I should probably title this blog, buzzkill, because that’s what I’m going to do to you; I’m going to kill your summer vacation buzz. Right now. I’m going to share those three little words that can cause panic in the hearts of moms and dads everywhere; BACK TO SCHOOL! Since I am a home school mom, like many of you, hearing the words back to school can raise my anxiety level for sure. You’re feeling the pressure because you know that the responsibility of your child’s education lies directly on your shoulders. Now that I’ve effectively thrown you into a panic, let me share a few tips and ideas for you as you plan on going back to school.
That might sound like an oxymoron since you do school at your house generally, and you’re not technically going ‘back’ anywhere, but hear me out. You are going back to a mindset and an action, although not necessarily a place. So aside from the physicality of the return, let’s talk about back to homeschooling.
I have been homeschooling for a while now, about eight years or so and for me, the following have been successful in helping us to get through the school year.
-Designate a space in your house for school work. If you can, I find that it works best if you have a room that you can designate to teach in.
-Decorate your space with appropriate items; maps, globes, instructional posters, etc. That helps make it feel more like an actual classroom.
-Set a schedule and try to stick to it. This one is hard, especially for me since I tend to be creative and want to wander off a bit. Keep it loose, if that works better for you, but kids do need structure.
-Welcome your kids back to school with a welcome back note situated at their desk or place at the table for the first day at school. I did this last year, and my middle son asked me if we would do that again. I took that as a sign that it meant something special to him and I’m always looking for things to do to make my kids feel special.
-Recognize their achievements. I have lots of awards certificates, and I hand them out somewhat randomly throughout the year so that they are unexpected little rewards and surprises for my kiddos. They love them!
-Celebrate milestones like graduation! We didn’t celebrate a kindergarten graduation for any of my boys, but we decided to commemorate the end of fifth grade with a graduation. We invited grandparents and a few neighbor kids over and had cake. We even read a speech to our son about his accomplishments and what made us proud of him. It was a special day for not only him, but for the family as well.
-Give your home school a name. We chose our name and even have a mascot (insert child’s eye roll here). Although we will never have an organized sports team, we are a team as a family and that is even more important than being on a soccer team or football team any day.
This is something that we haven’t done yet, but I’ve seen before on Pinterest (ahem) that lots of public schools do. They commemorate the fiftieth day of education by dressing up like the 50’s; poodle skirts for girls and leather jackets and jeans for boys. Click here for a link to Fiftieth Day of School ideas. Also, when the 100th day of instruction passes, the school staff and students celebrate by dressing up as old people with wigs and mustaches and walkers, etc. It looks like a lot of fun!
I hope I’ve helped to make your transition from summer time to school time just a bit easier! And mom, you’ve got this! Happy Teaching!