5 Tips For Homeschooling Through a Move

 

Our family has a really big life change coming in the next month or so.  A big move.  We have sold the home we have lived in since my daughter was one (she turns 10 soon), and are relocating to the complete other side of town.  We are leaving the familiar and entering an exciting new adventure.

5 Tips for Homeschooling Through a Move

We are grateful to have this opportunity, and that it is still within driving distance of friends (not a long distance trip kind of driving distance, but “Let’s meet our friends in town for lunch and a museum visit!” kind of driving distance…or “I’ll meet you halfway so that Suzy can come spend the night!” kind of driving distance), yet provides an amazing opportunity for our family business and for us to have space for Grandma to live on the property with us.

Needless to say, we are very excited about all of the new opportunities that await us.

With the exception of the packing.

Yep, there’s that.  And as hard as I try to wish it away, it’s not going to happen.

So I must plan…and pack…smart, not hard.  Homeschool moms have a unique challenge when it comes to planning for a move, especially when the family will be living in temporary housing while in route to their permanent location.  Which is the case for us.  We will be renting a house for the next nine months or so while my husband builds ours, which means I am potentially finishing our school year in boxes (depending on our actual move date) and beginning it while still not permanently settled.

So…for all you moms out there that are dealing with this exact “opportunity” (doesn’t that sound better than “problem” or “issue”?), I’m going to let you in on my plan of attack.

 

1.  Map it all out.

Here’s an example….once we have a concrete move date, I will know how many weeks of school we have left.  Those items need to be where I can get my hands on them easily.  Then…how long will it take you to unpack?  This answer is different for every family.

During this process, is there any school that has to occur to keep you on schedule with your state’s accountability system?  I am blessed to be in Texas, for many reasons, but especially for the fact that Texas does not require any reporting to the state.  So for my move, it’s all up to what I’m willing to let go and what is non-negotiable.

And then finally, if you are in temporary housing…will you be schooling through your entire time there? If not, will you still be there when school starts back up for your kids?  The answers to these questions will tell you how much you need to have in boxes that will NOT go to storage..or in the very back of a garage…or deep in the attic.  The type of planning that you do for your school year will also help answer these questions. Is your curriculum already laid out week by week for you, or do you need your materials in order to plan while you are there?

 

2.  Your Sharpie and labels are your friends.

Continuing in the vein of having things accessible…you need to be label crazy for this move!  I plan on having an inventory of all of the homeschooling items I have in each box that correlates with that box number.  As I will also be in temporary housing during the time in which I plan for next school year, I will also need to make sure that the things I need to do my planning are easy to get to…my highlighters, notebooks, planning binders, Pro-Click, sheet protectors…all of these are vital to the way I plan our school year.  Having any of that packed up and inaccessible would cause this homeschool mom to get a little crazy!

 

3.  Be willing to compromise.

I am fairly certain that when our actual move occurs, we will have finished our last week of school.  But for argument’s sake…let’s just say that we have one or two left….for the sake of sanity, would I be willing to either a) fit the necessities into the last couple of weeks before we move?  b) put them off until we were completely unpacked?  or c) Skip them altogether?

You betcha I would.  I would most likely choose a).  But any of the above would be worth reducing the stress for just a couple of weeks of school.  A few months left? That’s a different story.  But a week or two is worth working it all out.

 

4.  Communication is key.

Making sure that everyone around you involved in the move is clear on your wishes, and making sure that these wishes are in harmony with everyone else’s vision of what is going to happen is key.  You need to know that your hubby and the movers are very clear on where you need your homeschooling boxes to go.  Talk  to your kids about what your expectations of their schooling are during this move.  Discuss with your spouse the weeks surrounding the move, both leading up to and after….does he have different expectations of what you will spend your time doing than you do?  Everyone needs to be on the same page for this to be a smooth transition.

 

5.  Relax and enjoy the ride!

A family move, no matter how close or how far, can be an exciting time!  Of course there is stress involved….but an adventure nonetheless.  Your situation is what you make of it..we all know that.  God has directed you to this place and point in your life…it is up to you to decide how you will roll through it..with a song in your heart and a smile on your face, or with a sour attitude.  I, for one, will always choose the former.  I plan on enjoying every moment of this move, even those involving box packing and too much to do during crunch time.

 

Do you have any hints to throw my way on making this move a success?  I welcome all advice!

Ellen Pool (3 Posts)

Ellen is a homeschool mom of one who blogs about homeschooling, faith, family and fitness at Grace Tells Another Story. She homeschool an "only", and they have a blast together!! Every day is "girls day"! She and her family live outside of Houston, Texas.


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What is So Great about a Homeschool Convention?

Homeschool Convention is Great for Continuing Education

A Homeschool Convention is a great place to feel encouraged, connected and re-energized for your role as a homeschooling parent. Whether you are new to homeschooling or a seasoned homeschooler, there is always more to see and more to learn.

