Reset your homeschool year every season

Actual homeschool life versus Pinterest and Instagram homeschool life can look very different! That’s ok , your homeschool looks different, because it’s designed by you, for your kids! But sometimes, you may need to reset your homeschool. The change of seasons is the perfect time to reflect and make changes. 

Use a homeschool reset when perhaps you’ve lost focus or motivation. You may even *feel* that things are off track for whatever reason. Often a homeschool reset is needed after a long break, or when you NEED a break. Kids may need a reset when they fuss and fight over completing their tasks.

When you take the time to reset your homeschool, you benefit from a fresh, new start. Whether you homeschool for 180 traditional days or you homeschool year round, here are some essential components to an effective homeschool reset. 

You can establish reset points in your homeschool before a crisis occurs by using the seasons! 

Use the seasons as a guide for when to reset your homeschool

We are gifted with 4 times each calendar year we can use to reset our homes.

You can do a seasonal reset using meteorological seasons, or solstices/equinoxes. 

Meteorological seasons

Experts calculate meteorological seasons by splitting the year into four periods made up of three months each. These seasons coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for weather forecasting and comparing seasonal and monthly statistics. 

In the northern hemisphere, they define the seasons as spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July, August), autumn (September, October, November), and winter (December, January, February).

In the southern hemisphere, they define the seasons as spring (September, October, November), summer (December, January, February), autumn (March, April, May), and winter (June, July, August).

A meteorological season begins on the first of the first month and ends on the last day of the third month; March 1st – May 31st for example is Spring in the northern hemisphere. 

Solstices and equinoxes

Solstices and equinoxes are astronomical transition points between seasons. They also mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of the Earth. Each year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter). The dates of the Equinox and Solstice vary from year to year because of the Earth’s elliptical orbit of the Sun. 

The dates are as follows: 

March 19th, 20th, or 21st are the dates for the March Equinox  = Spring /Autumn 

June 20th or 21st are the dates for the June Solstice = Summer/Winter

September 22nd or 23rd are the dates for the September Equinox = Autumn/Spring

December 21st is the date for the December Solstice = Winter/Summer

You can calculate the date for these astrological seasons with this handy calculator from time & Date . com https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/seasons.html

As each season changes, it provides us with the reminder reset elements of both our home-life and our school life. 

The changing season is the perfect opportunity to: 

  • Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Change the filters for your air-conditioning/ heating unit
  • Donate unwanted toys and clothing 
  • Move seasonal toys and clothing to storage
  • Evaluate the elements of homeschooling in need of a reset
  • Refresh and re-organize your homeschool area, including supplies

Some suggested areas to help as you reset your homeschool

Mindset

Mindset is made up of your thoughts and opinions. All the thoughts you have rattling around in your head about ALL THE THINGS. The judgments we make (it’s ok, we all do it) also determine our mindset. Your mindset determines your responses and interpretations of situations. 

All of this is completely natural.

When deciding to reset your homeschool, mindset is an important consideration

Many times our brains are offering us thoughts based on the outcomes we see in others. The fact THEIR kids have already memorized their multiplication tables (or the Periodic Table!) 

However, you can choose the thoughts you stay with. 

You can be intentional in your thinking. 

Are things not *working* in your homeschool because of the things you are THINKING? 

You can answer this by: 

Check in with yourself, your intuition

In your mommy gut you will find heart-aligned thoughts to choose. 

Looking inward for pure thoughts takes the pressure off. You only have to be YOU… you do not need to be perfect and you do not need to replicate someone else’s homeschool. 

These heart aligned thoughts FEEL GOOD. You can say YES to them with your whole body, mind and spirit. Yes to allowing the thought to stay and inspire you, guide you and help you decide. 

Yes to taking up space in your mind! 

Journaling as a mindset tool

Journaling is a wonderful way to look deeper at the thoughts you have racing through your head like a bullet train.  It opens the door to self -reflection and a deeper understanding of thoughts worthy of remaining, and those to just let fly on by. 

You can journal anytime – first thing in the morning while the house is still quiet, while the kids work independently or nap, and even (My favorite time) at the end of the day – just before bed. 

