The Homeschool Minute ~ Diana Waring – Planning for the New School Year

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Planning for the New School Year

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Relational Homeschooling    

Diana Waring

Dear Friends,

I LOVE to plan. Following through on what I planned is a different matter altogether because, well, life happens.

But, we are talking about you. So, assuming that you are in the optimistic, “This will be a GREAT year” planning mode, let me add a few items that just may transform your actual day-to-day experience of this next school year.

First, be sure to include regular Brain Breaks throughout the day. This is similar to refreshing a webpage when nothing seems to be happening, or restarting your computer when it is really slow–except Brain Breaks are for people!

To figure out how often a person needs a Brain Break, take their age and add 2. For example, an 8-year old needs a Brain Break every 10 minutes. Once we reach eighteen years of age, we need one every 20 minutes.

A Brain Break is short, includes movement, and works best when it is fun. For some great ideas, check out this link .

Second, be intentional in adding humor each day. Laughter is not only great medicine, it wakes up the brain and delights the Presents heart. For instance, we would read church bulletin bloopers out loud–“Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.” Read a handful of these and it usually results in uproarious laughter. Do yourself a HUGE favor and plan times of laughter, whether reading joke books, funny books, church bloopers, puns, and anything else that tickles your family’s funny bone. For some specific help on improving humor in your home, check out my Hilarious Homeschool CD.

Last, but not least, plan free time. If you aren’t familiar with this concept, that means that you and your kids have time set aside where you can do whatever you each want to do! I used to schedule one hour after lunch, and it was incredibly beneficial. Read, sleep, play, paint, chat, create, doodle, daydream … whatever sounds like freedom to you. We are too pressured, too rushed, too late, too harried, too everything. Free time–scheduled and faithfully observed-is a great antidote.

Plan on breaks, laughter, and down time. It will delight your kids and transform your homeschool!

Remember, stay relational!


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Helpful Tips to Start Your School Year!

Amy Pak – Home School in the Woods

Amy Pak
What an exciting time it is when a fresh school year is just around the corner! The smells of new books and sharpened pencils are intoxicating to the homeschool mother! However, to the overwhelmed family it can be a time of hesitation or worry of making a mistake. Here are a few tips to get you off to a smooth start!

1. PRAY. First and foremost, pray for wisdom in all decisions. God gave you these children to raise, and He desires us to look to Him for guidance! Even when we make mistakes or choose curriculum that just doesn’t connect with our kids, He has ways of making learning experiences out of everything. So, no worries. He’s got your back.

2. PROBLEMS choosing curriculum? Ultimately, the parents are the ones to have the final say, but especially for older children, this might be a good time to get your children involved in the choosing process. Having them involved creates a feeling of responsibility and respect. This vested interest often results in their anticipation of using the curriculum, as well as giving them more of a shot when they do!

3. PLAN. Make loose goals for the year and tighter goals for two weeks. Why? Because life happens! And when life throws a wrench into your plans, the last thing it should do is bring on stress. Allow for changes in curriculum, illness, extended time getting a concept down, or a last-minute field trip! Short-term planning also allows you to prepare your copies and gather supplies so they are ready at class time. Nothing is a killjoy more than mom spending an hour tracking down materials while the kids wait at the table–spoken from experience!

This is especially handy with our materials at Home School in the Woods! When using our Historical Timelines Figures, I’d have figures ready to go at the end of each week as a review of what we’d learned. Planning ahead with copies and materials is especially helpful when using our history and activity studies, such as the Time Travelers, Project Passport, Activity-Paks, and Studies, and Lap-Paks. And as always, our goal is to ignite a love of learning in children! Visit our website to find out more! Check out our FREE resources & samples and sign up for our E-news! 

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