I have not had the time to research if there really is a phenomenon such as “September Blues when it comes to home schooling, but I am very much aware that September is one of the months , when home educators can feel a bit anxious, insecure and worried . This does not just apply to those who are just beginning their first year of home schooling. It can happen to anyone , whether you have been home educating for 1 or 10 years.
So what is the month of September for ?
September is :
- Not a month to buy a new curriculum– September is not the month to spend on any sort of curriculum. You can very easily fall into this trap and I am speaking from personal experience here. Someone posts a photo of a curriculum which they are starting this September and you suddenly feel that you have to own it!. Stop Yourself right now and ask yourself these questions: A) Do you Have to buy it ? B) Do you have something else already that can do a similar job ? C) How much do you know about this curriculum and how sure are you that your child will like it? D) Will it be possible to see if someone from your home school community already has it and if you can borrow it to have a look ? The questions can go on and on. I guess what I am trying to say is , if you have lived without this curriculum , then , why not wait a few more months when you can do some research into it and see if it suits your family. Do not buy anything impulsively ! As John Holt says “What chidlren need is not new and better curricula but access to more and more of the real world; plenty of time and space to think over their experiences, and to use fantasy and play to make meaning out of them; and advice, road maps, guidebooks,to make it easier for them to get where they want to go ( not where we think they ought to go) and to find out what they want to find out”
- A month to re- connect with your home schooling community– Most homeschooling activities stop for us during the summer holidays. So , naturally we socialise a bit less with our homeschooling friends, because we either spend time visiting cousins , relatives, grandparents or just try to have more outings and play dates with my children’s school friends ( whom they see less when they go to school ). So September is the month for us to re connect with our home school friends again !
- A month to attend ” Not Back To School ” Picnic– this happens every year in my city during the first week of September- it’s a great chance to see your home schooling friends. And this is a great opportunity for anyone new to home schooling to meet other home educators too.. Lots of cities in the UK with large homeschooling communities do this . If your city or town does not, why not organise one yourself ?
- A month to travel ( abroad or local )– September is a great month for travelling . Not only places are quieter but also much cheaper too, while the days are still fairly long. We often go to Centre Parks / camping or abroad during this month. This is truly one of the greatest perks of home schooling- the freedom to travel any time. Use it, do not be so rigid and think that you have to follow the school term times. So yep, how about kicking the new homeschooling year with an exciting adventure , no matter where that is.
- A month to join new homeschooling activities– A new academic year, a new term means signing up to exciting new activities, whether that’s swimming, horse riding, archery or gymnastics. Check your local Homeschooling Facebook Group to see if anyone is organising new classes for any home schooling activities.
- A month to get a membership – Well September may not be a month for purchasing that new curriculum ( according to Eva ), but why not get a membership to a particular attraction. In my city, there are quite a few places ( including our science museum ) that offer special home school rates for yearly memberships. If you are not sure, if a particular attraction in your city gives a discount, just email them. It is as easy as that !
- A month to get even more outdoors– September is the beginning of one of my favourite seasons – Autumn. Usually in the UK , it is still fairly mild , so you can just easily spend big chunks of the day outside, whether it is a walk in your local woods or collecting conkers and pine cones in your local park . I thoroughly recommend as well having a National Trust Membership. It is a great way to explore new places !They also offer a special membership for home educators- it is the cheapest out of all the NT Memberships- only £45.65 for a home educating family. Please note that it is only allowed to be used during weekdays and term time.-https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/education-group-membership
- A month for more visits to the library and more read alouds– I am not saying here that you should only go and visit the libraries in September. That will be like a proper torture for anyone who home educates. But I can definitely say one thing that September are quiet months for libraries , so make the most of it.
- A month to start New Projects– may be your child has expressed an interest in learning more about the Romans or space or Vikings , or wants to learn more about worms/ frogs/ birds etc, projects led by your children’s interests are honestly one of the best ways to start the New Home School Year.
- A month to write down your goals– This is not JUST about academic achievements and what workbooks you want your children to do by the end of the school year. Do not limit goals only to this. It can be a personal goal- finding more time for reading for pleasure or going more outdoors or doing a 10 min self care routine for yourself each morning. Do not ever forget, homeschooling is not just about your children. It is also about you and your spouse and finding joy and balance in a path, that is not only challenging , but less trodden too and often viewed by society as odd and weird . I hope you found these tips useful. No matter what you do this New Homeschool Year, one thing is for sure, let’s not start it with feelings of anxiety , fears and worries, but instead with optimism, excitement, joy and positive affirmations. Wishing all my homeschool friends- an year filled with more adventures and more memory making . “An eternal questions about children is, how should we educate them ? Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and maths, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art. All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in an Ancient Greek sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these accounts, soul is neglected” Thomas Moore