• Emily Hess

A Soft Start to {Home} School

Last Tuesday, August 14, 2018, we started back to school as our sixth year as a homeschooling family. Over the years we have found what works for us in a variety of different aspects of schooling. We follow a five-day schedule (some prefer a four-day-schedule to leave a day open for homeschool co-ops).

Through trial and error we have found that a soft start to the school year works best for our children (and me). In the past we have jumped in with both feet on a Monday morning and plowed through the whole first five days of school. This method (for us) has been met with lots of tears and frustrations. After doing this for a couple of years I realized, hey, I don’t have to do this to myself or my children.

We have the freedom to school when we want!

To accommodate our Labor Day beach trip, we start school in the middle of August. Our first week back to school we do school for two days. Often this is a Tuesday and Wednesday or a Wednesday and Thursday depending on what appointments and other activities we have going on. The second week of school we do three days. Maggie’s birthday is usually this second week of school and it works out well for us to take off for her birthday, on whatever day of the week that happens to fall, and do something summery and special.

My kids with their teacher

The third week of school we go all five days. The fourth week is our beach week. This has worked out really well for our family for many reasons. Labor Day week most kids are back in school so the beaches, shops, and restaurants are still open but empty. The house rentals drop in price that week so it makes it affordable for our family to spend that time at the beach when normally most of those places would be out of our price range. It also is fantastic because our best friends who also homeschool come with us and we share a house. We are always doing educational things on these trips. The one down side is that now that our older girls are playing sports they do usually miss the first soccer game of the season and a couple of practices. But they never complain about missing a little soccer for a week at the beach.

After our beach trip and the weather starts to cool we are all ready to dig into the school curriculum for the year with tremendous gusto.

This may not work for every family, but a soft start to school has been met with much success in our home. It feels good to have found a way to start school with less frustration and tears all around.

Wherever your kids go to school, I hope the year is great!

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