As we enter a new year, we tend to set goals and begin to plan to reach those goals. We must get back into the routine of our day. As homeschool moms, we feel the weight of the new year upon us. We feel like we will never get back into the routine and we will never finish the school year. Let me encourage you. Take a breath. A slow and steady homeschool are keywords to repeat this year. January is a month we all feel refreshed. Yet we also feel like it is so far away from the end of the year too. The kids are still wanting to play, yet it is usually too cold or too dreary (depending on your location) where we live. It is time to get back to the school work and our routine.
Back to the Routine
The first week back, I encourage homeschool moms to simply begin with 2 or 3 subjects a day. Just to ease back into the routine. We are not in a race. Remember we are simply trying to teach our children. We can teach them so many things if we only slow down to do so. It is not about finishing the book: it is about learning. The book is a guide but it is not meant to control you in your teaching. We are homeschooling, but we are not behind.
Most of us chose to homeschool to have our kids close. Please, don’t let the textbooks take over your precious time with your children. They grow up so quickly and begin building their own families. Cherish those moments you have now first and foremost. Then when they are older you can cherish those times you have with them rather wishing you had more time with them little again.
The winter months are a great time for hot chocolate and a good book to read to the kids all cuddled up on the couch. That good book could be about something historical for history. Check your curriculum TE for ideas. I know mine had all kinds of resources for me. Be creative and don’t let the hum-drums pull you or the kiddos down.
Best way to get back in a routine is to have a schedule. Do your best to follow the schedule you have come up with allowing for a few weeks to transition. If you find the kids are just not jumping back into the routine like they did before the break, then look at your schedule and make some adjustments. Add some elective activities to get them over the hump.
Maybe add some incentives to encourage them. I used incentive charts and stickers when mine were little similar to these.
Some ideas for these
- finishing math within scheduled time (maybe their hardest subject)
- turning in all their worksheets correctly
- keeping their work area clean
- books read
Don’t create too many of these at a time. Have one or two at most going at one time so they can focus on that incentive. Add to these what they are struggling with and turn it into a positive. There are all kinds of reward ideas that can be found. You could use a reward jar with coupons, extra privileges, candy bar, extra TV time, or computer game time, outside time, skip a day of school and so many more. Only you know what will be a great reward for your child.
I am so thankful my curriculum choice allowed me to be in control of my days. We used BJU Press Distance Learning. When I realized, I wasn’t expected to finish everything in the book or on the video, our homeschool became a place of learning rather than a place of stress and worry.
Remember friend, slow and steady. It is not about finishing the textbook: it is about teaching your children. Teaching is more than academics.
Are you struggling after a long break to get back in the routine? My go-to scripture is Philippians 4:13. Please share with me in the comments if you are struggling in these winter months. I would very much like to pray for you and can give you more ideas in the comments.