My oldest son started back to school a couple of weeks ago, and we began our new year of homeschooling last week. Whether we are jumping in after a long summer vacation or a short Christmas break, starting back is always a little difficult. Always. This year is no exception.
Here’s some things I tried to keep in mind (so I wouldn’t lose my mind) last week:
—Don’t try to do too much. I usually like to jump into the school year with a full lesson plan and my red pens blazing. Not this time. For our first week of homeschooling, we only did a few subjects, and we didn’t do work on our Dad’s day off. We mostly just reviewed things from last year and got started on a couple new things the kids were excited about. I enjoyed the slow start so much that I’m planning on doing the same thing next year.
—Don’t be surprised by struggles. I expected some frustrations. It’s hard for kids (and us grown-ups) to get back into the discipline and routine that school requires. Even with our easy-going start, there were still a few complaints and difficult attitudes.
—Don’t push too hard. I tried to evaluate the issues that were important to me and be a little lenient about the ones that weren’t. I was strict about things that might set a bad precedence (like not writing in complete sentences), but let some other things slide if I didn’t think they would cause a problem in the future.
—Don’t expect to get much done besides managing school. My To Do List looks pretty much the same this week as it did last week. Somehow, even simple things like throwing in a load of laundry were almost too much for me. I just didn’t have extra time or energy.
—Don’t forget to smile. I handed out stickers, gave fun snacks, and went on a walk. I tried to set things up for a good year instead of sending the message that I’m planning on being a drill sargent or that schoolwork can’t be fun.
We are doing full-scale school this week, so I’m following these tips for a few more days (at least). I’m trying to be patient and loving in spite of the inevitable trials that pop up during a transition (and boy, they sure do pop up!). I’m also finding that I need to cling to God’s Word and pray for His grace to make it through. Always.
Have you started back to school (whether traditional or homeschool)? Leave a comment to tell us how it went!
This post is linked to Raising Homemakers.