How to Pull Off a Midyear Homeschool Reboot

So, you’ve arrived at the halfway mark of another year only to find your homeschool low on motivation and joy, but full of frustration and attitude. Sounds like a homeschool reboot is in order.

So, you've arrived at the halfway mark of another year only to find your homeschool low on motivation and joy, but full of frustration and attitude. Sounds like a homeschool reboot is in order.

(Post contains affiliate links; see disclosure for details.)

When I think of reboots, my old laptop instantly comes to mind. I went through YEARS of work and homeschool with her, but she eventually began to require regular reboots. She — my Little E — got the job done faithfully, but some days were easier than others.

There were days when Little E didn’t want to work when I start her. There were days when she returned that dreaded Operating System Not Found message. Then there were times where she responded to my request with the blue screen of death. Little E had a mind of her own, that’s for sure.

Because of her uncooperative nature, she visited Geek Squad a couple of times. It turns out she wasn’t broken; there was nothing wrong with her that a reboot can’t fix.

If you find it hard to get back in your homeschooling groove, don’t give up. Your homeschool isn’t broken. Like Little E, it’s probably in need of a reboot.

Pulling Off a Midyear
Homeschool Reboot

That’s not to say that you’ll never need to do a full replacement. After nearly a decade, it was time to let go of Little E and embrace a new laptop. The same can also be true of homeschool routines, curriculum, and philosophies.

Even so, rebooting should always come before abandoning your homeschool plans. With that said, here are some tips for pulling off a midyear homeschool reboot.

1. Embrace self-led learning

Get your kids involved in self-led learning while rebooting your homeschool.

There are lots of great options for this, but video art courses, coding programs, and music appreciation lessons are the kinds of learning opportunities we turn to when we need to add self-led learning to our mix.

You can use a homeschool reboot to get your kids excited about learning.

You could also let your kids choose an online book club and work through it during the reboot time. Or, visit your library and challenge your kids to choose books about topics that interest them.

Regardless of what you choose, remember to not overdo it during this time. The goal here is to get your children excited about learning. If they’re excited about these new options, it will make your reboot process more productive and make it easier to determine your next steps.

2. Identify the issue

The Geek Squad employees told me there was no rhyme or reason to my laptop not booting correctly. In this case, understanding the problem isn’t required to reboot the system.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way for a mid-year homeschool reboot. It’s crucial to identify what’s not working before rebooting.

Does the problem stem from overscheduling? Are your kids overwhelmed by the coursework or not understanding specific concepts? Maybe the curriculum just isn’t working.

You can't reboot your homeschool until you identify what's not working.

It’s possible that the root of your homeschool struggles are coming from you. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies, right? It could be that you don’t know how to proceed in your lesson planning or execute your plans. It might even be that you feel overwhelmed by homeschooling.

Whether these issues sound familiar or not, it’s important to pinpoint the trouble spots in your homeschool. Unlike my computer, there are multiple ways to reboot your homeschool. The trouble is that you won’t know how to address your problem if you never identify its root.

3. Talk to your kids

Once you identify your homeschool hangup, talk to your kids about it. Give them a chance to voice their concerns or frustrations before sharing your thoughts with them. That’s where you’ll find truth. (If I even hint at my thoughts on a subject, it tends to sway these kinds of discussions with my kids.)

Give your kids a chance to voice any frustrations before sharing your thoughts with them.

Give your kids a safe place to discuss their thoughts, but guide the discussion back to a positive place by asking their favorite things about homeschooling. Ask them about their favorite subjects and curriculum choices. Ask them what they would like to do more of or experience differently than before.

By focusing on the positives and not the negatives alone, your homeschool reboot can take you from survival mode to a motivated and joyful home education environment.

4. Seek help

You can plan your reboot once you and your kids identify the problem areas in your homeschool. Depending on your specific issues, this part may involve a couple of weeks researching or could be developed within a few days.

When planning your reboot, it’s okay to seek help. Talk the other homeschoolers and ask for suggestions. This will give you a chance to brainstorm solutions with others who know you and your family personally.

If you don’t have other homeschool families in your life, take advantage of the resources available to you online. That may come in the form of Facebook communities or searching Pinterest for help with homeschool.

Naturally, I have to invite you to follow me on Pinterest here. I pin new homeschool ideas there each day and it would be wrong to not mention that. ;)

You can also find help for your homeschool reboot by reading. Take a look at my list of practical and encouraging books for homeschool parents to get some great reading suggestions.

5. Make adjustments

Making adjustments is the last step in a mid-year homeschool reboot, but it can be the most difficult aspect of it. That’s primarily because there’s trial and error involved.

For example, if you learn that overscheduling — homeschool-related or not — is the source of your homeschool struggle, it may take time to weed away the extracurriculars and obligations that are running your family ragged.

If exhaustion is causing bad attitudes and lack of motivation, understand that new sleep patterns don’t develop instantly. Maybe your homeschool routine is the problem. You may get lucky and find success with your first tweak, but chances are it will take a few tries to get it right.

There's trial and error involved in a homeschool reboot, but patience and persistence go a long way.

If you’re simply having a hard time getting back to normal after a long break, take your time returning to your routine.

Going from an extended vacation mindset to full force is pretty much guaranteed to be overwhelming for you and your kids. Instead, start with a couple of subjects for the first few days back and then gradually add more until you’re back to normal.

Rebooting due to curriculum

And, if it turns out curriculum is the source of your homeschool problems, don’t be afraid to say goodbye to it. Not even the best-rated and most popular curriculum choices are a good match for every student. It’s okay to try something and decide it’s a bad fit.

Most of us don’t have extra funds in the budget to purchase new curriculum mid-year, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with what you bought originally. Here are some tips for making curriculum changes halfway through your year:

  • Consider skipping a chapter if possible. If most of the material worked well in the past, the entire curriculum may not be the problem. When a topic or chapter isn’t clicking for whatever reason, look for other ways to cover it with your child.
  • Use your table of contents or teacher guide to know what topics were covered successfully and which ones remain incomplete.
  • Fill in any gaps with library books, supplemental websites, and educational TV shows.
  • Look for free or inexpensive alternatives to get you through until your new school year begins.

In closing, remember that a mid-year homeschool reboot can be the best thing for you and your kids when homeschooling is hard.

Nothing good comes from avoiding the problems in our homeschools; addressing them sooner rather than later is the best thing for everyone involved. The best place to start is boldly push that button and reboot.

8 thoughts on “How to Pull Off a Midyear Homeschool Reboot”

  1. I think if you reboot the mom by giving her some time off to refresh herself, the homeschooling might just fall nicely into place because the mom is no longer stressed out. :)

  2. Yes! Focus on the positives! By finding out what our kids absoultely love about homeschooling, it’s so much easier to tweak the rest of it to be more like their favorite learning methods. Excellent post!

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I’m loving all the help in the second volume about homeschooling teens… it’s nice to gather ideas before I get there. ;)

  3. “Nothing good comes from avoiding the problems in our homeschools; addressing them sooner rather than later is the best thing for everyone involved.”
    WELL SAID! I know when I started homeschooling I felt this need to follow through to the end of the year… so many tears and struggles for me in and the kiddos! :S
    SO THANKFUL we aren’t afraid to reboot either! :)

    1. Thank you, Melissa! I know what you mean about being compelled to follow through, but we live and learn, right? ;)

Comments are closed.