Decompressing- taking time off before beginning to homeschool

Congratulations! You are going to homeschool your children! You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime!

I have a video about the Decompression process if you prefer. It is not a word for word read along version of this blog post, but the two are very similar. I can’t do anything the same twice. 🙂 I’m sure you will find value in both the video and the Blog.

Something has caused you to withdraw from the public school system. Those reasons are yours, and yours alone. Everything will be okay.

Educational facts you can be sure of:

  1. You are qualified to teach. You have been educating your children since birth and now you’re just going to pick up where you left off.
  2. Everything is learning, EVERYTHING. Your children are in a constant state of learning, so even when you *think* they aren’t, they most certainly are!
  3. Everyone one learns differently, this is a beautiful fact to be celebrated. Not all flowers bloom at the same time, nor do we want them to.
  4. Whatever *the reason* you have withdrawn from the public school, is the reason you need time to decompress.
  5. Decompression time is learning time. See #2.
  6. Do not rush into purchasing curriculum.

So what exactly is decompressing in this context? Decompressing after withdrawing from public or private school (even public charter school) and homeschooling is time for a reset. It’s 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 “school”, homework and getting to the bus on time…. “School” and all it entails is a big deal. Those pressures have been stressful on everyone. The decompression phase is a detox of sorts.

Quality time together without the need to raise your hand to ask questions or go to the bathroom is a great place to start. Many families begin this time with a shared devotional first thing in the morning. It can be as simple as a quote of the day (like from a calendar or website) or a scripture based program you can do together.

Reading quality literature as a family comes next. Choose a book and read to your children. Snuggle up on the couch, in bean-bag chairs, pillows on the floor, etc and read, read, read. Begin with 3 days a week if that’s what you can fit it, but aim for daily. You can find the Happy Hive favorite books here, but there are many book lists online as well!

Get the house in order. I don’t mean perfection. Far from perfection. Simplify, organize and begin to think about routines. Remove items from your home you don’t need. Think of it as a Spring Cleaning, regardless of the time of year it is. Get the kids involved. Donate items others can use. The less stuff, the less mess and the more comfortable everyone will be at home in their daily routine. If you haven’t already, establish chores as the first “class”. Running the homeschool efficiently is the number 1 job of everyone involved. Giving my children chores and building their responsibility was one of the greatest lessons I ever gave them. Chore charts are a great tool at any age. Focus on praising efforts.

Bug #1 with her favorite cleaning tool!

The quality time, reading and decluttering should also include “fun school” activities like games, field trips (especially to the library or used book store),  time in nature, art, and dance parties!  You can even make a routine trip to the grocery store a scavenger hunt for the items you need. There is nothing wrong with a good movie and discussion either!

Here is a Movie Discussion Guide I created you can download and use!

Be sure to find a support group. This might be a local park day, a homeschool co-op or even an online group.

Our local homeschool group made t-shirts. When we went on field trips together we wore our shirts!

Slowly explore the topics/curriculum  you want to use within your homeschool, but don’t rush into purchases. The fun activities you are engaging in, especially trips to the library should help generate interest by child or as a family. Curriculum is an important topic all on its own. You can see my post on Curriculum HERE.

Lastly, please give up perfection. There is no wrong way to homeschool. Your way is exactly what YOUR family needs. That’s the beauty of it! Homeschooling is fully customizable. If something isn’t working, make a change. Even if that means going through another decompression stage.

One way we customized our homeschool experience at the Happy Hive was with a teacher name for me. I didn’t want them to call me Mom all day. My name  was something we chose as a family because I didn’t want to lose my identity as Mom. I did separate school from parenting, but you certainly don’t have to. When we were done with school for the day, Mrs. Crabtree said goodbye, left the room, and Mom walked back in. When they were really little they would run up and give Mom a hug telling me they missed me. It was precious! You can check out that video below:

Thank you for choosing to partner with Happy Hive. If you are looking for curriculum coaching or are interested in joining our Homeschool Satellite program you can find information about what we offer HERE. Be sure to follow our blog (Subscribe in sidebar to the left) for the latest updates, and sign up for our Newsletter! Signing up for the newsletter gets you EXCLUSIVE Homeschool Holiday products, specials  and subscriber only (password protected) content!

When you are ready for curriculum, I hope you will consider incorporating some of the easy to use activities we offer! Be sure to check out our Teachers Pay Teachers store as well as Amped Up Learning! Both have our valuable curriculum as well as free printables you can use for everyday learning and holiday learning!

May your educational journey be blessed!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

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