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I can’t believe it, we are about to start our SIXTH homeschool year! How in the world did that happen?? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were doing this?

Abby's first day of homeschool

Our Very First Day of Homeschool, 8/2011

So, like everyone else, we are prepping for our school year to start! I thought I’d share a couple ideas that I’ve implemented this summer; hopefully they are useful!

1. Figure out your extra-curricular activities first!

Last spring, my girls decided they were “over” dancing, and wanted to do sports. What sports they didn’t know. So, we spent several weeks this summer trying different “sport camps” out, and finally settled on swimming! So, both girls will be doing swim lessons and the intramural swim team at the YMCA this year. I got this signed up and registered this week, and already purchased the required items (suit, swim cap, goggles) and popped them in a bag READY TO GO the first day. It’s done!

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This will be in addition to American Heritage Girls which we love. Since this is my final year as the Troop Coordinator, I spent a lot of time this summer trying to organize everything to get it ready to turn over and easily replicate for next year. (Organization has been one of our weaknesses in leadership. We’re trying to change that.) Thankfully I think all that work is going to pay off and make this next year run much more smoothly! Which is important, the stress of the insanity last year about did me in.

I also adjusted my work schedule, so we would be more able to participate in some of the local homeschool group park days. I am really looking forward to spending time OUT of the house this next year! Isn’t that supposed to be the fun of homeschooling?

2. Plan “school” around your extra-curriculars and “life”!

Once that is all done, I brought out my handy calendar, and started laying out the full year. This is more for ME, because I am very visual. I need to be able to SEE what days are booked with activities already. This also helps me from double-booking myself!

I add in everything – holidays, our extra-curricular activities, upcoming scheduled events for myself (I have a couple scrapbooking retreats planned for me this year!), family visits, homeschool group field trips, and even the local public school calendar! It’s great to know when our neighborhood friends will have days off, I can plan to have lighter homeschool days so that the girls can play with their friends. (We have a great neighborhood!)

And now that I have everything in one place, I can really see what our year will look like and start to plan! What days are heaviest – and then I should schedule a lighter “school” day? When should I plan in some breaks in the calendar- like Thanksgiving week, Christmas break, Spring Break, etc? Also, because we must have 180 days of school here in Pennsylvania, I plot out to make sure I have planned enough days and in time to finish sufficiently early so I can get our testing and portfolio review out of the way as well.

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3. Plan Out Our Homeschool Work

And then to plan out our homeschool work and plan for the year. More on that another time!

 

Coming up next, more tips to get ready for your homeschool year! But I’d love to hear your tips! What do you suggest??

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