Have you ever wondered how some homeschoolers are able to stay super motivated over the school year? Sure, we are all excited for a fresh new year in the fall months. But come winter, most of us are dragging out of bed, dreading the thought of more homeschool lessons. We slack off and neglect the very subjects or activities we were resolved to tackle back in September.
Some homeschoolers, though, maintain their enthusiasm throughout the entire school year. They wake up with energy, eager to homeschool their kids another day. They start a new curriculum or subject and actually see it through to completion, year after year. If you want the same results, incorporate these secrets of homeschool follow through into your routine.
1. Set Routines
A good routine goes a long way to keeping a homeschool family on the straight and narrow. Mom and kids get up, eat a healthy breakfast, and do a few chores. Then off to the homeschooling they go! Often even the school subjects are covered in the same order every day to help build a reliable homeschool routine.
2. Prepare the Day Before
There’s much to be said for preparing your homeschool the day before. Nothing is as de-motivating as having to send out a search party for your read aloud books at the beginning of the day.
Prepping your homeschool can involve little things such as making certain you know where the pencils and books are. It can also involve more time consuming tasks such as reading the teacher’s manuals and copying the pages you’ll need.
With the help of a well-planned instructor's guide, prepping for tomorrow’s assignment is as simple as glancing through the teacher’s manuals as you put supplies away. Taking those moments to mentally prepare helps keep you focused and pumped for another homeschool day. If you are prepared, you are far more likely to follow through.
3. Set a Start Time
Nothing is worse than sitting down to relax for a few minutes before starting school, then heading outside to let the kids run off some energy, and discovering it’s lunch time. A few more stall tactics, and the next thing you know it’s time for bed. You feel like a homeschool failure.
The solution is to have a set time to begin the homeschool day. It can be 9 a.m. in the morning, 1 p.m. in the afternoon, or even 7 p.m. in the evening. The time doesn’t matter as long as you make it a convenient time for you that you stick to every day.
4. Add Fun
Not every subject is entertaining and exciting, and that’s okay. Just keep working the plan. But a boring diet of math drill, grammar worksheets, and spelling quizzes will drain your motivation to homeschool over time. Without motivation, it's easy to skip it altogether. For these less exciting topics, add fun with games, competitions, role-play, hands-on crafts, and innovative ways to learn. Why use grammar worksheets every day when you can make a grammar game that you play outside in the yard?
Further counter the boredom by adding at least one fun subject to each homeschool day. This could be heading outside to ride bikes for P.E. or doing a fun history project. Field trips are always exciting, and so are science experiments.
5. Have a Backup Plan
Don’t rest all your hopes on having a perfect day of school. Sometimes homeschooling is chaotic. Kids fight over pencils, the sharpener breaks, and the sink overflows. Have a backup plan for the chaotic days of homeschooling.
The backup plan can be as simple as a pile of audio books, art projects, or science documentaries. Other options are to declare to it a reading day or an educational game day. Pull out alternative methods of homeschooling to keep the kids happy, occupied, and learning while you deal with the crisis.
After all, nothing is more de-motivating than having the homeschool derailed by an unexpected emergency. So make your backup plan in advance so when a crisis hits, you’re ready to respond.
These simple five tips will keep you motivated and enjoying your homeschool the entire school year.
About the Author
Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6 children ages 5 through 19. After much research into homeschooling in 2000, she and her husband fell in love with classical education and used it as the foundation for their homeschool. Sara Dennis blogs at Classically Homeschooling.