New Year, New You?: Do You Need to Overthrow the Schedule for January?
Written by Chelsea McLeod
It’s a new year; is it going to be a new you? Are you anticipating a significant change this year or hoping to keep it relatively status quo? Some people find it necessary to make significant changes and completely revamp routines, family plans and schedules. Others are happy to settle into the familiar routines and schedules that worked before the holidays.
As we know, January is typically the time for reflecting on the past year with its successes, failures, wins and losses, drafting resolutions, setting goals and making plans to accomplish for the new year. It is also the time for getting back to routine after a hopefully relaxing holiday break. After a week or two of late nights, travel, sleep-ins and, in many cases, not knowing what day it is, you and your kiddos are likely feeling ready for the consistency that routinely brings. So this begs the question: Do you need to overthrow the schedule for January?
“Do what works for you and your family; you know best.”
It comes down to personal preference and what you know will work for you and your kids. Some people thrive on change and the excitement that comes from a difference from the normal. Others need that structure, predictability and consistency in their lives. You know yourself and your kids best, so make sure to consider that before making a significant change when asking yourself, ‘do you need to overthrow the schedule for January?’
Finally, there is no harm in keeping things the same if that’s what works best for your family; maybe there is something in your previous routine that you need to change for you or your kids to be successful or learn better. If this is the case and you feel a change is needed after a break is the best time to make any changes since you and your family have already been out of routine. So, in essence, what you do in January is entirely up to you, so change things up…Or don’t; you are entirely and totally in charge of your homeschool schedule. Do what works for you and your family; you know best.
Change things up.
Why not let the New Year work for you by changing things up?
You could try some of the following suggestions to see if they work for your family during the New Year:
Add something new to your homeschool plans.
- You could try a new tactic for Art, like a Schoolio Art Class or add an Audiobook for listening comprehension skills. Or you could add some hands-on activities to your math program instead of pencil/paperwork.
Do something different.
- Maybe you have been following a book program for math or ELA. You could try a more computer-based program, like Schoolio Digital, to change it up in January.
Switch up the schedule.
- Maybe you have done Reading first thing up until this point? It could be time to change that up and do your Math when you first begin your homeschooling day.
- Or maybe plan a daily time slot for fun reading. Books and things that are not part of the learning plan. It’s essential to read, and many of us would prefer to do so with a book we are interested in, not one that has been assigned; this goes for kids as well. Also, this gives you an excellent opportunity to read yourself and model reading behaviour. Sometimes the best way to learn is to watch others.
Join a homeschool co-op, a book club, or start your own.
- Depending on where you are, there are many options for a Homeschooling Co-op. You could join a local chapter; they often meet once a week for learning and sometimes plan field trips together.
Make tents or blanket forts and let your children do their school underneath.
- Kids love forts! There is something so fun about a homemade tent/fort with lots of pillows and twinkly lights.
Have a hot chocolate dreaming party next to the fireplace.
- This could be a break during the day or planned as an evening after supper. Just a great way to connect with your kids and spend time together. Talk about school or don’t, enjoy each other’s company.
Plan a living room slumber party and talk about family bucket lists.
- This does not have to be specific to before I die; in recent years, people have begun making “bucket lists” for other time frames, such as before I graduate or before I turn 13, etc.
- Enjoying your kids’ company and decompressing with them is also fun. You can create a bucket list for them and the family. Maybe you want to travel somewhere before your kids are a certain age. You can learn a lot about your kids when dreaming and talking about life plans, and your kids will appreciate being included in family planning.
- In January, your kids would much rather be outside building a snowman than studying books, right? So why use that interest to plan your lesson and make them more engaging?
- You could study snow, for example. You could measure snow in different states of matter, taste snow, and make snow cones, snow forts, and snowmen.
- This could be the perfect opportunity to chart weather patterns. You and your kids could study your local weather patterns and compare them to others like Alaska, Iceland, or Sweden.
- This might not work if you don’t live in a wintery location; however, you can constantly adjust to your environment. Maybe you need to study sand, the ocean, or the grass.
Maybe you feel confident in the schedule and routines you planned at the beginning of your homeschooling year. Your kids were thriving with that schedule, and you are feeling good about your ability to juggle all the pieces. You Do Not have to change anything! No rule says January brings all kinds of changes, whether we like it or not.
Each family has a routine and schedule that works for them, and homeschooling is no different. You are in charge. Like Napoleon Hill once said, “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” So no, as asked in the title, You do not have to overthrow the schedule for January.
You can head right back into your pre-holiday routine, rest assured and with a smile. It is a New Year, but it doesn’t have to be a new schedule. So as we head into 2023, take some time to reflect and decide how to proceed with your homeschooling. Trust yourself, make whatever changes you need to make, or dust off that fall schedule and keep trucking. Enjoy. You Got This!