First days back 2 school

Many moms around the world worry about the first days of school.  Homeschool moms worry about starting homeschool too.  And new homeschool moms worry even more.

May I offer some gentle advice?

  • Just start slowly.
  • Don’t try do the complete schedule.
  • Ease into your schooling.
  • Go gently.

Just remember that the professional teachers spend much of their first weeks of school doing orientation; they hand out new books, explain note-taking, give an overview.  They don’t jump straight in with the full program.

Here’s some tips that I still use after all these years ~

Set up your school area the night before (I like to do this as a surprise for the kids!)

  • Put tables, stationary and books/workboxes/or files in order.
  • Write a welcome note on the whiteboard or prayerfully write to each child and place a personal note on each child’s place.
  • Arrange the CD and music player ready with your song or praise and worship for circle time.
  • Get into a simple “Early to bed & early to rise” routine.  Chat and pray with each child before bedtime.

On your first day ~

  • Wake half an hour earlier than the family, make yourself a cup of tea, have your quiet time and pray.  Commit your plans to the Lord and surrender all to Him.
  • Gently wake the kids and get them into their morning routine and chores.  (I like to have a “test-run” a day before school and start the school morning routine a day earlier than the actual day.)
  • Have a simple but nutritious breakfast, or go ahead and make it something special!
  • At the agreed starting time, start school.
  • I like to start each year in a circle or on the couches.  Start with a chat about the year, the themes, some planned highlights and goals.  Let the kids talk about what they expect, what they are afraid of, what they look forward to.
  • Then pray about all these things.
  • Sing and learn a memory verse for the week.  Make it fun!  Chose something really simple and easy.
  • Now chose what you will do the first week.  Either just do some basics3Rs (Maths, Reading and Handwriting) or just do your Core (History, Literature study)for the first week.  Tell them that next week you’ll add the rest of the subjects, but this week they must just do their very best with the easy schedule.  (They may beg you to do it all!  If they seem relaxed and the work done was excellent, then, by all means, do your full plan.)  If things are really awful and stressed, just cuddle and read a story together.
  • Include a lovely tea break with some healthy snacks.
  • Plan some fast fun & games for in between lessons if children get fidgety.

Create precious memories from these moments ~

  • Take some “First Day” photos of each child.
  • Prepare a special breakfast.
  • Ask Dad to give a “Welcome To School” speech. (My hubby is our homeschool “Principal”!)
  • Give each child a small gift – some stationary/ stickers/ new hair accessories for their first day.

I trust this encourages you.

Blessings as you prepare and plunge back in, Nadene

Back to School Basics

https://i2.wp.com/drpfconsults.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/When-Should-Toddlers-Start-School.jpg

Whether you are beginning school or just getting back into a new year or term, here are some basics that have helped us:

Prepare

I do this at the end of the term, and a few days before school starts. The more prepared I am, the better my days flow.  There is nothing more stressful than starting off “on the back foot”!

  • prepare my files and notes
  • fill in my planning pages
  • organize all the books and downloads
  • photocopy notebook pages and lapbooks
  • rearrange the whiteboard and displays with new themes
  • clear out and re-stock stationary and art and  craft supplies
  • sort and purge/ pack away the books and educational games we no longer use

I like to prepare my children and …

  • mark off the start date on the calendar
  • count down sleeps (for young children)
  • have a “final fantastic fun holiday” day/ picnic/outing
  • re-arrange their school desk and supplies
  • write a welcome note and/or place a gift at each place
  • have a “practice run” wake up, chores and breakfast the day before school

Start Simple

I like to start school on time and keep the basic schedule,  but I prefer to start a new year with a “sampler day“:

  • keep lessons to 10 minutes and no longer than 20 minutes each.
  • do just a little really well
  • do only the basics – Bible reading, song and prayer, followed by maths, dictation or copywork, language arts, spelling and reading
  • have a nice tea time treat and a quick physical exercise or count & clap game
  • do a core read aloud with a short narration (usually oral if children are young)
  • I tell them that the next day/ week we may do 1 more subject or activity each day, but stop when it is lunchtime.  
  • It really doesn’t matter if you have not “done everything”.  Within a short while, everyone will master the basics and have enough time to tackle longer assignments or activities and cover all the subjects for the week.

