We all enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. But the time has come to start a new school year here at the Tiaras & Tantrums household. I have been very busy here getting our "classroom" in order. I feel as if I am truly a veteran this year as I begin my fifth year of homeschooling. I want our school year to get off on a positive note and have learned a few tricks over the years that seem to really get us started out well and tear free.
If I were to offer advise to a new home educating mom I would tell her to not jump in full force in the first week. Basically, do not do everything at first. If you have not been educating your children at home or during the summer, it is actually quite a transition for your children and yourself. The first week I always stick to the basics and only school half days. Ease into your school days and schedule. My kids have been schooling part time the entire summer, so they are prepped and (semi) ready to get started.
During the summer months, my kids are allowed to stay up a bit later, but these past couple of weeks, I have been slowly easing the time back for bedtime for the girls. It is a bit of a rough transition, so do not leave this to the last night before school. You will all be cranky and tired in the morning.
This first week of school is a bit different for us as we are leaving mid-week for an overnight orientation with the academy. The girls will school two days this week and I decided to exclude a couple of subjects and introduce those back in a couple of weeks after our schedule and rhythm are better. Another tip, do not do full days the first week, give yourself some time to ease into your schedule.
Our course load will be a heavy one this year, but an exciting one. We are not using any new curriculum, so my children (and me) will not have to get used to any new writing styles or curriculum. I LOVE (LOVE LOVE AND ADORE) all the curriculum this year and actually can't wait to get into it all. Everything is centered around the time period of Creation through Resurrection. Ice Age, Dinosaurs, Israelites, Egyptians, The Ark, Moses and Noah . . . all the way through China Dynasties. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar and Cleopatra to Jesus and His Disciples. Omnibus, Biblical Studies and Literature/Composition all tie into this central theme of Creation to Resurrection.
We started out our school year with a special dinner the night before. I had special cookies made and we celebrated with a Back-To-School dinner celebration. My girls loved it! My girls actual first day of school was not even in our home classroom. Their first day of school was at the academy they attend. I squashed all nerves with my excitement for them as I wanted them to walk in the doors with the most positive attitude ever. It worked and they both had amazing days! My little one has been home with me for the past two years without any co-op or academy and was especially nervous. She had a stellar day and was so happy when I picked her up. She talked non-stop on the drive home about her day. Start with a fun first day.
My last tip for a new home educating family would simply to be flexible. I remember my first year fondly and I thought I had to get through everything everyday that I had it planned. I learned quickly that I set myself up to fail. I now give plenty of time in our schedule for anything that might come up. If I wake up on a Thursday morning and decide that we simply must get out of the house for the day . . . that is what we do. Even if I had a full day scheduled, we leave and have a day of fun instead. Be prepared to just throw in some fun days, even in you have some scheduled already.
We are off to a smooth start this week and so excited for another amazing homeschool year.
About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.