This post is part 2 of 5 in the Back-to-School 2015 series.
School is about to kick into gear, and that means… I have to, too!
Where homeschooling is really this work-at-home mom’s full-time job, Summer Break is my vacation – that, and my time to catch up on projects. But, vacation is almost over; and it’s time to get BACK to it!
What Back-to-School Means for the Homeschooling Mom
Back-to-school shopping for the homeschooling mom isn’t as much about new clothes and notebooks as it is about choosing curriculum and stocking the school cupboard.
There are a gazillion different curricula out there to fit different teaching styles and learning needs, so settling on one (or actually, ones) can be quite the process; but oh what fun it is when you find the right fit! Homeschooling can be the book lover’s dream, I’m telling you. There’s so much great material available to home educators that sometimes it’s hard to not overdo it. (My overflowing bookshelves can testify to that.)
Here are the curricula we’ll be using this year:
- Bible, History, Read-Alouds, and Readers: Sonlight Curriculum
- Science: God’s Design
- Math: Math-U-See
- Phonics, Spelling, Writing & Grammar: BJU Press
- Vocabulary: English from the Roots Up
- Handwriting: D’Nealian Handwriting
- Keyboarding: Typing Instructor Platinum
Of course, homeschoolers have a “classroom” supplies list to fill, too – we just get to make our own. From pencils and handwriting paper to notecards and Sharpies, our school area will be stocked with all we might need.
The biggest “return” that Back-to-School brings for this homeschooling mom – and arguably for all school moms – is that to structure. For the most part, our family enjoys a more unstructured summer as a means of fully embracing the break from school. But when school resumes, we need our routine for the best success. I can’t say that I always succeed at sticking to the schedule, but on an ideal school day,
- I wake up at 6:30,
- start breakfast around 7:15,
- wake the kids at 7:30,
- clean up the kitchen at 8:10, and
- start school at 8:30.
When we stay on task, that puts us done by 12:30 – just in time to warm leftovers for lunch, turn the kids loose to play, and carry on with the other activities and responsibilities that fill my day.
We don’t do a formal snack time during our summer days, but come school time, there seems to be a place in our morning schedule that finds us all feeling hungry. Some of our go-to school time snacks include
- trail mix,
- meat and cheese,
- apple slices with plain Greek yogurt, and sometimes… I know it’s naughty…
- Brookside Dark Chocolates (purchased in bulk size at Costco 🙂 ).
Even though we homeschool, it can be easy to feel like we’re never home. Back-to-school usually means back-to-activities, and with four kids each doing something extracurricular, the afternoons and evenings can fill up fast. While these optional extras often leave me feeling “busy,” my husband and I do feel that organized activities are an important piece of our kids’ educations. Some of the involvements we have throughout the school year include
- homeschool co-op (where the kids receive additional instruction along with a group of their peers in Music and Fine Arts, Art, P.E., Science, and Geography),
- dance or acrobatics,
- soccer or softball,
- basketball, and
- Little League; and probably…
- piano lessons — if I can find someone who will come to me. 😉
Back-to-school, back-to-business. It’s all in a day’s work for the homeschooling mom.
What does Back-to-School mean for you?
Read more from our Back-to-School 2015 series!
- Back-to-School: A Teacher’s Perspective
- Smooth Operator: Advice for Your Back-to-School Transition
- Healthy Eating Tips for Back-to-School and Beyond
- I See You: A Letter to My Child’s Teacher (coming up)