school year, there is hope for a better one! I am SO excited for this coming school year I almost wish I could start tomorrow! (Really!)
Here’s a few things I’m doing different for this upcoming school year:
- De-cluttering. This is something I already starting doing. I’ve been working hard at cleaning out lots of junk and stuff from our schoolroom that is weighing us down. Too much clutter makes for frustration. I simply can’t think straight when everything is piled high. Really purging out things we don’t use anymore or don’t need has been very freeing! I’m even making some money on Ebay selling school books which is always a plus!
- Planning ahead. As I do every year I purchase my materials way in advance so I can get a cheaper price and save money on shipping. The books and such have already come in and they will be finding their “new” spots very soon. I’m also planning ahead for “special days” and fun learning activities to break up the school week.
- Incorporating new resources. This one is really huge for me! Like I said before working with a child that has dsylexia can have it’s challenges but finally finding resources for him has been a huge answer to prayer! I’m so excited to begin using some of these new techniques and ways of learning. (I’ll write more about this later in another post)
- Organizing. This is the fun part for me! Sometimes just changing things from how you have been doing things to something new, just helps make things flow better. I’ll be using a workbox system and a notebook system for each of my younger children. This is going to make a world of a difference to keeping things organized!
- Adding “fun”. Let me just say, Mom wants to have fun too. If I’m doing this everyday, why not find fun things that can make the day more enjoyable. Learning can be fun! Planning ahead for crafts, library times, projects, gives everyone something they can enjoy while learning.
So no matter where you are with schooling your children, remember it’s okay to have a “not so great” week, month, or whole school year. It’s normal and you can always learn from your mistakes and weak areas. Don’t lose heart….just give it to the Lord and He’ll guide you to a better school year!
I’m so excited to get our school year in motion. I am enjoying the summer but I’m much more focused this year and being planned ahead, organized, and motivated really helps in making the school year a success!
Do you have “fun” things you plan for your school year? What helps you get ready for a new year of home schooling? I love to hear what works with others!!
***Make note, I’ll be updating soon with the new resources I have found along with a few new systems I’ll be incorporating into our school week. I know if it’s helping me, it may help you too!