Dear New Homeschool Mamas,
Take a deep breath. It is going to be ok. I know you’re excited. That is good. Excitement is good. This journey you are about to embark in is amazing and exciting and no one can prepare you for it.
I know you are scouring Pinterest and feeling simultaneously inspired, and completely overwhelmed at all the amazing homeschool rooms you see and the creative projects.
You want to rip the curriculum open and just dive in right this second. But since you want to give your kids a summer, you are waiting and trying to calculate the earliest week you can get started teaching the amazing curriculum you have chosen. And since you can’t start teaching, you have broken out…..your organizational skills.
Organizing your first year of homeschool is like nesting for your first baby.
- You obsess over paint colors for the room,
- Budget for the perfect furniture,
- Wait with baited breath for the back to school sales so you can load up your room with every school supply you can imagine.
Or you do what I did and try to figure out how you can homeschool at your kitchen table, and where to store all of the school stuff without your toddlers getting into it. I remember thinking it was going to be next to impossible because open bookshelves were an invitation to play and so much fun to empty the moment I turned my back.
Organizing is a form of processing and thinking through this really crazy new thing that is going to happen in the year ahead.
However, here is my word of caution. You can over plan. My advice to all new homeschool parents is to
- figure out your curriculum and prepare for that first week.
- When the first day of school arrives teach the first week.
Don’t go crazy making a year long plan until you see how things go. Maybe your first week’s plan is perfect and won’t require any tweaking. Most likely it will. Give yourself the freedom (and a little budget) to figure the nitty gritty day to day details out as you go along.
I’ll give an example. I’m using a boxed curriculum for my two youngest this year. I thought that I would definitely need to add math to it because my oldest son needed supplemental math in kindergarten. Guess what? My middle son was absolutely dying with the addition of math. He was perfectly fine with the math that was included in the curriculum. If I had planned out a whole year of math and made all those copies it would have been a complete waste of time. Luckily I only wasted a week’s worth of time.
What can you do over the summer?
Think about the environment.
- Will your child like a desk or a table surface to complete their daily work?
- Will they prefer a clipboard on the couch?
- Do you have space to make a cozy reading nook?
There is no way to find these things out until you get going but you can think ahead about some of the options you want to make available!
Most importantly spend some time preparing yourself. Is there a novel you are dying to read? Read it! Is there a room you want to paint? Paint it! Make a list of the priorities that you have for yourself.
- Time in the Word
- Time with a favorite inspirational book
Now is the time to figure out how those things are going to fit into your day! Don’t save them until last, fit them in now! Fit the school day around them!
And as a total side note. You got this! You are going to have an amazing school year!
An Imperfect Homeschooler
(who wasted a lot of the year before her first son started kindergarten preparing for the wrong thing.)