Ready for a new school year? Yeah, me neither.

This is the time of year when I always feel out of step with my contemporaries. Ok, so I feel out of step with my contemporaries fairly often but especially so in August as all my homeschool buddies and bloggers are gearing up for the new school year.

In many homeschool homes school spaces are being set up, boxes of curriculum and books are arriving in the mail, and schedules are being written out.

homeschool kids reading

Unless you're in our home. I have a list of books I want to buy, more for me than the kids. Books about hacking your own college education and the like but we always seem to run out of money before I can purchase them.

We don't have any designated school space and our hardcopy resources (what some might call curriculum) take up less than one bookshelf in our dining room. Not too much to organize there.

bowl of raspberries

And as far as schedules, I'm just trying to keep up with our bursting-to-the-seams August. The camping, swimming, berry picking, and family and friends visiting (the comings-and-goings of summer on the peninsula) have filled our month completely to the brim with activity and fun experiences.

playing chess

Not to say I haven't been thinking about plans for the coming school year. I absolutely have. I've been thinking about them since last winter, and I had planned to get my act together during August. But August has been a different reality and so we're living summer full tilt.

When the cooler weather arrives, which won't be long now, I'll get our plans finalized for the coming school year. And hopefully, I'll manage to squeeze some extra funds from the budget to buy the resources I've been wanting. We just gotta stop going places and having so many experiences and then we could afford more books. Ha!

science classification

This coming school year will see Céline living her high school and scholar phase in earnest. Laurent is in a transition phase between love of learning and scholarship (I expect this transition will last for a couple years, roughly equal to middle school), and Brienne is thankfully still in love of learning, and that I know how to do!

As the summer wanes, interest in my homeschool coaching has predictably picked up again.

cutting carrots

If you're busy getting your plans in place for the coming year and need some help, I would love to work with you to create the learning environment you dream for your homeschool.

You can read all about my coaching here, and what families say about working with me.

summer picnic

Here's what one mom recently shared with me about my coaching:

I was really impressed with your gift to (from a small summary email) take my situations, assess the issues, and give me very clear guidance and helpful encouragement with our future goals.

Right away after our session, my son was more willing to work with me, as opposed to performing for me, and the subject he struggled with, reading, has become something he is able to practice daily and has become proud of his success. I should have done the session sooner, to avoid the burnout I inadvertently forced on my child.

If you have any questions about my coaching just shoot me an e-mail.

homeschool coaching

And now I'd better get back to my own plans and preparations... as soon as I finish squeezing all the goodness from this gorgeous month!

bubbles at party

PS. It's ok if your homeschool year doesn't start till well after September 3rd. You'll be in good company.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Rana

    Rana on Aug. 15, 2013, 3:32 a.m.

    I hear you with the running out of money before you can order the books. Somehow I get in the same situation.  Right now we are in the process of moving and downsizing to a smaller home and then possibly moving out of state next year. Since we school  year round I've got the kids doing just independent work so I can purge and pack. Thank you so much for all your posts on moving,organizing, and small space living. It's really helping to keep what's most important in perspective. 

    Side note I see my name up on the window.  I used to get teased in school because in Spanish the spelling Rana means frog, but the way you pronounce my name with a long a like Rayna means queen. So they called me Queen of the frogs!  Kids!!


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 15, 2013, 10:37 a.m.

      It's funny you mentioned that. I noticed that also, that you had the same name as certain frog genus'. But now I know how your name is really pronounced because I've been thinking Rana with short a sound.


  • heather

    heather on Aug. 15, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

    i love this. the freedom of doing it "your way!" last year we started quite late (3rd week in september i believe) and this year we're all feeling the itch to start sooner, so august 26th it is. many of emily's friends go to public school so she's very in tune with their calendar - there's a late august start for most of them. personally, i'd love to follow my friends lead and school year round, 3 weeks on/1 week off. she (and her kids) can always look forward to a week long break in the near distant future if their started to get weary or need a break. and if one were counting, they actually see about 5 more days per year "doing school" than public school kids. emily wants nothing to do with that though. i do try to sell it though! ;)


  • Cat

    Cat on Aug. 15, 2013, 1:11 p.m.

    My kids have been driving me bonkers. Every other day they are asking me ''When do we start?". I keep saying ''Please, enjoy this beautiful month of swimming, being with other families, camping and so on", but that just is not working. The smell of fresh sharpened pencils and new school books is getting to them. I, unfortunately am not ready. I would like to start mid-September. I guess we'll see :) 


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 16, 2013, 3:06 a.m.

      My kids may just be the opposite. Perhaps spending some time together will help both families make the most of the month and be ready for new school year!


  • Kimberly

    Kimberly on Aug. 15, 2013, 3:15 p.m.

    I can only dream of homeschooling my I would love to take on that challenge, and adventure.  But alas at this time I need to remain among the working full-time....but a girl can dream. Luckily, my kids are still very young in elementary school and I hope to be able to fulfill that dream before the hit high school.




  • Sarah m

    Sarah m on Aug. 15, 2013, 3:59 p.m.

    What once took him 35+ minutes of tears and trials, is now taking him literally minutes...and just yesterday he said, "I can do this all by myself!" and then showed me his work after. He's happily read a few of the Bob books to his sister recently, too. Success! Thanks again.

    Sarah M


  • Tonya

    Tonya on Aug. 15, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

    Just ordered the book you recommended (college hack  as I have another son turning into adulthood soon).   Renee - we, too, buy very little curriculum only when really necessary - primarily for the teens.  If online courses weren't so expensive the teens would probably do more of those but so far the books still cost less.  For the younger set this year we are doing a waldorf inspired approach so that I can still keep it gentle and meet Vermont's requirements - I went "legal" last year - big mistake probably, but now I have to keep at it.  Good part, though, is I have no choice but to get organized.

    Thinking of you!


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 16, 2013, 3:18 a.m.

      Tonya, I have a few other books I'm looking at also.The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations and Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree. I haven't been able to order any though yet, no funds. But once I do have some extra cash I will be making a book order for sure. I haven't read any of these books yet so I can't recommend them one way or the other. 


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