Does your family need a mid-year homeschool reboot? Each January, we are slow and steady and somewhat reluctant to get back to homeschool. Through the holidays we stay up late, sleep in a little, watch movies and enjoy no schedule. How about you?
We simply enjoy each other. Speaking of enjoying each other…
A long time ago in a childhood far, far away, our Mama came to our elementary school and got me and my brother out of school in the middle of the day. We didn’t want to go the dentist, we said! We didn’t – she took us to the premier of The Empire Strikes Back in Atlanta. We sat on the front row. And we’ve talked about that memory all these years. Over the holidays, my brother and I are took her to see The Force Awakens!!
How To Have a Mid-Year Homeschool Reboot
We play, rest, relax and enjoy. So that’s how we come to find ourselves in need of a mid-year homeschool reboot. Gotta get cracking the homeschool books again. Nothing too drastic but I’ll share what I mean in list form. Because I am a big list maker. You too?
Evidence of homeschool happening! First full day back to school.
Take Homeschool Teacher Planning Days and Start Back Mid Week
Homeschool Planning and Goal Setting at Hodgepodge – I took Monday and Tuesday of this week as teacher planning days! This was a huge revelation for me. The first week of January came fast and I was not ready for full homeschool days. So I gave myself two planning days. Yay! And the children appreciated it too. We started school Wednesday rather than Monday.
Shirley at The Curriculum Choice has some excellent planning tips for the new year. I love this: “Throughout my years of homeschooling, I have found it beneficial to plan some mini-retreats – well a couple of hours at least – to prayerful consider what is or is not working in our homeschool and to spend a bit of time planning; shifting focus if need be and re-aligning priorities to achieve the goals I set out at the start of the new homeschool year.”
Love these crazy kids of mine! And the new year glasses will double for graduation party fun in a few months!
Weekly Homeschool Planning Meetings with Multiple Ages – this week I made a list for each child in a spiral notebook. This was just a reminder of the subjects/goals for each of them. I handed that notebook to my older three and they made plans in their planners.
Back in business for a mid-year homeschool reboot – the homeschool room, at the piano and building with littleBits.
Slow and Steady – We didn’t start really early Wednesday through Friday. We accomplished some good learning. There may have been some dragging of feet. And the children were somewhat reluctant too.
Extracurricular – Middle Girl auditioned for a role in her drama troupe’s production of Disney’s Mulan Jr. All regular church activities started back including children’s choir, puppets, Bible studies and more. Plus piano lessons.
A Few Comforts – 1. Second grader and I decided that homeschool should be by the fire today. Stay warm! 2. “Vacation in a bottle” = stress away. Love a few drops of this blend in bath salts at the end of a back to school day. Love the roll on to carry around in my purse for throughout the day! Just a snippet of get away time to help me be nicer to everybody. 3. Motivation #backtoschool 4. Afternoon ice cream for the students and sprinkles make it special! 5. Boosting immunity with Thieves tea! (More on essential oils at Hodgepodge)
Homeschool Senior Moments
College Steps – Our senior filled out her Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) on January 1st. She’s been searching for scholarships (three applications a day is her goal and she was awarded one that her college will match so far! Excited to see how the Lord provides for the remainder.) In the first days of the new year, she secured plans for several milestone moments in her music studies. Lots of adult things and I am very proud of her!
Do NOT miss the chance to hear powerful messages from @louiegiglio John Piper and more – available for 24 hrs. “The most powerful weapon in the world is truth.” “Don’t waste your life.”
Passion Conferences – This conference is wonderful for high schoolers through college age. Our senior has been counting down since her freshman year to this January! She watched The Passion Conference online in live stream each year until she was able to attend in person this past Saturday through Monday. Talk about a reboot. The rest of the family watched here at home and heard wonderful challenges from John Piper, Louie Giglio and more. Plus worship music mixed in – made for a great start to the new year.
Homeschool Resources to reboot the learning excitement
- Building with Snap Circuits – Second grader is spending time learning about electronics daily. I LOVE it! We even had to make a Snap Circuits table in the homeschool room. Plus there is an area behind the couch. He’s texting audio messages and photos to his Daddy during the day to show him the latest creations. These were his big birthday and Christmas presents.
- The Ultimate Invention Toolbox – “create, play, remix and share with the littleBits gizmos and gadgets kit.” And Eldest Boy bought himself the littleBits Electronics cloudBit Starter Kit with Christmas money and has been exploring all sorts of possibilities.
- And, of course, art! Throw in a little poetry and you’ve got Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening.
Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom
- Healthy Habits – oh so very important for all of us! “As this new year begins, ask God to help tune your life every day to His word, so you can bring harmony and joy to those around you. Every day I turn to the Bible to give me strength and wisdom for the day and hope for the future. Its words have seen me through good times and bad – through times of happiness and grief, health and sickness, victory and disappointment. God’s Word can do the same for you.” -Billy Graham, Hope for Each Day- You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 Some favorites for quiet time ? And more on these resources at Five Ways to Weave Hymns Into Your Days.
- I love this prayer calendar from Passionate Purposeful Parenting! Have been using it for many years now – just keep it within sight upstairs and downstairs. Pray 31 different Biblical virtues into your children. This website is no longer available but I found a similar resource you can enjoy: 30 Day Praying for Your Children Challenge (with a downloable pdf)
- Our Favorite Resources for Homeschool Encouragement – this is a great post from all the authors at The Curriculum Choice.
- Habits for the New Year!
How is your homeschool year going? I’d love to hear in the comments!
first published January 2016
haha! Yes, great minds do think alike!!! I’m watching your senior and taking notes. We’ll be there in just a couple of years! Happy New Year, my friend.
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
So wonderful to see your lovely family!
Happy New Year, Phyllis!
What a great idea – Mom planning days!!
I have a link up called Junior High Junction geared toward middle schoolers. I would love if you would link up any old or new posts! It opens every Monday-Sunday.
Mother of 3 says
Sounds like a fabulous week back!
We’re getting back to the usual routine this week too – at a slightly slower pace. Vacation was wonderful but I have to say I like getting back to our usual routine.
We LOVE Snap Circuits – there is a student guide that is very nice (for about middle school age) with lots of technical details. If your son likes lapbooks I think that Homeschool Share has one that works with Snap Circuits Jr.
Oh thank you for the lapbook tip!
What a cool mom you have. Lots of great ideas for a homeschool reboot. We slid back into school two weeks ago after a five week break. It went pretty smooth.
I should get some more snap circuits, they are so much fun.
I love the memory you talked about for Star Wars.
That is an all-time favorite memory! One of those we talk about with the whole family at Thanksgiving, Christmas…
melissa newelll says
What fun this week..love all the learning going on. That sundae – oh man…looked great! Thanks for all your free tutorials – we really enjoy them and now with our chalk pastels, we can really work on them as they were ment to be 8)
Yay for chalk pastels! Oh enjoy – they open up so many possibilities.
Rachel Carpenter says
Thank you for this post! I needed the encouragement on what has worked for you. Mid year re-boot was rough but we are finally back in the groove. Thank you Lord!
The prayer calendar link is broken, FYI.
Rachel – it is hard to get back into a routine! Glad that these were helpful to you. And here is a link to another place you can find the prayer calendar: http://www.newharborchurch.com/primary-nav/ministries/prayer/ Enjoy! (it’s such a blessing!)