Most children are tired and a little discouraged after they complete their first day.  They have forgotten maths skills or “lost” their neat handwriting muscles during the break!  This is when a read aloud really helps.  We go to a comfy spot and snuggle up to listen to a story.

Have realistic expectations, but keep your hope and compassion high!  Homeschoolers are so blessed – moms can give lots of cuddles, hugs and loving touches during difficult times.

When I try to establish new routine,  I avoid all unnecessary outings, extra-murals and visits for a week.  We stay home, keep things simple and focused and calm.  I cook simple, nutritious meals and snacks, and we try to have early bedtime.  When children go to bed happy, confident and calm, I find that they generally are more enthusiastic about new challenges. Starting school after a long break (or for the first time) is very stressful. 

May you have happy new beginnings!

Blessings,

Starting School ~ those first days …

Many moms around the world worry about the first days of school.https://i0.wp.com/farm3.static.flickr.com/2499/3928914499_43366dcce7_z.jpg

Homeschool moms worry about starting homeschool too.

New homeschool moms worry even more.

May I offer some gentle advice?
  • Just start slowly.
  • Don’t try do the complete schedule.
  • Ease into your schooling.
  • Go gently.

(Just remember that the professional teachers spend much of their first weeks of school doing orientation; they hand out new books, explain note-taking, give an overview.  They don’t jump straight in with the full program.)

Here’s some tips (that I still use after all these years …):

Set up your school area the night before:

(I like to do this as a surprise for the kids!)

  • Put tables, stationary and books/workboxes/or files in order.
  • Write a welcome note on the whiteboard or prayerfully write to each child and place a personal note on each child’s place.
  • Arrange the CD and music player ready with your song or praise and worship for circle time.
  • Get into a simple “Early to bed & early to rise” routine.  Chat and pray with each child before bedtime.

On your first day:

  • Wake half an hour earlier than the family, make yourself a cup of tea, have your quiet time and pray.  Commit your plans to the Lord and surrender all to Him.
  • Gently wake the kids and get them into their morning routine and chores.  (I like to have a “test-run” a day before school and start the school morning routine a day earlier than the actual day.)
  • Have a simple but nutritious breakfast, or go ahead and make it something special!
  • At the agreed starting time, start school.
  • I like to start each year in a circle or on the couches.  Start with a chat about the year, the themes, some planned highlights and goals.  Let the kids talk about what they expect, what they are afraid of, what they look forward to. Ask them to use one word descriptions to express the qualities they want to see from their mom/ teacher and of themselves. (We wrote all these words on a page and stuck it on the board.)
  • Then pray about all these things.
  • Sing and learn a memory verse for the week.  Make it fun!  Chose something really simple and easy.
  • Now chose what you will do the first week.  Either just do some basics3Rs (Maths, Reading and Handwriting) or just do your Core (History, Literature study)for the first week.  Tell them that next week you’ll add the rest of the subjects, but this week they must just do their very best with the easy schedule.  (They may beg you to do it all!  If they seem relaxed and the work done was excellent, then, by all means, do your full plan.)  If things are really awful and stressed, just cuddle and read together
  • Try have a lovely tea break with some healthy snacks.
  • Include some fun & games in between lessons if they get fidgety.

Make these precious moments matter:

  • Take some “First Day” photos of each child.
  • Prepare a special breakfast.
  • Ask Dad to give a “Welcome To School” speech. (My hubby is our homeschool “Principal”!)
  • Give each child a small gift – some stationary/ stickers/ new hair accessories for their first day.

I trust this encourages you.

Blessings as you plunge in,