The start of a new school year is an exciting time, but it can also be a source of stress for many families. New supplies, new curriculums, and new technology can all present a challenge, but that’s also part of why it’s so exciting! To make sure your homeschool year gets off to a great start, here are five ways to prepare ahead of time.
1. Prepare Your Space
The right space is crucial to a successful year. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, but your child should have a space they feel comfortable in that they can dedicate only to schoolwork. If you’ve been using the same set up or decorations year after year, it may be time for a change. Refreshing the space can help inspire new ideas and boost motivation. If you have the space, creating different areas for different activities can help young brains associate those locations with specific tasks.
2. Plan Fundraising
Homeschooling can get pretty expensive, especially if you have more than one child that needs curriculums, textbooks, and other teaching aids. A few good fundraisers can help pay for those items as well as things like field trips. Or perhaps you simply want your teen to volunteer hours raising money for good causes. If you don’t know where to start, you might want to try looking up how to create a Giving Tuesday campaign. You can all sit down and discuss causes that are important to you, then find organizations doing important work in those areas.
3. Try a New Wardrobe
Just because your teen is going to school at home doesn’t mean they don’t want to look and feel their best. The chance for a refreshed wardrobe can be a great source of motivation before the school year starts. Plus, chances are your teen’s tastes have changed from last year, and they’d like their wardrobe to reflect that. Having specific school clothes can also help them get into the right mindset every day, and the ability to change into non-school clothes can help them unwind after a day of hard work.
4. Make a Schedule
In order to make sure you’re meeting your goals, it’s important to come up with a realistic schedule. If you have older children, consider letting them give input on how they’d like their day to look. Maybe there’s a subject they’d rather get out of the way early, or a subject they just won’t have the brain power for at the end of the day. This can help them feel involved and help them take some initiative regarding their education. Once you’ve decided on a schedule that works for you, add the details to a calendar that is kept visible throughout the school year. This way there is no confusion about due dates, tests, or other activities.
5. Plan Lessons and Field Trips
Even the best of plans get derailed, so while you don’t need to plan for the entire school year, planning some of them before the school year starts will help you jump right in without worrying about the details. This is also a chance to get some input on the things your children are most interested in studying, as well as a chance to decide on field trips throughout the year. You may also want to think about how you’ll put together a portfolio to showcase all of the hard work that will be completed during the year. Speaking to your children about their goals can help get them excited about new subjects and activities they might have been worried about before.
Getting ready for a new homeschool year can be a lot of work, but it can also be a fun bonding experience for the whole family. If you start early enough, you can tackle one task at a time and gradually build excitement for the new year in a stress-free way.