This might sound like a bizarre idea for some, but with further information you might change your mind. Get out your favorite family snack and make and evening of it or delve in with several activities and stretch it out over the week.
Why would we need an orientation? It gives our year an official start. We can introduce our plans for the year and maybe the course of study so that our children are settled and informed before the year starts. It might even peak their curiosity and motivate them to begin learning certain topics. When we explain our expectations and procedures clearly, our children have a better sense of direction. Setting goals for the year and discussing them helps our children know what is to come and they feel more secure. Above all, if I am excited they will be too. If I am dreading our year, guess what? They will too.
Here's a list of 7 things to do in planning your orientation:
1. Prepare your home.
2. Set spiritual and academic goals.
3. Review likes and dislikes of last year. (Get the input of the whole family.)
4. Establish a school calendar and possible schedule.
5. Set aside a time to talk to your husband about the upcoming year.
6. Above all, pray together as a couple and as a family that the Lord will give you wisdom and direction for all that you planned to do this school year.
7. Have fun!
Here are some ideas for activities to incorporate in your orientation week.
1. Choose a theme or Bible verse for the year.
2. Choose a song that is related to your theme.
3. Have Dad (The Principal) give a speech after dinner one night that tells the family his vision for this year.
4. Review your rules. Remember KISS? (Keep It Sweet and Simple) Maybe consider writing your family's rules and consistently require immediate, cheerful obedience. A few principles can cover most rules (e.g., Honor the Lord, Respect and obey parents, Be kind to siblings, Do your work cheerfully). Explain the principles from the Bible that are behind your rules so that your children understand that they are obeying God, as well as you. Explain appropriate consequences for each broken rule and consistently apply them.
5. Tour your home with your children after giving them their school supplies showing them the proper storage places and study locations.
6. Discuss computer rules and internet safety.
7. Explain the importance of teamwork. Find related scriptures and memorize them.
8. Familiarize your children with the 2010 revised chore chart you have made or take time to put one together. Go to http://www.titus2.com/ecommerce/products/prod_listing.php/1150 for a complete book on how to manage your chores or to http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=25 where you will find a good chart.
9. Present an overview of what to expect from each class.
10. Go over your schedule and explain the times for classes, meals, chores, family devotions, and regular bedtimes. Place your schedule where it can be easily seen.
11. Have a party! Plan a dinner, a picnic, a pizza party, or anything festive that your family would enjoy together. This is something that would be fun to share with another homeschool family, too.
12. Have a movie night with a movie that will entertain all, but will stimulate interests in upcoming studies.
13. Have a photograph session! Take pictures of the whole family, put it in a frame and hang it up.
14. Buy matching T-shirts or make some together as a family. Maybe include your theme verse or family motto then wear them on your next field trip!
15. Last, but not least, remember that your children are constantly learning and it is not always from a textbook. They learn more from our actions than our lectures. Do as I say and not as I do NEVER works! And God is your help. Ps. 122:1-2.
Have a great start of a new school year!