View Full Version : Getting back after a break

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
07-24-2012, 07:41 AM
For those of you that take a summer break, how do you get back into homeschooling?

Do you just jump back in or do you do something special for a few days then jump back in?

07-24-2012, 08:02 AM
I'm curious about this as well. This is going to be our first official year homeschooling. Preschool-homeschool seemed playful and more organic to the flow of the day, but now I feel like I have to give out a warning or something: "We're going to do school in ten minutes; get ready." I'm not always sure I'll have a willing student on the other end of that announcement.

I'm wondering, too, if others just proclaim a start day and take off or if you ease into it slowly.

Nearby schools are starting August 9th, but we start August 20th. My plan is to row Flat Stanley in the week and a half between the 9th and 20th, just to warm up.

07-24-2012, 08:50 AM
We didn't take a traditional break this year, but we have in the past. I feel like doing fun first day things helps. Apparently in Germany, kids open cones full of school supplies and little treats on the first day. I've heard of families who do a special breakfast or a special field trip or who play educational games all day... I think there are lots of potential ways to do a special first day and that can help get kids excited to start again.

07-24-2012, 09:05 AM
We jump right in, but we keep the lessons short and simple. I'm going to try to do some things to make the day special: get out all the new school supplies, take pictures of the kids, go out for ice cream or make cookies, start a new read-aloud, print out mazes, word searches, Sudoku puzzles, etc. for each kid to do while the other is doing seat work.

Paula, getting into a regular routine will help a lot with having a willing student. We actually write up a schedule on a little dry erase board so the kids can see when it's time to start working (and when their next break is, which helps too). Other people use workboxes or checklists or little cards with a subject written on each one. Visual things like that help.

07-24-2012, 09:38 AM
I'm undecided this year how we'll jump back in, whether we'll ease in with half days (some subjects) for the first couple of weeks, or just dive in head first. In our area, the weather is the very best from late August-October (at least for us), which makes it awfully difficult for me to demand seat work when we could be outside enjoying the beautiful fall before winter sets in (ha! you see where my priorities lie!).

We also have a fuller schedule this year, or at least that's the plan (we'll see how it pans out! lol). I hesitate to set the expectations low by starting with only half our subjects, and waiting to introduce more into our afternoons. DS isn't chomping at the bit quite yet to get going, although he's mentioned mid-August would be a good time to start back so that's when I'm tentatively planning. It's tough for us to get into a routine if it's always being interrupted, and I feel like that will be the case for various reasons this year.

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
07-24-2012, 09:51 AM
I plan on starting back up on August 20. I like the idea of fun puzzles and easy mazes to start the day.

I just found a fun unit study on Curious George that I think I'll do that week.


I chose level 2, Curious George Takes a Job

07-24-2012, 11:14 PM

I appreciate the encouragement. We've supplied our homeschool room with workboxes and a white board for just that purpose but haven't put them into full action yet. Thank you for making me feel like I made the right choice there. :)

I'll be working on establishing that routine come August. ;)

07-24-2012, 11:20 PM

That sounds fun! I just stumbled on a blog (I think it was www.delightfullearning.blogspot.com) that was so inspirational. Her blog is chock full of fun, literature-based unit studies. After reading about their time reading Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, I got the itch to row again.

Good luck on your first day! Let us all know how it goes. :)

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
07-28-2012, 09:52 AM
Thanks Paula! She sure does have tons of great ideas!!! I was coming back on here to ask for ideas about organization but that blog site has some great solutions!! Off to the store now!

07-29-2012, 08:50 PM
I meant to HS through the summer, but my DH had to travel a lot for work unexpectedly, so we ended up just taking it off. I got DS a kindercone last year, so I will definitely fill that again. I'll gradually get started, adding a subject every few days. It's only 1st grade though. :)

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
07-29-2012, 10:22 PM
What is a kindercone?

07-30-2012, 06:51 AM
We normally start off around the middle of August at an easy pace for a couple of weeks, either doing a half a lesson a day or a full lesson every other day. We hit full stride no later than the Tuesday after Labor Day.

08-01-2012, 07:29 PM
We start the first week of September along with the public schools. Easier that way since extracurriculars around here are built around the PS calendar. We do finish a full month earlier, since we don't take as many breaks, though. My kids get a whole 3-month summer unlike their PS peers.

We dive right in with a full day the first day, but my kids are 7 and 12 so they know what to expect. When they were younger, I usually kept the load light the first week or so. Our school day starts at 9 am on the dot. The kids whine a bit the first week or so, as I imagine PS kids do, too. Then it becomes habit again. I think if we eased in slowly the whining would last a bit longer!

08-01-2012, 09:13 PM
What is a kindercone?

This (http://www.kindercone.com/). Children in Germany and some other countries as well get these for the first day of school packed with treats and fun school supplies. Some people do it here too. You can also make your own. We did one year... I thought I had a picture of BalletBoy putting his on his head after emptying it on my blog, but I don't see it. Oh well.

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
08-01-2012, 11:37 PM
Seems like a cute idea!

08-02-2012, 01:05 AM
we jump in full throttle, because it's easier for us to ease up if we need to, than it is to add stuff in later on.

christina in lawrenceville

08-02-2012, 08:05 AM
This (http://www.kindercone.com/). Children in Germany and some other countries as well get these for the first day of school packed with treats and fun school supplies. Some people do it here too. You can also make your own. We did one year... I thought I had a picture of BalletBoy putting his on his head after emptying it on my blog, but I don't see it. Oh well.

That's too adorable. If I were to make my own, I wonder where I could find materials to make it that wouldn't require too much extra work (as I'd need to make it at home and would want my little guy to be completely surprised seeing it for the first time).