I hope you all are enjoying your summer and indulging in some well-deserved rest. In the midst of the resting and slower pace that accompanies the summer season, many of you are planning or thinking about possibly trying to plan, for the upcoming school year. As you do so, I wanted to encourage and remind you to be thinking about these four specific things.
1. Include Biblical Instruction
It is disturbingly easy to become so overwhelmed and focused on the academic side of homeschooling that we completely forget about the awesome responsibility we have as parents to train our children in the ways of the Lord. In the relatively short time we have in the driver’s seat of their education, these years are critical in ensuring we are imparting a Biblical worldview to our children through every subject, every curriculum choice, every class, and every opportunity. This is so much more important than picking the right math curriculum. It is more important than getting into the right class. This one-on-one discipleship aspect of homeschooling is, without question, the most important task you have been assigned. Spend some intentional time this summer thinking through how to best incorporate this kind of instruction into your overall homeschool plan for next year.
2. Renew/Refresh Your WHY
If you have already created a mission or vision statement that codifies your WHY you are homeschooling, now is a great time to pull it out and see if anything has changed or if you’ve drifted off course. If you haven’t created one yet, I highly encourage you to do so. There will undoubtedly be times this upcoming school year when you (and/or your kids) will question why you are doing this homeschooling-thing. Be sure you have an answer to that at the moment when you may not be feeling an abundance of love for homeschooling. Your mission statement will bring you back to the reasons you chose this route for your family and enable you to focus on the long-term vision you have for your family. For some of you, maybe it’s not a formal statement; maybe it’s a running list. For our family, it’s an alliteration: FFF (family, faith, fences). Whatever it is, put it in writing and have it accessible to keep you focused and anchored for the school year.
3. Try Something New
Make next year something to look forward to for you and your kids. Often, simply incorporating something new is all it takes to accomplish that. Maybe it’s a new routine, new “school hours”, or a new “morning basket” or “morning circle” tradition. Perhaps it’s froyo Fridays, or committing to at least two field trips a month. Maybe it’s moving where you do school, or decorating a new school space. Maybe it’s buying a treasure chest of trinkets tied to grades or behaviors. Maybe it’s a new class or a new teaching style or a new curriculum. Whatever it is, however small, it may be just the ticket to adding some excitement to the upcoming school year.
4. Thank a Volunteer
Whatever HCS class, club, extracurricular activity, or event you are planning on doing or considering, it is only made possible because of the parents who volunteer their time here at HCS to make it happen. Every class day class is taught solely by volunteers. That we even have classes to offer is because we have Class Day and Academy Leads volunteering to manage these services. Every club is run by a parent committee consisting of parent volunteers. Every coach is coaching on a volunteer basis. Every mentor assigned to help newer families is volunteering their time to do so. Every park day, camp, social, or gathering is made possible because of parent volunteers. The overall leadership of the school, the Board of Directors, is comprised of men volunteering their time. Whatever activity or service you are participating in and excited about, please take a moment to reach out and thank those volunteers for providing that service for your kids. This year, we will be featuring volunteers in the newsletter throughout the year. We want you to know these names; we want you to seek them out and acknowledge their service. And, yes, we want you to be inspired to be ready to volunteer as well when your season of life enables you to do so. In the meantime, please thank and appreciate those that are in that season of life now and are putting in the time to make HCS the vibrant homeschool community it is.
Enjoy your remaining weeks of summer break. If there is anything we can help you with in the office, please do not hesitate to reach out!