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Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, September 5, 2020

Hi Friend,

It's the start of a new homeschool year! Are you feeling freaked out? Or maybe you're already burned out before you've barely begun?

Here are a few timely reminders:

You don’t have to get all the plates spinning on day one!

It’s okay to “feather in” the subjects over the course of the next six weeks.

  • Pick a subject.
  • Get to know it a bit.
  • Explore with your kids how it might work.
  • Leave the others aside.
  • Get the one subject going, then when some space and energy frees up, add the next one.

You might be able to do read aloud, copywork, and math pages from the get-go, but if history and science feel hard or confusing—hold off a bit. Wait til you get that energy boost of success for the other stuff, and THEN tackle one or the other.

Read the instructions the day before you begin.

If you don’t have time to read “how to” do something before the day it’s scheduled to begin, don’t begin. Make sure you understand what you're asking your kids to do before you do it with them. Put on a movie or documentary and while your kids watch, sit at the table and educate yourself about the curricula, material, homeschool practice you mean to use. Do it right in front of them, using real time—time you think you don’t have—so that when you do come back to your kids, you feel the calm of preparedness.

Have big fun the first week.

Make sure you plan a super fantastic day for your kids during the first week: Poetry Teatime, going to a movie matinee, visiting a nature center, picnic at the park, going to a theme park after local public schools are in session, making a backyard bonfire and cooking hot dogs and s’mores, staying up late and sleeping in, painting with real paints, canvases, and easels.

Add something brand new.

Bring fun to the mix right away.

  • Board game
  • Trip to the zoo
  • New read aloud
  • A family movie in the morning…

Most important: Waste some time each day.

You, the parent, spend time staring out a window, paging through Pinterest, listening to your music on headphones, deliberately NOT doing something you keep saying you should. Give yourself time to not improve.

The fundamental issue facing those of us who are burned out before the year even starts is the pressure to do EVERYTHING better than you did it last year. You already felt tired at the end of last year. Now you’re supposed to up the ante and do more and better and different this year.

Nope. You don’t have to.

It’s okay to maintain the status quo, to do less, to choose not to cover more material.

Set the tone for the year that says: Being at home for school is the best thing anyone would ever want in their entire lives.

You can do it!

Warmly,

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P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2020 Brave Writer LLC™
help@bravewriter.com

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