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January Homeschooling: Restarting With Success After the Holidays

Returning to school after the holidays is not for the faint of heart. It can be rougher than starting in August when everything was new, shiny, and full of hope. January homeschooling means opening the door on a homeschool room or cabinet that is likely disorganized from when you last shut it in December. It means worn-down crayons, lost pencils, half-used workbooks, and picking up where you left off.

Am I painting a gloomy picture for you (as gloomy as the winter sky)? Don't despair! January is a fresh start and a time to make mid-course corrections that can salvage your school year.

First: Get Organized!

Take a few minutes to straighten up those shelves, polish your work table, and have the kids sharpen the pencils. I'm not talking about hours of work here. Put on some happy music and give that room a little Snow White treatment. I hope the woodland animals come help you, too.

Next: Time to Assess

Now, get the kids busy doing something so you have a few minutes to think. Look through your homeschool materials to jog your memory. What wasn't working before the holiday break? Is it time to ditch a part of your curriculum? Take a break and shore up some skills that are missing? Rearrange what time you do certain subjects? (For example, math in the afternoons never worked for us.) What simple changes can you make to fix those problems from last semester? Brainstorm with a friend, if needed.

Then: The Fun Part

Time to request books from the library, print new things, change the calendar, add something new, and plan for fun. At the beginning of the school year, you were full of hope, but unsure of how things would go. Now you know. Now, you can make more informed decisions about what to pursue and learn together.

Since it is January, especially if you live somewhere with real winter, planning some activity breaks is important. Be sure to get outside or allow for some extra physical activity during the school day. Instead of doing a worksheet, write the answers on index cards and have them hop to the correct answer. Set up blanket forts to read in. Plan a few art projects. Sit by the window and get some sunlight. Read The Long Winter as your read-aloud. Nothing will make you more thankful!

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If you need to break up the monotony of a month with very few holidays, follow me on Facebook and Instagram, where I share fun days to add to your homeschool. It can really help get through these January days when there are special times to look forward to.

January can be a great "second start" to your homeschool year and a time to get back to work, while still enjoying the little pleasures that aren't always possible in a classroom. You can do this!


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