Flipping December’s calendar into January, sadly, won’t reset life magically. Our stressors won’t immediately dissipate. But we can gently care for ourselves and our children as we launch back into the routine of homeschool after a break. Perhaps before the schoolwork starts, take some time to prepare everyone for the start of something new despite life still feeling rather similar to 2020. Here are a few ideas:
- Set goals. Provide some framework to help everyone brainstorm specific places to focus on for growth such as books to read, fitness goals, letter writing, crafting skill, or strengthening a tough school subject. Discuss what makes a good goal (clear idea, measurable data, etc.) and spend time gathering the necessary tools to make it easier to meet the goals. Invite each family member to set 3 or 4 goals. Don’t forget to post the goals where they are easily seen and remembered. Here is an inexpensive and kid friendly option to get your juices flowing: https://www.etsy.com/listing/915105540/new-years-printables-for-kids?utm_medium=SellerListingTools&utm_campaign=Share&utm_source=Facebook&share_time=1608585835000&utm_term=so.slt&fbclid=IwAR3FrEE-uHvOK6vodQEBdnCoZ2tpAnp-IAhTZK_C6i4yJA4p-ecUzZ2X7ik
- Makeovers. Not the middle school make-up kind. Grab your craft stuff and redo your notebook covers, calendar pages, boarders around your whiteboard, or anything else that can be recovered or doodled upon. You could even go super crazy and cover the textbooks like it was the 90’s and let the kids doodle all over their brown paper bag covered books.
- Fresh supplies. If you didn’t fill their stockings with brand new Ticonderoga pencils and cute erasers, now is your chance to resupply with new supplies. Clear out the pencil boxes and marker bins for fresh supplies. The kids might not care, but it will be nice to not have to search for pencils with erasers for a week or two at least.
- Rearrange the room. If you are homeschooling in a space which might allow for a slight rearrange, take an hour and switch things up a bit to make the space feel new. Even if the new arrangement is just switching desks or spaces at the table, the kids might enjoy a new perspective.
- Name your finish line. Plan a celebration for the end of the year and let everyone know what they will be working towards. It could be a big ice cream trip or even a vacation or somewhere in the middle, just pick something to look forward to.
Restarting can be tough, but we can find ways to get through the initial hump. Get back into gear slowly by setting realistic goals (and perhaps loads of hot chocolate for everyone) and give extra grace for excitement levels to increase.
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.