While reading some of the more recent posts in some homeschooling Facebook groups I'm in, I'm seeing a little bit of panic in some newer homeschoolers about getting everything *just so* before they start the year. Let me share what I have done in the past.
I call it a "Rolling Start." What does that mean?
There have been years when September 1st rolled around, that I had only a few of my curriculum choices for the year...or none. Or I had everything, but hadn't put together a schedule for my kiddos yet. Here are some of the things I've done over the years when I felt the panic myself.
1. Schedule a few field trips to start the year. Fall in Maine is the absolutely best time to explore the state. I'm sure the same can be said for many others places as well. Some of our favorite places to visit in Maine are:
- Maine Wildlife Park
- Fort Knox & Penobscot Narrows Observatory
- Leonard's Mills (they used to have Living History Days in early October that are a must do)
- Cole Land Transportation Museum
- Old York (York, ME)
- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (I really want to go again and see the trolls in person!)
2. Start with what you have. If you don't have all of your curriculum yet, that's okay. Start with what you have adding in the rest as it arrives. When I went with this option, we would typically be fully going within one month. It was a nice gentle start to the year, especially if you take the entire summer off.
3. Spend the first month reading good books and/or playing games. Don't discount the ability to learn through reading or playing games. (For a great list for grades K+, I recommend Ambleside Online - this link will take you to their main page, click on "By Year", then click the year, then click booklist - small box on the right side...CLICK HERE). For a list of some of our favorite learning games, check out this blog post I wrote with a list included.
You don't need to have it all together to start. Start where you are and just continue to add. My biggest piece of advice is DON'T PANIC! You have enough time. You're child will be just fine. You've got this.