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 Homeschool Conventions

Children are not static beings, they grow, learn and change levels throughout their educational life. Unlike public school teachers who are trained to teach one age level,a homeschooling parent will need to learn, grow and adapt to meet the ever changing needs of their children.

There is no better place to do this than at a homeschool convention.  Think of it as your continuing education resource. {Tweet This}  Most offer more than just a sales floor to buy curriculum. Many offer a wide variety of seminars and conferences. It is at these conferences that you can learn and explore a wide variety of educational topics.

Possible Topics at a Convention

  • Homeschool Methods
  • Learning Styles
  • Special Needs
  • Organization
  • Marriage and Family Encouragement
  • Humor in Homeschool
  • Gifted Learning
  • Legalities & How To’s
  • Homeschooling with Preschoolers
  • Homeschooling through each level, elementary, middle, junior and high school.
  • Notebooking, Lapbooking and Unit Studies

Going to a convention can be extremely rewarding or extremely overwhelming. That is determined by what you expect to get out of it. If you go with the thought that the convention is the place where you will have all of your homeschooling questions answered, then you will most likely walk away disappointed. If you go with the mindset that you will have a chance to physically window shop for curriculum, ask specific questions about the curriculum, listen to speakers discuss curriculum and be encouraged by other homeschooling families and speakers you will walk away feeling encouraged and uplifted.

Great for Encouragement

There are other great things about a homeschool convention, but for me, the greatest thing is connecting with other homeschooling families. {Tweet This} Whether you meet a mom waiting in the hallway or in a seminar, you find yourself exchanging emails and/or facebooks and before you know it those connections become a thread in your woven homeschool community.

This year I’m excited to be going to Great Homeschool Convention for the 4th year. I’m looking forward to their wide variety of vendors, the 100′s of individual seminars and of course, at the Cincinnati location, the aroma of cinnamon wafting through the air. If you see me there, stop and say “Hi, Renée.”

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Renée (12 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.


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Build Each Other Up: Nurturing Relationships in Homeschool Families

@hsbapost @destinyblogger #homeschool encouragement Sibling rivalry. Teenage rebellion. Peer pressure. Depression. Failed marriages. So many broken relationships.  These are just a few of the problems that plague our culture today.

Is there something different about the homeschool environment that spares us from the troubles of the “outside” world? Not necessarily. The secret may be in our approach to these problems.

@destinybloggerIn a world that glorifies snark and considers sarcasm a fine art, the gift of encouragement is often snickered at as banal. Homeschool families, on the other hand, tend to value encouragement because there is less reason for competition and more opportunity for cooperation when we’re living and learning together.

I consider relationship-building to be one of the homeschooling essentials in our family, which I wrote about recently. I made up my mind early that attachment parenting was the method I would use for raising my children. Homeschooling has always felt like a natural extension of that. It’s guided by the principle that Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:12, also known as the Golden Rule:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Most people regardless of their belief system can usually agree that this is a good standard to live by.

With our focus on academic goals, planning, running the home, and all the many demands for our time and attention, we can get off track with our relationships. It becomes too easy to say, “I’ll talk to the kids about this later” or “I’ll read to the kids after I finish the laundry or the dishes or plan this lesson.” Believe me, I understand. It’s happened to me more times than I care to count. It’s never too late to slow down and make quality time a part of our daily routine. I realized that by including my girls in my chores, letting them work alongside me even though it often slows me down, can be a special time to share together. We have some great conversations that way and can even laugh while we work by singing silly songs or playing music on the radio. It gives me a chance to encourage them as they work together and learn new skills, too. I also realized that letting that load of laundry go till later or even the next day was okay. It’s better to stop and read that story because that is what counts in the end — those are the memories to treasure.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Nurturing relationships can’t be checked off a to-do list. You can’t schedule your interactions with your children. It requires an intentional attention. It requires being in the moment with them. It is not a do-it-once-and-I’m-finished feeling of accomplishment. It is a long-term investment.

What are the dividends of that investment? Maybe it sounds like an idealistic notion to say that some of those cultural problems like teenage rebellion and peer pressure are avoided to some extent by homeschooling. I think the evidence bears this out, though. When I have a chance to talk to other homeschooling moms, I find that they overwhelmingly agree that the time investment has paid off in closer relationships with their children, fewer arguments among siblings, and fewer issues with teenagers. There is a environment of mutual respect that grows out of listening to one another and learning not just academics together, but also life skills with a focus on the things that really matter in terms of lasting significance.  We take our example from Jesus, who desires to be in a close personal relationship with each of us, not as a distant authority figure that we must fear and avoid angering.

Many of us feel like we’re busier than we should be. We rush to meet deadlines, sometimes self-imposed, and lose sight of what we were trying to accomplish things for in the first place. Time is an essential ingredient in nurturing relationships and it’s an area where we have a distinct advantage over “traditionally” schooled families. No matter how busy we are, we still have more time to spend with our children by virtue of homeschooling them.

We should capitalize on that gift of time and use it wisely to build each other up through encouraging relationship.

How do you encourage one another and spend quality time as a family?

Sara (17 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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