Getting Ready for My Homeschool Year
I love this time of year! Summer is fun and flying by, and homeschooling is just around the corner. Though I love my summers, I start getting restless. I begin missing having a little routine back in my life. Really, what I am missing most is teaching my children and spending real time with them. For me, returning to Heart of Dakota (HOD) after my summer break is like coming home to an old friend. We just pick up where we left off, like old friends do, and it just feels so good to be back together. Getting ready for my homeschool year has been a part of my life for 20 years, and Lord willing, it will be a part of my life for another 3 years with my last son, Emmett, who will be a sophomore this year.
My Guide, My Helper
At the start of each homeschool year, I choose a special day for getting ready for my homeschool year. I make myself a steaming cup of coffee, pull out my guide(s), and sit outside at my patio table. I like to pick a quiet, sunny day. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, and I am getting ready for my homeschool year. Life is good.
Last year was the first year I only pulled out one HOD guide. It felt a little lonely. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I was pulling out three HOD guides, but really I guess that has been over four years ago now. If you’ve read A Lantern in Her Hand, one less guide feels like one less plate to set on the table – a little lonely. (If you haven’t read A Lantern in Her Hand, you need to – so good, so timely – whatever stage of life you are in.)
My guide is really my helper – at least, I feel that way. It guides me through the year, and it guides my children too. I like to read the Introduction and make notes in the margin of choices for how to do things. Then, if my kiddos are older, I call them to choose how they’d like to do things. For World History for Emmett, I’ll ask him how he’d best like to organize his work. One large 3-ring binder? Or, a bunch of little binders? One large five-subject notebook? Or, a bunch of little notebooks? I’ll ask him if he needs a new Common Place Book, and if so, we’ll shop on the Internet to pick one out that he likes. We’ll enjoy this time getting ready for the year together, which I love.
Getting Ready for Each Year
Getting ready for each year is super easy these days. I actually did a blog post for each guide, and even though I wrote the posts, I actually still print the blog posts to get ready. It is just easier for me! A few things have changed since I wrote them, but overall the getting ready for each year is still the same as when I wrote the posts. I also linked the suggested time allotments for each box of plans in these posts, which really helps me when I make our schedule. In case you’d find these getting ready for each guide posts helpful, here are the links for them:
I hope you enjoy getting ready for your year with HOD as much as I do! I really love making key times for us as a family, as well as using a calendar to plan my homeschool year. As I do these things, I begin to picture my year ahead – with my sons, with my husband, in my home – and I truly cherish that picture. What a blessing to be able to homeschool! Yes, it is work – but it is worthy work worth doing. May your getting ready for your upcoming year with HOD paint a beautiful picture for you too!