Back to Homeschool the Principle Approach® Way
At the start of each school year, we have some special things that we do to kick it off. Of course, homeschooling is a natural extension of parenting and life—so, learning is taking place all the time. But, a ‘new school year’ is when we will start with new studies, a fresh perspective, and new materials. However, there are a few things that do set a Principle Approach® homeschool apart. Want to see what it’s like?
God’s Principle of Individuality and New Beginnings
I almost didn’t highlight this principle because it’s the first principle many here know already. But, even so, many homeschooling moms can struggle with wanting their homeschool to look just like someone else’s. Just know that how we each start a new school year will vary based on our individuality as moms and as families. And this is a wonderful thing! It testifies to being creative, unique, and supports original thought.
Prayer and Commitment
Prayer is one of the most important aspects to beginning the school year. Homeschooling is a great commitment and prayer needs to provide a firm foundation and support it. That undergirding is most essential.
Sometimes, parents will use a Bible verse from their 4R-Studies on their philosophy of education for their memory verse to recite with their family. Reciting the memory verse either daily, weekly, or monthly as a family keeps the family’s commitment before themselves.
Back to Homeschool Mom Teacher Notebooks
With the Principle Approach® your personal notebook may be similar or quite different from any other mom’s. This is because some moms dig in and do all or much of the curriculum prep on their own. Whereas some other moms will pull from here and there to use prepared Principle Approach® resources. Even then, the compilation of teacher notebooks will vary greatly from prepared resources.
For the most part, they are set up like the student’s—following the Principle Approach® to notebooking.
Here are a few different ways they may look like:
- Kindergarten – 3rd Grade Noah Plan curriculum mom notebooks: If you create one, these likely will have your own words studies and notes from the assigned readings given in the preparation column. They may also include ‘hand outs’ of articles you have printed that you’d like to share with your students.
- 4th – 12th Grades: Lesson plans are created and filed along with independently prepared maps, Key Study Charts, graphic organizers, reason and relate questions, some visual aids gathered by the teacher, etc.
- Or, 4th-12 Grades: Lesson plans may or may not be pre-maded by a Principle Approach® resource, notes from the parent/teacher, etc.
- Homeschool Classroom Constitutions: these are filed and there’s one for each student.
- Grading Sheets: If you’re grading your student’s work, a copy of these may be kept as well.
Really, much is prepared before the school year kicks off. But, sometimes there are a few things to wrap up. Or, maybe the first quarter is prepared and the next quarter will be worked on as time allows.
Back to Homeschool Student Notebooks
Firstly, students oftentimes use the 3-ring binders with a ‘window’ and they decorate a sheet of paper to slip into that ‘window.’ These are always so enjoyable to see! As with many things where art comes into play, the notebook covers are creative and students look forward to creating them.
Secondly, students create a title page for each subject. These can be just as creative as the notebook covers! But, some students keep it pretty simple with just a title and maybe . . . just maybe a little sketch of something conceptual to go with the subject.
Students may also file overviews for the quarter or school year, grading sheets, and other items to help them be self-governed and to stay on track. Setting the expectations at the beginning of the school year is like a map on a trip—students know where they are going and how they’ll get there.
Homeschool Classroom Constitutions
Within the first week, students are given a Classroom Constitution to sign. This is gaining their consent to learn from the get-go. And, it’s a great way to begin introducing them to the concept of a Constitution.
For early elementary children, they may use a pencil to sign their Classroom Constitution. Elementary age students may use a pen or a quill and ink to sign theirs. Junior high and high school students tend to want to just sign theirs with an ordinary pen. That all said, some families enjoy dressing up in time-period costumes to sign theirs. It’s completely up to the family and their individuality.
Other Homeschool Traditions
Here are some ideas that you may like to start adding to your annual back to homeschool traditions:
- Ask interview questions with a Principle Approach® focus to life and learning.
- Begin the year by sharing about your Word Study on education and discuss it.
- Choose a theme and bake cookies to deliver to friends and family.
- Commit to learning about your state’s Providential History and share about it with others at the end of the first quarter, mid-school year, or at the end of the school year.
- Decide how your family will celebrate at the end of each quarter.
- Devote yourselves to the work of restoring our Constitutional Representative Federal Republic through education and by practicing Biblical principles.
- Dress up in historical clothing for the day.
- Enjoy a day out of doors—hiking or playing games with friends.
- Enjoy a special breakfast by eating what George Washington ate for breakfast.
- Have new book titles wrapped up for each child. Even if it’s going to be used as a part of the lessons, who doesn’t like a surprise all wrapped up?
- Plan your first few field trip adventures together.
- Prepare a traditional picnic for lunch and head out to enjoy the last of the summer-like weather.
- Promise to pray for other nations—that they may become a free nation as well. Look for God’s Providence for them and consider how you may be used by God to help.
- Put together plans to make a family movie or to perform a skit or a play based on your studies.
- Reenact the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America by signing a Family Constitution (declaring your independence as homeschoolers and supporting each other).
- Write letters to your state legislators and to your state’s homeschool organization to thank them for protecting homeschool freedoms.
Enjoy Homeschool Freedom
There’s so much to enjoy on the journey of homeschooling. Be comfortable in your family’s individuality and work within your creativity that God has given you!
Drop a line in the comments about how you start your back to homeschool year?