Have you taken the obligatory first day of the year photo yet (I have not)? Is your curriculum ready and in order? Signed up for all the STEM activities? This time of year surely has homeschool families across the country excited about a new year, but also busy making sure everything is set and ready to go. With this can come stress, so let's take a moment to put things into perspective. Do you have the basics, "the meat" of your program ready? Start with that. Over the past 7 years of homeschooling my children, I have found that keeping things simple and streamlined can keep you grounded in this homeschool journey of ours. It's so easy to get caught up in the "maybe I can add this" mode, that we can get sidetracked and spread ourselves (and our children) thin!
5 Tips to "Keeping it Simple"
1 - List your subjects and stick to it. Try to keep it under 20!! Seriously, if you can limit yourself to the most important 5 or 6, you can focus on providing a more solid education in those subjects.
2 - Choose your curriculum for each subject and don't add to it. Stop shopping for MORE curriculum (read a book, paint your nails, have a coffee, I don't care what it is, but stop shopping for more curriculum that you don't need)!
3 - Divide each subject into a 36 week guide. Then, set your weekly schedule as you go. This will allow flexibility to deal with doctors appointments, field trips, family emergencies or even a bump in the road with a difficult subject. For example, I know that in Language Arts, we need to do 1 Chapter of English, 5-6 pages of Word Roots and 18 pages of grammar per week. I use this as a flexible guide when setting our weekly schedule.
4 - Take a load off! Don't be afraid to outsource labs or other subjects like art or computer coding. We are joining in a biology lab this year through college prep science.
5 - Stop saying YES to every social event. While it is important to have social events, do not allow it to cause unneeded stress and decreased schooling efficiency. If you are like us, we could join in at least 2 per week! Spread it out.
Please feel free to share how you are keeping it simple this year!