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
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
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
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
And don't forget character training for parents, too! See: "Growing
as Parents: Our Influence and Attitude" and "Formula
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
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
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
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."