Getting Started Again

Posted on Mar 4 2014 in Hearts and Hands by admin

By Kyndra Steinmann

One of the great joys of homeschooling is its flexibility–but that is also one of its great dangers.. When life gets busy, it is often easy to let school–at least some of it–slide. This is especially true when there has been a large upheaval in the home or when the weather conspires to give us a case of the homeschooling blues!

 

Take heart, dear friends–you can start over at any time!

 

Here’s a quick tip list for getting everyone back into the swing of things without driving anyone crazy:

 

  • Commit your new beginning to the Lord. Ask Him to bless the endeavor and take care of the details. Specifically commit to Him your own heart and the hearts of the children.

  • Analyze your old routine and reassess the things you have stopped doing. What happened? Why did you stop doing them? Where were the sticking points in the routine? What happened at the moments everyone whined at once?

  • Make a master plan. This plan should cover schedule, chore lists, meals, and goals. Don’t get too detailed; just sketch out what you would like things to look like in terms of order.

  • Get specific. When we moved recently, I made schedules for each child on separate pieces of paper. Lots of things appeared on every schedule, but by making the preschooler’s schedule on a different sheet of paper, I could see where he needed to have something to do while I was teaching math to the third-grader.

  • Have clear expectations with clear consequences. Consequences should be positive as much as possible, to encourage everyone to want to cooperate with the new or returning routine.

  • Even if the first week goes well, expect to do specific training at some point. For us, that usually means that I spend the second and third weeks of a return to schooling dealing with attitudes. This used to really frustrate me and make me think there was something wrong with the routine. Now I know to expect it and we just work through it.

  • Make sure that you are putting adequate preparatory time into your day. Not just personal devotions but also prepping for school, prepping meals (taking the meat out of the freezer in the morning is a big one for me), and prepping hearts to be ready for the next task (“In five minutes it will be time for ____, so be ready to be cheerful and obedient.”)

  • Make sure you are getting adequate rest and nutrition. Don’t try to power through on caffeine. Low blood sugar and lack of sleep make you less resilient and resourceful so watch those things.

  • Stick with it for at least three weeks before making changes unless something is truly unworkable. (Baby needs to be nursed and put to sleep when you are supposed to be teaching math, for example)

  • Take notes and keep track of what you got done. It encourages you and also makes clear any places where things aren’t working well.

 

Most of all take it to the Lord constantly and lean on Him for guidance and patience. Love on your children and enjoy them; your relationships are so much more important than any amount of cleaning or schoolwork

 

Kyndra Steinmann blogs at Sticks, Stones and Chicken Bones about living in a houseful of young children, special needs, discipling hearts, and abundant grace! As a homeschool graduate, she has an especial burden to encourage mothers to know and enjoy their children. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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