Recap of our first week back to school and why it went so well 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Every summer as I think about getting back to our regular school routine I cringe in fear. All the emotions and thoughts start swirling in my head that it's just too hard and that I can't do it.

This summer was no different.

I would lay in bed knowing that I needed to start preparing for school but trying to think of someway out of it. Couldn't we find some other way to educate our children that matched our budget, our morals and our vision for our children's education?? Though we want God to lead us every year/month/day, we have never said we are determined to homeschool forever. Again the choice was clear for us...we would indeed be homeschooling again.

Once I surrendered to knowing that once again this was the best choice for our family; peace overwhelmed me. No, I still didn't know how I was going to do it. No, I still don't always feel qualified but I do know that God will give me everything I needed to do this if he was the one calling me to do this for our family. 

Amazingly enough I have to say that this was one of the best weeks of homeschooling ever! I realized all over again why we are doing it.

 Here are some reasons why:

 I think one of the main reasons that it went so well is that I am finally learning to take the pressure off myself and the kids to perform and get everything right. Not that I didn't have high expectations, they were just more realistic. 

I also took a good week to prepare our school room, curriculum and lesson plans. I know this went a long way in helping me feel prepared and confident in what we needed to be doing. Our school room always seems to be the messiest in the house so it needed a lot of cleaning...I mean a lot!! But I finally got it looking good, though I know it won't take long before it's a mess again:( I hope to give you a tour soon of the whole room!  I also got little boxes(from Target) for each of the kids to put their school supplies and independent work and this was a tremendous help! I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner!!??

I also focused on us; our family and how my children and I work best together and how they learn best. I forgot about the rest of the world and really tried to hone in on what we needed to do.

Did I get frustrated with my kids at all? Sure.

Did my kids always listen perfectly? No. 

But I didn't let it ruin our day/week and my attitude. I can only attest to this as an act of God! And really, I was amazed at how well my kids responded when I told them what they needed to do. There was hardly as much whining or complaining as there was last year. 

The Charlotte Mason style has really been great for us and encouraged me in what I believe is best for our children's education. I don't do everything exactly to her method but take a lot from her ideas and teaching methods.(You can learn more about theCharlotte Mason style  on my pinterest board:) You can also follow along on our journey behind the scenes on my Instagram account!

I really want to incorporate a lot more nature studies this year and and reading, narration and dictation. We are doing a bee nature study this week and reading The Island of the Blue Dolphins which the boys have actually really enjoyed.( It has a lot of great outdoor skills in it;)

Don't forget to enter my nature journaling giveaway which has everything you need to start nature journaling with your kids!

I think perseverance is the key. I can't believe this but this will now be our 7th year of homeschooling!?!

There were so many times I wanted to give up but knew that this was what God was calling us to. I started out with one kindergartener and I now have a 6th grader, 4th grader, 1st grader and Preschooler, a toddler and one on the way!

If you would have told me all those years ago that I would be homeschooling all these children and most days loving it; I might not have believed you! Here is last years recap! I actually think it was pretty similar.

I obviously didn't get around to taking the boys pics:(
Another thing that I believe helped us get a great start this year was doing some school during the summer. I always plan to school through the summer but with family in town and really just needing a break we didn't do as much as I would have liked, but I did make sure that almost every day the kids did some reading and math. Even that little bit of school really helped with the transition into full days. 

Though we had a great summer I think we were all ready to get back to a good routine. Breaks are always great but we all thrive better with a structured day. I honestly feel like we/I get more done when we are in our school schedule and I really love that it makes me be more intentional about one on one time with each of my kids. I have to focus on them, listen and join in some of their activities. 

Though we had a great week of school it actually didn't start out on a great note. The kids all contracted that was fun.;( This is real life people!  (Commence head scratching) In the midst of lots of cleaning, laundry, mayonnaise, tea tree oil, anything we could get our hands on and shaved heads we somehow nipped it in the bud! Phew! So maybe school didn't seem so bad after going through that epidemic! Please tell me we weren't the only ones! Oh yeah and I tried to start potty training Luke...what was I thinking???

I was worried a lot about how I would divide my attention between the three older ones but somehow it all worked out. We did as many subjects as we could together and I tried to really plan for giving them independent work when I was working one on with them. And the little boys, though distracting at times played pretty happily by themselves. Or rather made messes happily;)

One thing that I really tried to curb back on was rushing everyone. I always think that we need to start early and end early but it tends to turn me into a monster; telling everyone to hurry up! I did want to start and finish early but I really tried to focus on us getting quality work done and me not losing my cool. So some days we didn't start till 10 or finish till after 3 but it was okay because we got done what we needed to do and didn't have any massive breakdowns;) I figure it will take us some time to get a good groove going. I also let the kids get out and play in the backyard before we started school and this seemed to really help everyone focus better. Usually I wait till lunch break.

I chose a verse for the year to focus on which has really helped me in the past and reminded me of why we do this and that I can't do it but God can through me! The verse that God impressed on my heart for this year is:

"Be at rest once more oh my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7

God is so good to us, to you, to me, so why do we worry so much!? This is what he spoke to me-- He has been so good to me, I just need to rest in it and stop freaking out!!! I am so blessed that I can stay home with my kids and homeschool them. I don't want to miss out on the joy that he wants to fill me with and waste my days in frustration and fear. No matter what our circumstances; he is so good. We really just need to start resting in it and what he has called our individual families to!

Did you start school yet? We actually started last week;)

How did it go? 

What has been working for you in staying calm and confident?

What are some things you are working on in your homeschool?

Do you have a verse for the year to hold on to?


  1. To hear that your first week back to homeschooling went well is very encouraging! We aren't yet to school age, but I hear many moms stressing about the coming year. Hey, I'm stressing and we don't even start pre-school til next year :) Personally, I'm just anxious/excited about this new journey for our family...

    Preschool will be fun and we have a similar outlook on homeschooling, taking it a year at a time as God leads us. I would love to homeschool our kids all the way through graduation BUT that depends on how the kids and I handle it all once we officially start. Excited, yet intimidated by all of the unknowns.

    You have quite a busy (but beautiful) house hold and it is an inspiration to me! One of the biggest joys of homeschooling will be seeing my boys learn side by side as siblings. I'm sure many sibling fights lie ahead, but I do hope they will be friends some of the time :)

    1. Yes, it can be stressful when you put a lot of pressure on yourself or start comparing. Enjoy your days with your little ones. School will start soon enough but will definitely bring a new aspect and change to your life. I do really love that my children get to learn together and yes there are a lot of fights but even more opportunities for them to learn to work together:)

  2. Certainly sounds like you're finding your own groove and flourishing in that knowledge (wisdom, maybe?)! Congrats on the start of your 7th year! :)

    1. Thanks Kendall! Experience really does help but I know I still have so much to learn;)

  3. It's always encouraging to hear of school going well the first week. A good first week sets a nice precedent. My big kids begin their independent work at 8:30, but I need more time in the morning before I can start, so I start teaching at 9:30 after I'm ready. We don't finish early, but we take 1 1/2 hours at lunch time.


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