When I go to the OCHEC convention each May I always feel excited about homeschooling again and I’m full of ideas and enthusiasm. The only problem is that at that point our school year is just about over and I can’t dive into planning for the next year because I’m always occupied with making plans for adventure boxes and birthday parties. And when I’ve reached this point in the summer, the ideas and enthusiasm are gone and I am just feeling thankful that I’ve survived the first part of June without a breakdown.
Recently, though, I was reading what my friend Kendra had to say about planning her own homeschool conference. Kendra decided to do this because her options for homeschool conferences (both in person and online) are somewhat limited because of her location (Tasmania), but I think it’s a great idea no matter where you live. With Kendra’s idea in mind, I have been making plans for myself this summer. Setting aside a day or two isn’t going to work for me, but I think I can carve out some time here and there throughout the summer to listen, watch, read, and think on the direction I want our year to take. A few of my plans….
- Books: When I’m feeling bogged down it’s a great time to go back to some favorite books for a reminder of what I want to be doing. My personal favorite is Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss. (I’ve shared some other recommendations here, too!) I recently ordered The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight and I’m looking forward to it, too!
- Audio: I went to a lot of great sessions at the OCHEC convention, but there were still several I didn’t get to attend. I purchased these sessions on CD and have started listening to them when I get to drive somewhere on my own. (For some crazy reason my husband and kids don’t get a kick out of listening to homeschooling CDs. What’s their problem?!) You can purchase audio of previous sessions online at the OCHEC website. Keep your eye out for mp3s and CDs from your favorite authors, too! I love to listen to encouragement because I can do it while I’m doing other mindless tasks like laundry and I can accomplish two things at once!
- Blogs: Blogs can be a bad thing if you read them and then start to focus on all the things you aren’t doing, but if you have some that are really encouraging to you, they can be wonderful. Depending on your mood, you might want something inspirational like Sally Clarkson, or you might be looking for something a little more hands-on and practical. I’ve been catching up on Jamie’s video clips on planning your entire school year over at The Unlikely Homeschool and I am feeling pretty excited about getting some things down on paper!
- Online Learning: Currclick is having several live online sessions next week—for free! You can hear speakers and do some shopping without even leaving your own home. I love the Blog Hops from iHomeschool Network because they are a great way to find great ideas from bloggers you may not be familiar with yet. As the start of the school year gets closer the internet will be full of great ideas to get you ready!
Preparation is good, but don’t forget that one of the most important ways to get some refreshment is to take a break! It’s hard when you’re home with the kids (or running the kids all over town), but try to take some time just for yourself to do something fun!