I was complaining the other day about how I’m not getting excited about the upcoming school year. Do you ever feel like that? I have thoroughly enjoyed not having many responsibilities that are competing for my time this summer. As I’ve grown older, I found that time flies by way faster than it used to. Do you remember when we were kids, how an hour seemed to last an eternity? Yeah. Not any more. An hour is like a few minutes in kid time!
I am utterly committed to being a homeschooler, so putting them in school is not really an option to help me out of my unexcited stupor. I must find a way to get a little excited and have that excitement spill over to my children who will then (hopefully) be excited!
I recently asked my Homeschool Group what they have done to help get themselves excited for the upcoming school year and this is what they all came up with.
1. Do a back to school countdown calendar – Buy up some school supplies at the awesome prices that they have them marked at right now and wrap each of them up individually. Let them open one per day until your first day of school. This idea would be similar to Advent Calendar’s that you do at Christmas time.
2. Sew or pick out a back to school outfit - While you’re not sending them out the door, it’s still fun to have new clothes. It makes them feel special! Even if it’s just a shirt. Let them wear it on your first day of school.
3. Take 1st day of school pictures – Believe it or not, we have never done this! This year will be our first year and we’ll be sure to share them with all of you lucky readers as well! I’m hoping that by taking a few extra steps to feel excited, it will be contagious and my kids will catch the excited bug!
4. Let them pick out a new notebook - It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can go all out and let them buy the $10 ones, or you could just buy a small 10 cent spiral bound one and let them decorate it with stickers and scrapbook paper. My friend Emmalee will be sharing more about her family’s notebooks next week on her blog.
5. Get the school books organized – Just getting our books out and touching them sometimes is enough to get my creative juices flowing on all the fun ways we’ll use them. Show them sneak peaks of what they’re going to be learning and talk about the hands on activities that are coming up!
6. Make a Homeschooling Pinterest project board – Seriously. I know Pinterest can be a time waster, but it can totally be wonderful, too! I have not taken the time to get mine up to par yet, but if you’re interested in following some other homeschoolers on Pinterest, you can check out all of these homeschoolers on Pinterest. Pin the fun and educational activities that you’d like to try with your kids and let the kids peruse them and share which ones they’re most excited to try out!
7. Have a box day - Order your new curriculum and when it comes, build the excitement over what’s inside. Sit around thumbing through the new books and talking about what you’re most excited to learn about this year. Celebrate with refreshments. You could even get really innovative and get a bunch of old boxes and make a maze around your house or yard. Yeah….I’m not doing that one (because one of the reasons I’m not so excited is because I’m a bit overwhelmed….and boxes everywhere may add to that feeling), but you feel free to do it. It would be fun!
8. Make a List of what to study - Sometimes, the reason I’m not so excited to start school back up is because I’m caught in a rut! I do the same boring books over and over again. No, they’re not really that boring, but by the time the 4th child is doing that same book, they may be a bit boring to me. :) What if I switched things up a little and got my kids to tell me what they want to learn about the most? When my son was about 6 or 7 (he’s almost 15 now!), he’d ask me all kinds of crazy questions. I ended up keeping a list in my purse of all the things he wanted to know. Like, “What are teeth made of?” or “How are guns made?” and other things boys want to know. We had fun digging a little deeper and answering all of his lingering questions….or at least a good handful of them!
9. Have a back to school bash - You could have a planning meeting for your homeschool group with just the moms (we like to do this over dinner out!) or you could have a park day with all of the kids, but whatever it is, you should definitely get together with other homeschool families. They are so creative and full of ideas to keep you thinking.
10. Take a Planning Day - Take a whole day or a few hours or whatever you need and get alone. Pray and ask God to give you the excitement that He wants you to have. He will impart to you what exactly He wants your school focus to be on this year. You may want to think through things like Spiritual goals, Educational Goals, Home Economics Goals, Physical Fitness Goals, etc. You could even consider using a resource like the one that I won from Apologia this year. It’s called The Ultimate Homeschool Planner.
For other ideas about Not Being Excited, visit Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace.