Well, it’s January, and time to get back to the grind. After a lengthy holiday break (longer than intended) we are getting back to work on our lessons. Are you in that place now too? Did you take a long break, or even a short break but still got off schedule?
I always love to take a break but then, every year when I’m getting back to work and realize how hard it is to get back into the schedule, I think “next year I won’t take this much time off” or “next year we will stick with basics for most of the break.” But then next year comes and a break is so welcomed.
So, if you are in that position and ready to get back to your homeschool, you may find that you are in need of some renewal in your school. If you are looking for tips to renew and refresh your school year, I am here to tell you what seems to work for us (most years) as we get back to work and change things up a little to refresh our homeschool for a great second semester.
#1 – Include a Fun Read Aloud
Each semester I let the kids pick a read-aloud they want. Sometimes I give them a few to choose from and then they vote. This is a great way to get them excited about the read-aloud and add some quiet reading to your morning or afternoon school time. Poll the kids and see what they are interested in or give them a list and see what they choose. Pick something different and fun, not necessarily the deepest literature classic you have on your list but something a little lighter to include in your day.
#2 – Schedule some Field Trips
The winter months can get a little cumbersome when you are stuck inside for most of the day. So to refresh our 2nd semester I typically schedule some fun, indoor field trips
to get the kids excited. I try to do at least one new field trip that they will get excited about. This can really get them interested. We build up to it with some reading and studying on the subject or the place so we can really get excited. If you are looking for some great ideas, consider a trip to visit your senator or your state capital or maybe a trip to some historical homes in your area. Of course, an afternoon at a rock climbing wall or trampoline gym is a great way to get some exercise during the winter months as well. You can read about Field Trips and why we find them essential to our homeschool.
#3 – Add a Game
One of the best things we do for our homeschool is to add a new educational game to our week.
Maybe you have beginning spellers in your school, try Sight Word Go Fish. Or if you are working on understanding money, a game of Monopoly can be great. You can do a Jeopardy game for memory work or try a geography game to work on World Geography. There are lots of choices online or you can easily make your own. Adding a game can make learning fun and add some laughter to your homeschool day. Be sure to check out 12 Games to Do with Your Kids (instead of Electronics)
#4 – Try Something New
Have you always wanted to include a unit study in your homeschool? You can read about Try a Unit Study to Break Things Up
if you want to learn more. Is notebooking something that you thought might be a great addition for your student? Do your kids love videos and you think you should have more video learning in your homeshcool? If you feel that this is true, a great way to renew your school year is to add something new to your homeschool, if you have the time and inclination, to see if its a better fit for you and your students.
You may find that it is what you have been waiting for to reinvigorate your daily schooling. If you can’t fit one more thing in then this isn’t the way to go. However, remember, if something hasn’t been working then maybe taking a break from what isn’t a favorite and trying something new is the best way to renew your school year.
#5 – Have a Planning Party
Seriously, maybe you just need some adult time or you need some new ideas. Having a planning party with some of your best homeschooling mom friends will give you some new ideas to include in your homeschool. Spending some time with your veteran and newly refreshed homeschool friends could give you some great ideas to renew and refresh your homeschool. And, who doesn’t love a little adult time to get you ready to renew and refresh your homeschool day with a sense of purpose and energy.
Whether you are suffering from some homeschool burn-out or just feeling that your homeschool needs a little something new to reinvigorate your day, these 5 ways to renew and refresh your school year is a great way to get going with a need attitude and a better mood for the rest of your year.
What do you do when your school needs a renewed and refreshed spirit?