Here are some suggested journal prompts to see if a change in mindset will help reset your homeschool: 

  • What does a successful and thriving homeschool look like for YOU?
  • Have you found the right path to create this successful homeschool?  Why or why not? 
  • Have you decided and given yourself permission to run your school your way, without pressure to replicate what someone else is doing?
  • What action can you take today to create a whole-hearted yes for your vision of homeschool success?

Curriculum

Curriculum is a very misunderstood term in education. When curriculum is discussed, it is often in reference to the books, worksheets, videos, and other educational resources used to teach. Curriculum, however, is PLANNED experiences and topics used to impart the knowledge and skills we want our children to have. (Books, worksheets and other materials are resources or tools to facilitate the experiences) 

A well-thought-out curriculum identifies opportunities and connections to help our children build skills, processes, and habits which all lead them to become active members of society. 

When evaluating if you vshould include the curriculum when you reset your homeschool consider: 

  • Are my children interested in the topics they are studying?
  • Are my children engaged with the materials more often than not? 
  • Are the skills and topics we are covering preparing my kids for success? (You define what success looks like- see mindset journal prompts) 
  • Is the curriculum (as defined above – experiences and topics, knowledge and skills) we are using aligned with our core reason for homeschooling? 
  • Have I established a reasonable timeline for the absorption, processing, and understanding of the curriculum? (Am I going too fast or too slow?) 
  • Are the resources (this means the books, et al.) I’m using to support the curriculum geared to my children and their learning styles, or are they things I like and are easy for me? 

Want to know how to choose the perfect curriculum for your homeschool? I have plenty of tips in THIS POST.

Routine/schedules

Routines are actions that are performed regularly within your home. They are the backbone of daily home life. Routines facilitate learning and allow you to spend more time meaningfully engaged with your children. 

(Examples of routines- getting ready in the morning, and how your kids transition from one subject to another. You may even have a routine for doing the laundry throughout the day.

Changing up your routine may be a perfect way to reset your homeschool. When the seasons change, often activities change as well. This is a perfect time to evaluate if the routines you have in place are serving your family efficiently. 

A routine reset is also helpful if you find your kids asking questions they know the answer to or you have to remind them of your expectation that they come to breakfast already dressed. 

A schedule is a plan for carrying out tasks. In a homeschool setting, it may involve the time of day you work on any subject, or it may vary based on the day of the week. Your schedule may need a reset if your teaching math just before lunchtime and hunger is getting in the way of sustained focus. 

If you want to take a deep dive into your homeschool routine I have more tips in THIS POST

adjusting to seasonal time changes

Routines and schedules can be impacted seasonally if you live in an area that has adopted Daylight Saving Time. In March and November when the time changes, this hour can have a profound impact on everyone in your homeschool. To help everyone have a smooth transition, we reset our homeschool bedtime and wake time by 15 minutes every 3 days for 2 weeks before Daylight Saving time begins and  2 weeks after Daylight Saving  time ends. This helps reduce the shock to our internal clocks adjusting to the whole hour causes. 

In the spring, (Spring Forward) your 8:00 pm bedtime is going to “feel like” 9:00 pm. Start going to bed at 8:15 for a few days, then 8:30, 8:45, and by the actual time change 8:00 pm (which WAS 9:00 pm) 

In the Fall, when you “fall back”  waking seems to be more difficult. After all an hour just disappeared and your 7 am alarm now feels like 6:00 am. To prepare for this time change, begin waking at 6:45 am, then 6:30, 6:15, and finally (in time with Daylight Savings end) 7:00 am (which WAS 6:00 am).

Sometimes you need more than a simple reset

Decompression, also called deschooling, is usually done before taking a deep dive into homeschooling. It can be done anytime. In simple terms, decompressing is a longer reset time. This isn’t just a vacation however, decompressing has structure and purpose.

Decompressing is time to relax, focus on family and get to know each other better. It’s time to re-establish your connections without the outside pressure of completing schoolwork. “School” and all it entails is a big deal. Those pressures have been stressful for everyone. The decompression phase is a detox of sorts.

If you think a longer period of RESET is needed, check out THIS POST on DECOMPRESSING

Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling to reset your homeschool.

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I can’t wait to share my homeschool expertise and mindset-shifting superpowers with you each edition of THE BUZZ. We’ll also chat about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.

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