Whew! We made it through another year! All that preparing, planning, teaching and purchasing of supplies and all those adventures have me worn out! Not to mention the challenges we overcame this year and all the new things we learned. I feel full, satisfied, amazed and slightly worn out and stunned. So….
If you are like me the last thing you want to think about right now is next school year. But there are actually some FUN things you can do this summer to prepare that will help take the stress off next year and leave you with a lot less “beginning of the year” anxiety in August and September…
1. Spend some one-on-one time with each child. This time is invaluable for connecting with them, getting to know their likes and dislikes better and keeping that connection strong next year. Summer camps, travel and family time may also be important this summer but taking time to plan unique one-on-one experiences with each child will help you next year.
2. Emerse yourself in something you love. Leave your role as a teacher for a month or two and do something for yourself. Anyone who has done this will tell you that you come back from the experience feeling so refreshed and energized! It is better than 100 cups of coffee!
3. Focus on a new skill. Trying to fit in everything at once and learn so many things during the school year can be stressful. Focusing on one skill can be enjoyable, meditative, and freeing! Delve into a course in block crayon drawing, chalk drawing, watercolor painting, or Eurythmy. The best part? These classes can be done with friends, a spouse or even children around! And they can even come along with you on vacation!
4. Learn something new for yourself. When you learn something new your excitement pours over into your teaching and you are more effective as a teacher. Try out a natural healing class or a class at your local community college or community center.
5. Buy your curriculum now & become friends with it. The most enjoyable way to experience a new curriculum is to purchase it one day, open in the next few days, explore it, browse it, focus on things that look fun to you, read some of it and then start planning. Imagine how much more relaxing it will be to plan in August with an ‘old friend’ rather than suddenly diving into all these steps at once. Plus you get better prices in the summer (check out our lower prices HERE).
6. Start early. Is there a lesson block you are worried about? Start with that lesson early in the summer in a very casual way. Enjoy it, take it slowly and be creative with it. Without the pressure of time or school days it is a different experience!
7. Make a few “crazy planners”. Draw out a calendar by hand, make a list of things you want to accomplish, make a planner based on the opinions of everyone in the house (no matter what they say), make a dream-planner (even if you are sure you won’t be able to follow it). You will be surprised how much this interactive, hands-on method serves you when it comes time to put the final planner in motion in August or September!
8. Read some books and BLOGs. Reading books and BLOGs are so inspirational and energizing. Especially when you don’t also have to plan tomorrow’s lesson in the same evening. I highly recommend The Temperaments and the Adult-Child Relationship or any other book that speaks to you. Enjoy it this summer without the pressure (and perhaps on a hammock with a cup of iced tea 😉
9. Connect with others! Take time to connect with others that will inspire you and help you next year. Perhaps you can form a co-op, join the public Earthschooling chat room (or if you are a member chat with other members HERE).
10. Make a wish come true! What is one thing you kept saying last year? “I wish I had time to…” Make sure you make those wishes come true! For me it was “I wish I had more time to spend organizing my photos”. What is your wish?