by Amy Pentimone
One of the joys of homeschooling is the freedom that it affords to each family to teach in a way that best suits their needs. To some, summer is a time to take a break and enjoy less structured days before heading into new grades and school books. Other families choose to school year-round and the changing seasons mean little for the structure of their days. However, if you’ve chosen that “summer break” path, you’re probably starting to think about getting back to school and what that adjustment will look like in your home.
Summer has a way of speeding by, leading us back to the days of new (or new-to-us) school books, reorganized routines, and fresh starts. Both seasons are enjoyable in their own way, but change doesn’t always come easily. If you’re trying to prepare for the upcoming school year without panicking, now is the perfect time to look at your school year routines, to revamp and implement changes before you feel behind.
Some families choose more hard-and-fast schedules for their school time while flexible routines, functioning more as a frame of reference, work better for other families. However you choose to order your days, finding a structure that works well for your family is undoubtedly beneficial. As many have said, it’s not about finding the perfect plan, but simply an achievable plan for your family. That’s the best plan that there is!
As you work towards a school plan that will work for your family, here are three reasons to plan ahead and bring a gradual change to your summer routines, to ease into a new school year:
- Planning ahead allows for realistic expectations. Just because a scheduling plan looks great on paper, doesn’t ensure the school year will be perfect. In fact, sometimes the more perfect we try to make things look on paper, the less realistic they are for real life. Rather than rushing to put the best looking plan onto paper, planning ahead as you formulate new routines for school, allows time to think through your family and the real lives you live. Interruptions happen, and we don’t have energy to be productive every waking hour of the day. Set your expectations on paper for what your family can reasonably achieve.
- Planning ahead affords time to be on the same page with your family. Implementing a big schedule change, especially if you haven’t had the time to get on the same page about it with your spouse, can cause more tension than peace in your home. Schedules and routines are meant to help your home run more smoothly — but the best way you can keep things on the right track is by communicating and handling the plans as a team.
- Planning ahead softens the transition back into a more rigid schedule. Whether you’re savoring the idyllic carefree summer days or longing for more structure in your home, starting a new routine or schedule always comes with adjustments. People get tired, attitudes need adjustments, and unexpected interruptions change plans. Rather than expecting your family to suddenly make large schedule changes, easing more structure or new routines into your days can help everyone prepare for a great start to the school year.
However you plan to transition back into homeschooling, do it with your family, for your family. That’s the beauty of homeschooling, after all!