You studied curriculum options, bought new school supplies, and reorganized your homeschool storage. You chose a start date for your new homeschool year and now you’re anxiously wait for it to arrive.
Who are you kidding? You might even bump the date up and start early. You’re ready for this!
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That’s all great, but preparing ourselves for a new year is also important. After all, the planning and purchasing will only go so far. If we’re going to serve our people well, there are things we all need to remember.
What to Remember Before Starting Your New Homeschool Year
1. It’s okay to accept help.
I’m guessing I’m not the only homeschooling parent who has a problem accepting help. I don’t know why, but I get sucked into thinking that I’ve failed my family if all my plates aren’t spinning perfectly.
That said, it shouldn’t be that way for me and it shouldn’t be that way for you either. There’s nothing wrong with needing help.
Doing all the things doesn’t matter. Instead, making sure all the things are done is the key. The beautiful thing about that is you don’t have to be the one to do them all.
Whether your help comes from a friend who offers to take the kids for an afternoon, an online curriculum option, co-op class, or updated chore system, it’s okay to accept help and even ask for it.
2. Say yes to margin.
Don’t be afraid to put the homeschooling plans on hold from time to time and enjoy the do-nothing day in their place. We all have days where we’re distracted, exhausted, and need permission to slack off.
We also all have days where catching up on housework or errands is a better choice than pushing through a normal homeschool day. We don’t want to make these days the norm, but it’s important to allow a day off when life feels crazier than usual.
That’s why margin matters. It’s wise to plan your homeschool carefully and follow the plans you create, but it’s also wise to add some empty space in those plans. You need an empty block of time each day — even if only a half hour — to make up for distractions, attitudes, and all the regular things that come with day-to-day life.
You also need margin in your month. An empty day or two can offer some much-needed breathing room in a busy time. A couple of unscheduled days each month can also provide time to catch up in times of sickness or when other things interfere.
Resist the temptation to fill every moment and embrace the do-nothing day.
3. You’ve got awesome things happening in your homeschool.
I’ve shared before about saying goodbye to homeschool comparison, but it’s worth repeating. If you spend a few moments on social media each day, you’re aware of all the awesome things happening in homeschools around the world.
Let’s face it, we’ve got homeschoolers sharing magical pancake breakfasts to be enjoyed with poetry, kids who are learning a third language, and homeschool rooms that belong in the pages of HGTV Magazine. It’s all so incredible that we often feel like the bar has been raised for everyday homeschool life.
As you jump into a new homeschool year, remember that the day-to-day homeschool life is awesome on its own. Use all of those awesome snapshots as inspiration, but never let them cause you to lose sight of what’s already awesome about your homeschool.
Every day may not create a swoon-worthy Instagram feed, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. If you’ve got consistency, you’ve got awesome things happening. If you’ve seen growth, you’ve got awesome things happening. If you’re serving your family through homeschooling, you’ve got awesome things happening. It’s all awesome and it’s all worth celebrating.
4. Take time for yourself.
Yes, homeschooling is important. It’s a calling, a job, and a privilege, but you’re not just a homeschool mom or homeschool dad. For sure, be passionate about homeschooling, work hard at it, and celebrate it, but give the home educator the night off when it’s time to end your homeschool day.
Be diligent about taking time to rest and recharge each day. You’ll burn out quickly if every moment of your day is spent homeschooling, homemaking, or serving others. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
5. You can do hard things.
Some homeschool days and seasons will be hard, but that’s okay. You can do hard things; you do them all the time. The thing to remember here is that all good things are worth fighting for; homeschool is no exception.
As you enter a new homeschool year, know that you can only flourish if you’re willing to fight. Don’t give up on homeschooling because it’s not easy. The hard things won’t be hard forever. Chase your calling and fight for it.