Back to School Tips (Words from the Wise): Back to School Week

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Are you in need of a few back to school tips? Or maybe just some encouragement to distract you from reviewing piles of curricula and workbooks?

One of the things that has made my homeschooling life much easier is gathering wisdom and guidance from families further along the educational journey. On those days when I think, “Am I doing this right? Am I screwing this up?” it gives me confidence to hear of someone else’s triumphs.

As you prepare, both physically and mentally, for the start of a new year of homeschooling–consider these tips and reflections from moms in the trenches who write here at Simple Homeschool.

The Slow Immersion Method

Wise words from Jessica of Life as Mom:

“Going from lackadaisical summer days of Pokemon and endless book reading to seven hours of wall-to-wall school work would send my children into shock, much like when you jump in a cold pool on a hot day. Just the idea of it would send them into Major Balking Mode. (That is a real term, I’m sure.)

Instead, we get our feet wet little by little. We start with a few subjects the first week, add a few more the next week, add in the rest during the third week. And by this time, they’ve gotten re-accustomed to the waters of schoolwork and it doesn’t seem like such a shock to their systems — or mine.”

The Beauty of “Life School”

Wise words from Amida of Journey into Unschooling:

“At this point in our homeschool journey, back to school really is a big whatever. Gone are the big plans, as well as the dread. There is no longer that impending sense of doom that this year, we have to finish this book or that lesson and everything had better be good.

We have finally reached the point where there is not much of a separation between home and school — it’s just… our life.

A Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Wise words from Renee of FIMBY:

“I’ve accepted that my children are not going to have a well rounded education by many measures. But they love learning, they love creating, and they love life. They are being given the foundation they need to carry them through to become life long learners.

If they really want to know something as an adult that they did not learn in our home (which in reality is many things) they’ll have the enthusiasm and skills they need to learn it on their own. I am confident of this.”

Focus on the Atmosphere

Wise words from Jena of Yarns of the Heart:

“Don’t forget that plain old play is quality education. Your kids don’t have to be doing something “educational” all the time.

It’s the climate, not the day to day weather that defines your homeschool.”

A Blessing for the Mamas

Wise words from Stefani of Blue Yonder Ranch:

“So, whether you navigated the carpool line this morning, or whether you’re a new homeschool mama, with her lists and painstakingly researched curriculum, or whether you’re an unschooler waiting for your kids to wake up with the flood of questions that will inspire lots of new learning adventures, or even if your “schooling” is some combination of all of the above, bless you.

Bless you for the heart and soul, love and concern, time and energy that you are investing in the young minds that are next in line for great things.

Bless you, and bless the little ones (and not so little ones) in your care. May they inherit all the magic and wonder of the world.”

Do you have any back to school tips or encouragement to share?

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. Such great advice! I think that “back to school” is an area where we as homeschool families feel pressure to recreate what is going on in traditional schools. And while it is nice to have some special back to school activities to commemorate a new year, ultimately we are homeschooling with the hopes of being different from “regular” schools! I definitely agree with the “easing back into routine” method. We have been doing that here for a couple of weeks before our homeschool-hybrid program gears back up. Ultimately, if we are seeking to raise life-long learners they should also be year-long learners! And learning can take place in so many ways.
    Paula@Motherhood Outloud’s latest post: Being vs Doing- Wisdom from Psalm 1

  2. Thank you, Jamie, Amida, Jena, Renee, and Stefani. I needed to hear those words! I’m guilty of setting the bar really high for myself and then feeling terribly, terribly guilty when I don’t match up. Thanks for bringing me back down to earth. You guys are a great influence on me! 😉
    FishMama’s latest post: Frugal Friday- Choose Wisely

  3. I love the image of getting ready for school as you would ease into cold water – and not just jump right in! 🙂

    (she types as her family’s first week of homeschool ends just after 10am on Friday morning LOL)

    “Bless you for the heart and soul, love and concern, time and energy that you are investing in the young minds that are next in line for great things.” – Beautiful!
    Kara Fleck’s latest post: 5 Tips for Creating Family Routines and Establishing Rhythm in Your Home

  4. I love all of these wonderful words of wisdom. Thank you Mamas for being wonderful inspirations to all of us.
    Rana’s latest post: Blog Vacation!

  5. I read all of the quotes, twice. Thank you all for sharing!
    Casey’s latest post: It Has Arrived

  6. Wonderful quotes! We always celebrate the first day of not back to school with a party, cake, trip to the zoo, etc. It doesn’t have to be back to any grind at all, which is one of the lovely things about HSing. 🙂
    Alicia’s latest post: Homeschool days at the Petroglyphs set for October- November- March and May

  7. I love the first one, which is typically how we start our homeschool year. I also hold Melissa Wiley’s idea of Tidal homeschooling. It helps me be ok with the days when we don’t get a ton done, but we learn a lot.

  8. My kiddos are only 1.5 and 2.5 and I’m reading all I can about homeschooling/unschooling and trying to talk my husband into it. I like the spirit in the idea that school is year-long, life-long learning, so back-to-school doesn’t need to be marked by anything special if it is a burdensome idea. Thanks for this blog!

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge

Never miss a blog post,
PLUS get Jamie’s FREE ebook: