Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Should I start my school year early or late?

This is very different for each family.  The local private schools went back midAugust around our location and the publics went back the 4th Week of August, with labor day this year still two weeks off.  I used to always start the day after labor day.  This year I sit here unprepared and not really wanting to get started.  I know the better organized I am the more we will get done and yet we never do what I organize so it sometimes look like a waste.  I watch the newbies get excited about curriculum and making bold choices to teach or not teach a certain subject.  I am again stuck with my personality wanting to be uber organized and output driven with work sheets and charts but knowing that the kids do not learn that way.   I know my kids learn even in an un-schooling fashion but I still stress and compare myself to others.  "Am I doing enough?  Do I require enough?  Will they be smart enough? What will so in so think if they find out what I do?"  You would think starting year 20 of this homeschool teaching thing would afford me a little more confidence.

I have 11 wonderful children.  The oldest 4 are finished with my instruction.  The oldest is literally a life-saver working as an EMT on an ambulance.  The next three are at community college working on transfer credits.  Most importantly I have raised wonderful people.  They are kind, giving, loving, and Christ centered people that understand HEAVEN is the goal.  That is what I need to focus on all the time.  Our family motto:  HEAVEN IS THE GOAL, EVERYTHING ELSE IS GRAVY!  OK now that I have reminded myself of what is important year 20 can begin with the right focus.

So when should I start my school year?  This year for me it will be soon.  It is important to realize and focus on the goal.  Remember that no matter when you start you kids will not learn everything.  You will never get it all done.  The most important thing to do in a homeschool family is to inspire a spirit of learning and a love of Christ.  Let the kids know their purpose as a child of God and then education will fall into place.  I am not saying that academics are not important because they are extremely important, but in their proper spot.  With the goal in mind, I will start school when it works best for my family.


  1. I suspect your reluctance to "start" the school year after 20 years of homeschooling might have something to do with what Dr. Raymond Moore called "Homeschool Burnout." He wrote and talked extensively about it. Since he was my mentor, I never experienced Homeschool Burnout. We used the Moore Formula and I consider the results spectacular (of course, I'm seriously prejudiced). You might want to reconsider your homeschooling style. As you say, "Heaven is the goal, everything else is gravy." Think back over those 20 years and consider what might have been eliminated that was really closer to busy work. Think about what caused strife. Students who really love what they are learning don't need to be prodded and remember much more. Students who don't love what they are learning, don't retain as much. Every child is different and learns differently; no one curriculum can be the best for every child. As a former school teacher, I know that most of the trappings of school- tests, quizzes, rigid schedules, letter grades, scope & sequence, etc. - are really there for crowd control and have little to do with lasting learning. I urge you to take a few more days off and read The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook. You don't need to change the content that is important to you but you may want to change the delivery method and insert some of the elements of the Moore Formula if you are not already incorporating them. You can read a good article about the Moore Formula here:
    You are a champion and a veteran. I hope something here is helpful to you.

    1. It took me almost a year to see your thoughtful comment. I am so sorry. I suspect my reluctance to start was just being tired, not with homeschooling so much but with life in the Hot Houston location. I thought we would be here 3 years and it has been almost 15. I love the people but hate the weather. When it comes time for fall I get very very depressed. I miss the cool air and the leaves changing. Than being said I am intrigued by the Moore Formula. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be looking at as I prepare for this next school year. 21 years done with about 13 more to go. I love the end results way to much to give up on it!