Are you excited about the beginning of the school year? Most of the time I’m so ready! I get excited about all the new supplies and we just dive right into a new year on September first.
This year, I wasn’t feeling ready to start back to school. The whole thing felt bittersweet and I didn’t want to let summer go. Maybe it’s because Emily is turning 10 and it’s our last year of elementary school. Whatever the reason, I wanted to slow down and hang on to summer a little bit tighter this year.
If that’s how you’re feeling this school year, you’re not alone. I’d like to encourage you to embrace the need to slow down and the freedom we have as homeschoolers. While everyone else is posting pics on social media and settling into the “back to school” season, let’s celebrate a NOT back-to-school week and send summer off in style!
Embrace the Freedom That Comes With Homeschooling
We always talk about the wonderful freedom we have as homeschoolers. We can be flexible and do what works for our families. Then, we see the back-to-school sales and first-day pictures and we suddenly decide we must get on board.
If you want to slow down, you have my permission to totally ignore all those back-to-school ads and guilt trips.
Instead of celebrating a return to school, let’s celebrate NOT back-to-school week with all kinds of family fun! We can start our school year with connection and quality time together. This is one of the amazing things we have the opportunity to do as homeschoolers, so let’s embrace it!
All the other kiddos have returned to school, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In fact, it often means it’s the perfect time to squeeze in one last trip to the beach or a theme park. Last year we spent a week at Universal and it was the perfect way to begin our school year.
Invite family over, go visit family out of town, and enjoy the empty parks and playgrounds in your community together. You can do all your favorite things and really take your time because everywhere is less crowded (and sometimes more affordable!) once school is back in session.
Celebrate a Not Back-to-School Week
Instead of dressing up for first-day pics, enjoy one more week lounging around in pajamas. Watch your favorite movies together, play your favorite games, and indulge in your favorite snacks. This is a week to spend time together and foster a deeper connection.
Last year, we started the year with a trip to Universal before engaging in our Wizards & Wands curriculum. We didn’t realize it was a not-back-to-school trip until we arrived. Since our trip lined up with the start of school, the parks were much less crowded and we had an excellent time!
This year, I just wasn’t ready to give up summer, so we’re off to Disney. There’s still a lot of learning, connection, and exploring to do even at a theme park. We’re excited to kick off a new school year by spending quality time together and having fun as a family.
It’s ok if theme parks aren’t your thing. There are lots of ways to embrace the waning summer and celebrate the freedom we have as homeschoolers even after the rest of the world has returned to school for the year. What’s something you wanted to do all summer long but didn’t? What are you waiting for? Celebrate not-back-to-school and go have some fun!
An Easy Start To the Homeschool Year
There’s no rule that we have to start the school year off “strong.” An easy and slow start might be just what you and your kids need this year. Take one last vacation or squeeze in a field trip. You can check out our Summer Homeschool Plans to get more ideas on how we keep the learning going while we relax all summer long.
Try our Easy Ways to Make Learning Fun to help you start slow and build a deeper connection while you learn. Let’s make homeschool learning something we can get excited about and something our kids can be excited about too. Kids work harder and learn more when they’re having fun, in fact, we all do. We can create lifelong learners if our kids are excited about the process and having fun along the way.
Don’t forget it’s a good to start your new homeschool year slowly with lots of grace for everyone instead of beginning with rigorous studies and workbooks.
Are you excited to start the homeschool year? If so, don’t miss our Five Fun Ideas to Celebrate the First Day of Homeschool or all of our fun new unit studies! If you’re like me and you’re looking for a way to slow down and enjoy a little more summer, please do it! Soak up every bit of summer you can with your homeschool family and enjoy all the sunshine together even if the world has gone back to school.