It’s back-to-school time, which means we’ll start seeing pics of parents celebrating the end of long summer days with their children at home. If you’re a homeschooler, you might have a very hard time identifying with that.
Still, getting swept up in some aspects of this time of year can be beneficial to both you and your child(ren) because it signals the end of summer and a renewed commitment to learning. Here are some tips for making the most of the back-to-school frenzy.
Stock Up on Supplies
The last I checked, most homeschoolers still need supplies. There are so many sales going on right now, so why not take advantage of them? Stock up on glue sticks, paper, pens, and crayons and then be glad your child won’t have anything stolen by a classmate.
If you’re open to being inspired, some stores will have printouts of the shopping lists for local schools. Look at what’s being required of students the same age as your kids, and see if anything looks interesting. They may be reading books, for example, that you had never considered!
It’s a good idea to vamp up your workspace every year. Of course, older kids may just need a laptop and a quiet space, but younger homeschoolers still enjoy fresh surroundings throughout the year. Change up any wall displays at the end of summer, and try to incorporate any themes you’ll be working on in the coming months.
As your child grows, their needs will evolve so look at how things are organized and make any necessary changes. Do they still need access to all that construction paper? Have they started using a compass or graphic calculator? Take some time to remove any clutter and designate space for the things they’ll use regularly.
Plan Field Trips and Activities
Homeschoolers may not be going to museums or theme parks with classmates, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t go on field trips. Look at local tourism sites and Groupon for ideas on what you can do nearby. You might be amazed by what’s in your own backyard, just waiting to be discovered.
Also, look for opportunities where your child can be physically active. Sign them up for swimming lessons or let them try out for the neighborhood soccer team. They won’t be in a formal physical education class, but they will probably enjoy getting their bodies moving.
One of the coolest thing about being a homeschooler is that you get a lot more control over how your time is spent. It can be very easy to get through lessons quicker at home than in a classroom, so why not encourage your child to gain some skills during their free time?
Find out about their interests and then look for ways in which they can get some hands-on experience. They’ll either discover they love what they are doing, or that they hate it which can be really useful when it comes time to choose a college major or career path. Plus, it will look great on their résumé!
Can They Get College Credit?
Disciplined homeschoolers may complete their high school requirements while earning college credit at the same time! Some community colleges allow juniors and seniors to enroll in classes, making it possible for them to obtain an Associates degree as they finish those last two years of secondary school.
Typically, community colleges are more affordable than other colleges and universities. If your child completes an Associates degree, they may be able to apply that towards a Bachelor’s degree. Getting two years of credits at a lower cost can save you a lot of money, but also will allow your child to get their education faster. It’s a win-win situation if it makes sense for your family.
You might be experienced homeschoolers, but take the opportunity to review your strategies and freshen things up during back-to-school time. Even the happiest homeschooler could feel left out from the excitement that comes this time of year, so incorporate your child in the planning process and try to make it feel special. Enjoy each other and get ready for another successful homeschool year together!