How to Jump-Start Your School Year

Kick off your homeschool year right with these tips to beat summer learning loss and stay on track for a great year.

Don’t try going from 0 to 60.
At the beginning of the school year is often when parents feel the most gung-ho. They storm into homeschooling at full speed…only to find themselves completely burnt out by Thanksgiving. Give your little ones (and yourself) a chance to readjust to school days. Remember, you don’t have to complete a whole school year of work in the first month of school. Pace yourself.

Incorporate review into new lessons.
Some families find that the first couple months of back-to-school get lost to reviewing old concepts. A little summer learning loss is normal, so it’s a good idea to review. However, don’t overreact and spend hours on something your child seemingly forgot.

Work on incorporating review into their new lessons. Rather than focusing entire days on review, break it up. Too much review can become discouraging for a child, so get creative. Begin each lesson with 5-10 minutes of review or sneak review in with games or songs.

Have an organizational plan and stick to it.
Now is your chance to develop an organizational plan that works for you. Keep a journal, use the calendar on your smartphone, or put together an excel sheet. Whatever is going to work for you, use it! Note what curriculum you’re using and what subjects you complete each day. The more you make recordkeeping a habit, the happier you will be at the end of the year.

Also, be sure to keep track of attendance and lessons your child really loves. These are great for special projects or activities when your child gets bored.

Choose one thing.
Similar to the beginning of a new calendar year, a new school year brings with it all the promise of change and improvement. Homeschooling parents occasionally fall into the trap of trying to change and improve everything all at once, and like new year’s resolutions, these improvements rarely stick.

Rather than trying to revamp everything about your homeschool, focus on one big thing to improve or change this year. Choose something realistic and measurable, so you can see if you’re being successful with it. For example, rather than saying you want to be more organized, choose to journal about your homeschooling once a week.

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