Shaping Up for the New School Year!

By Tamara Eaton

It's time to get ready for another great homeschooling year!  Although we've homeschooled for many years, each year brings new changes and challenges. We've learned to trust God for wisdom in creating new routines to meet the changing needs. Here are some things we are doing  in our home to shape up for the new school year!

1. First of all, MOM is literally working on getting into shape. (Yes, that means ME!) I am finally getting serious and consistent about exercising every day and feeling so much more energetic as a result. This is something I can do at home with my children and it has actually become a great "bonding time" with my teens. We prefer using exercise videos but walking or biking or whatever gets you moving is great! Check your local library for books on getting fit after forty --or whatever your age! Our library proved to be a valuable resource and we were even able to check out aerobic exercise videos, too.

[Book Suggestion: Fitness for Dummies by Schlosberg and Neporent is a helpful beginner's guide ISBN 1-56884-866-9 ]

It's all too easy to focus so much on taking care of family needs that we neglect our own needs and end up getting burned out. For more tips on taking care of Mom, see : "Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Recharge"

2. We're getting the house into shape. Room by room, we're decluttering and streamlining our cleaning so we can finish our daily chores within a short time each morning. We try to do a little extra each week instead of making it a major daily project --this makes it easier to maintain other responsibilities without it becoming overwhelming.For more tips on organizing and combining housework with homeschooling, see: "Homeschool and Housework" and join us on the Homemaking section on chfweb.com where we have a group committed to "Doing Housework to the Glory of God!"

3. We're easing our way into the new homeschool year by beginning new studies a little at a time. Sometimes it can be a rude awakening to go from lazy summer days to structured fall efficiency. We want to make the transition as enjoyable as possible so the children will continue to look forward to learning new things. Right now our weather has been terribly hot so it's a perfect time to stay indoors and work a little on writing skills and researching topics of interest during the heat of the day. This will also give us time to take off on those gorgeous, cool fall days for a nature hike or picnic!

For more tips on easing into the new school year see: "Staying on Task"

4. We're working on any necessary character training issues right now and not allowing poor attitudes to go unchecked. Sometimes "refresher" courses are needed in various areas, now is the time to deal with them before things get out of hand. See: "Homeschool Boot Camp: Dealing with Attitudes" and "Training Children (and Parents!)" and "Living in Harmony"

And don't forget character training for parents, too! See: "Growing as Parents: Our Influence and Attitude" and "Formula For Failure"

5. We're prayerfully reviewing our priorities and the way we spend our time. There isn't time to do everything we'd *like* to do right now, but we can be assured that there is *always enough time to do the will of God*, so we're making sure we follow His leading. For help in determining priorities and managing your time, see: "Managing Our Time"

6. We're committed to staying focused on the Lord, spending time with Him and in His Word. He is our Source of wisdom and strength and we need daily encouragement and help from Him! For tips on Bible study and making time for busy moms, see: "In His Presence" and "Neglecting the Needful" and "Strong in Spirit"

7. We've ordered the needed additions to our curriculum for the coming year, but, we're also making sure we don't leave out the TRUE "essentials" for the coming year:

See "BACK TO SCHOOL LIST: Essentials for This School Year! and "A Homeschooler's Check List"

8. If you are new to homeschooling, or just in need of some fresh motivation to get you excited about the coming year, you'll find additional encouragement in the Articles Archives, where a broad range of topics include: socialization, motivation, teaching multi-levels, *enjoying* homeschooling, working with perpetual motion and homeschooling high schoolers.

May the Lord bless you all with a wonderful homeschool year! If you have questions or prayer requests, please feel free to share them on Christian Homeschool Fellowship where you will find encouragement and support from many homeschooling families.


[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)

Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2001, all rights reserved.

Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.

We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.

[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13