Dear Homeschool Parents,
The New Year is here! But before you jump back into school mode, take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished so far this academic year. All of the lessons taught, worksheets graded, activities planned…you’ve done a lot!
You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of starting another calendar year. Or maybe you’re energized and ready to tackle new goals head-on. However you’re feeling, we have three tips for easing into the new year and getting back in the swing of homeschooling.
1) Extend Your Break
You might have just taken some time off for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to hurry back into schooling now that the season is over. Let your break last a bit longer if needed!
We know you have hours/days to log and curriculum to finish. But after the whirlwind of celebrations and holiday magic-making, you’ve more than earned some actual time off. Try to take at least a few days, maybe even a week or two, to step away from the schoolwork and just breathe.
If you’re feeling guilty about that idea, consider playing games as a family so you experience some relaxed fun alongside the learning.
2) Scale Back
At the start of a new year, we often make lofty goals. While it’s tempting to go full-force, now is a good time to think about scaling back. Maybe you can stretch a curriculum over two years instead of trying to cram it all in one. Or maybe you should cut an extracurricular that’s adding stress.
Find ways to simplify your schooling in ways that allow you and your students to breathe, then lean into the moments when spontaneous learning opportunities arise. Also, it’s okay to play a nature documentary and count it as science instruction when needed.
The midway point in the school year is a great time to review previously covered concepts that you’ll be building on in the upcoming months. You can also connect areas of study together by showing relationships between history and art or math and science.
Picture a wall being painted. Taking the time to review material is like adding layers of paint to make the colors more vibrant. The purpose of review isn’t just to avoid forgetting material, it’s also about reinforcing and adding depth of understanding. Taking the time to foster a deeper understanding will create a strong foundation to build upon in the future.
The work that you’re doing matters so much. Keep up the great work, and know that your efforts will lead to great things. We hope that you celebrate the small wins as you ease into schooling again this month.
The Demme Learning Team
This post was updated on December 20, 2022.