Is your family new to homeschooling or considering it? Maybe you’re not so new, but you could really use some MOTIVATION right now? This is for EVERYONE!
With summer fastly approaching, can you guess the number one thing homeschooling families are researching online right now? If you guessed homeschooling curriculum, you are correct!
I personally LOVE planning for fall and looking at everything out there! Maybe you do too! I have a creative flair so I’m always craving new ideas!
However, many of you are also feeling stressed out, burnt out, and frazzled right now…maybe even a little discouraged or not really sure what steps to take as you look to next school year.
You know what? I can relate to that so much! This is why this article is NOT about homeschooling curriculum, recommendations, where to go to buy it, or anything like that!
I want you to just STOP and BREATHE for a minute! While you catch your breath, I want to tell you a little about my story. About four years ago, I started my own homeschooling journey. Maybe you should also know that I was that parent who said they would never homeschool! I also once bought into the crazy myths that my child couldn’t be well socialized or that it would be impossible for her to get the education she needed this way.
My only child, who is now almost 11, attended kindergarten in a public school and it was a very challenging year not only for her but for our family. She has special needs, not all of which had been identified at that point, and I quickly realized I would be continually fighting an uphill IEP battle. I knew public school wasn’t going to be the best environment for her.
About halfway through the year, I began to really think about homeschooling as an option for us. I dove right in, researching homeschooling methods and curriculum while gaining an abundance of wonderful ideas. I truly felt that we were meant to do this!
However, something else that popped up in my search was the term “Deschooling.” I’m sure many of you already know what that is, but for those who don’t, it refers to the process that homeschoolers and parents go through when they leave the school system.
I also understand that not all homeschooling families were once in the school system and things may look a little differently if that describes you. However, I think some of this is valuable for you also!
Essentially, deschooling means we need to let go of the school culture in order to embrace a new culture of learning for our families. Learning takes place in so many ways! Our homeschools shouldn’t look like public or private schools. They should uniquely reflect our children’s interests, needs, abilities, and our family’s culture and values.
There is so much JOY in being able to do that! This is why Deschooling is probably THE MOST important step for homeschooling families, but it is so often skipped! You want to create an environment that is sustainable for homeschooling especially if it is something you hope to do long term.
Children and parents both need an adjustment period which includes learning experiences that are detached from curriculum, textbooks, papers, or anything of the sort. It also helps us to develop a better rapport with our children and strengthen our relationships with them.
DON’T SKIP THIS! I really wish I had paid more attention to it in the beginning!
If you are one of those people who has been doing this for awhile, you are probably wondering where you fit into this! You can revisit this idea too. Just put on the brakes!
Summer is the perfect time for this! This is why I have created an AMAZING summer bucket list that will help you with deschooling and/or recharging your batteries…wherever you fit into that!
SUPER SUMMER BUCKET LIST
Tell your children how EXCITED you are for Summer and that you want their ideas for a Summer bucket list- a list of things they would really like to do this summer, places they want to go, and things they want to learn. FUN and SILLY things should be on that list too!
It’s really important to have their input. If you already have some things planned, those activities can also go on the list! Be sure to let your kids check off the activities as they are completed.
Here is a list I created to help you:
- Have a picnic day…or many! Pack your lunch and head to your closest park for some fun and playing in the splash pad.
- Plan a living room or backyard campout! Grab your pillow and sleeping bag and roast some yummy s’mores while telling stories or singing songs. Invite some friends if you want.
- Sign up for your public library’s summer reading program. Dive into what your kids want to read and enjoy it with them. They may even be able to earn some prizes.
- Pick strawberries or blueberries! Make a dessert or a fruit salad together. Practice counting with the younger kiddos or talk about how they grow.
- Have a Summer Solstice bash to celebrate the official start of summer on June 21! This could be anything from a barbecue to an ice cream social. It could involve a big bonfire, gazing at the stars, or dancing or singing. Be creative!
- Make homemade ice cream! For more fun, let your children choose from a buffet of cool toppings and make a yummy sundae!
- Go outside at night and catch fireflies…or lightning bugs as many of us in the south like to call them! It’s such a simple thing, but it can truly make for some of the best memories.
- Boardgame night! Pull out your favorite board games. Add a new one to the mix!
- Water fun day in your yard! Stay cool by running through the sprinklers, playing in kiddie pools, or having a water balloon toss.
- Travel somewhere new! It’s fun to explore somewhere new whether it’s close to home or far away. Look for shells at the beach or create an outdoor scavenger hunt.
The sky’s the limit, but parents, your only assignment is to enjoy the summer with your family!
About Melanie: Melanie has been a homeschooling mom for 4 years and currently lives in East TN with her husband, 10-year-old daughter, dog Queenie, and cat Sampson. She is currently a freelance copywriter and has a background in education and social work. She loves reading in her free time and catching up with her book club buddies.