The new school year is approaching quickly! Many of you have already started school already, but some of you, like me, are stretching summer out as long as we can and waiting to officially start after Labor Day (can I get an amen?).
Well, my tip to share with you today is something I learned years ago, that I thought might be of some value to you. I shared it with some friends this past weekend and they liked it so I thought maybe you would too! Here it is....
A while back I would try to start the first school on a Monday...then I would have to do school for the next five days. I found that challenging to do with the little ones, especially trying to adjust to a full day schedule of all subjects. I would feel depleted by Tuesday! (moms of small children--can I get another amen?)
So I started doing our first day of school on the THURSDAY before Labor Day.
And we would have a party instead.
Yes, a back to school party to get them all excited about coming back and having fun! We would have a special breakfast, games, outdoor sport competitions, treasure hunt---and oh yes---we would also look at our new books and write our names in them and check them out. We would also learn about where our school spaces where that year and guidelines we needed to follow to ensure maximum peace in our home (ha!). I would also like to print out some back to school crossword puzzles, word searches and coloring pages for the younger ones to display everywhere for dad when he got home.
Then on FRIDAY we would have a half day of school. Doing about one page of workbook out of each subject and some light reading and feeling out our schedules and books. Then we have the three day weekend. I use the weekend to plan more, adjust things I think might not work and pick up any last things I may have forgotten (like more play-doh to keep the twins occupied!).
This makes it alot easier on me to get adjusted and not feel overwhelmed in having to approach a five day school week and gives me a little room to adjust and ease our entire family into the schedule. When Tuesday arrives, we dive right in and still only have a four day week for the first week instead of the FIVE. Doing this simple rescheduling for our first has really helped so much for us to look forward to the coming school year and slowly easing us into our schedule.
To break up the routine of the week, we also have FRIDAY FUN DAY. We use this day to get in things like crafts, art class, science experiments, educational boardgames, sewing and cooking projects, and more hands on types of things that require more time and don't fit well into the rest of the week. The children always look forward to this day and so do I! It is nice to know that the extracurricular projects have a day to fall on without interfering on their regular school days Monday-Thursday. This way we get more accomplished and crafts, etc. will get done. The only regular class we still do is Math in the early morning!
We love going on field trips as a family, but we don't love the astronomical prices. So before your school year begins, I like to do a search of all the free days in our area to the local museums, aquariums, planetarium, zoo and so forth and actually pencil them into the planner. This way we don't miss them and save LOADS of money!
Our library has free classes for children where they get to read books and do crafts, and also teach crocheting, knitting, embroidery and papercrafts. Our nearby library also offers free sewing and a chess club. There is alot of opportunity to try different things without paying alot of money but again, they key is writing them down and remembering to do it. Don't forget that Michael's also offers free craft classes for kids every weekend (sometimes you might need to pay a small materials fee.)
Stay tuned for next week where I will be sharing my annual Homeschool Rooms of 2011 post!
Now do you have a homeschooling tip to share with us?We'd love to hear it!