Start Your Homeschool Year Feeling Connected

Are you looking forward to a fresh start for the new homeschooling year? I’m here to help you focus on what’s most important in the simplest possible way. Start your homeschool year feeling connected!

Like I say at the end of every episode here on the podcast: Rather than perfection, focus on connection. 

“How exactly does one do that?” you may ask.

Especially at a time when you’re scrambling to have everything ready! All the supplies and books and lesson plans, oh my! 

Well, in this episode, I’m here to help you get a new homeschooling year started while keeping connection with your kiddos top of mind. And to feel relaxed about it all at the same time!

So how can we set ourselves up right from the start to keep the common ailments of overwhelm and discouragement at bay? How can we, as homeschoolers, stay connected and present in the moment?

Let’s dive in to this episode all about how to start your homeschool year feeling connected!

The Basics

First a little reminder about what’s most important. Don’t forget these basic ideas when you’re thinking about your homeschool days.

  • Look at your child or children
    • Where are they developmentally? 
    • What do you sense they need right now?
    • What new skills are they ready to learn?
    • What are they interested in?
  • Play and have fun
    • Get outside regularly
    • Play games together
    • Laugh
  • Connect by sharing stories
    • Read aloud together as a family
    • Tell stories from your childhood
    • Find great stories at the library related to learning topics

Start Your Homeschool Year Feeling Connected with Couch Time

You can bring all of these ideas together with one simple activity at home called…

Couch time!

I actually learned this phrase from my dear friend and homeschooling colleague, Alison. She’s my teaching partner at the Taproot Teacher Training and these days, we have so much fun together discussing books and creating our Book Hearth Guides for homeschool families.

Couch time is exactly what it sounds like! Gathering together as a family on the couch.

Remember, homeschooling is not school at home.

Learning can be restful, nurturing, and comfortable. Plus couch time is a great way to learn together when you have kiddos of different ages.

Couch time can be a creative way of meeting the needs of your homeschooling family!

Here are some ideas for you…

  • Start with circle time activities like lighting a candle, singing a good morning song, and reciting verses while cozied up on your comfy couch.
  • Get in some movement on your way to the couch or weave that in naturally at other times of the day.
  • Bring a snack or tea and handwork.
  • Begin with a puppet show, nature story, or picture book for the youngest child. Then progress through the grades of your children, bringing all the story material into this one time bucket.
  • The oldest kiddos will benefit from listening. And the younger ones can drift off to play quietly nearby, coming back for snuggles whenever they need to.
  • You can even incorporate short learning games before or after the story material.

We can pull together so many activities with this cozy idea of couch time: creating a reverent space with a candle, singing, verses, snacks, handwork, puppet shows, picture books, main lesson story material, informal discussions and sharing, fiction and non-fiction books, and learning games.

Just remember to keep it simple ~ look at the children before you, keep learning playful and fun, and connect by sharing stories.

Your Minimum Viable Day

The last thing you need when you’re transitioning to a new homeschool year (or when life gets challenging) is a complicated plan.

I have a homeschool strategy called the 20-20-20 rule to create your minimum viable homeschool day.

Three activities, 20 minutes each! And couch time can be one of them!

Simplicity and connection can outshine busyness any day of the week!

The 20-20-20 Rule can help you maintain realistic plans during times of transition or challenge.

To learn more about your minimum viable homeschool day, check out the bonus training included with the Homeschool Simplicity Bundle. This is a great resource to add to your homeschool files if you’re ready to stop overcomplicating things and enjoy homeschooling more.

More Resources in the Homeschool Simplicity Bundle

The bundle also includes:

  • How to Bring it All Together training to help you bring simplicity to your family consistently, learn to scale back when life just isn’t flowing, and build on your successes in a sustainable way so you can feel good about yourself.
  • Homeschool Simplicity eBook to help you understand the essence of education, the stages of child development, and how to customize your plan with rhythm and block learning. This reference guide will last you through the years showing you how to craft a homeschool that’s simple and doable so you can actually enjoy your time with your kids!
  • Holistic Planning Pack of 14 printable PDFs in full color, and 14 editable Google Docs to help you organize every aspect of your homeschool. These are BEAUTIFUL, practical, and flexible! Including your big picture plans, block overview, weekly rhythm charts and more. The Art of Homeschooling Team poured their heart and soul into these beautiful templates so that homeschoolers can fall in love with their planning process. 

But wait, there’s more!

  • The bundle also includes Block Outlines for Grades 1-8 providing examples of how you could plan literally ALL possible blocks for ALL of your homeschool years ~ Grades 1 to 8 ~ in a SIMPLE and DOABLE way. Plus favorite resources for each block.

I hope you’ll check out the bundle if you want to bring more fun, sparkle, connection, and simplicity to your homeschooling life. This is better than a curriculum!

With the Homeschool Simplicity Bundle, you will understand the foundational principles of holistic education AND you’ll be able to use any resources or curriculum you already have to homeschool your children. This is the primer on homeschooling mindset and approaches which will help you create a sustainable, inspiring homeschooling journey!

Most of all, dear homeschooler, I hope you remember to look at your children, play and have fun, and connect as a family by sharing stories. So you can start your homeschool year feeling connected!

Other Episodes to Check Out

Episode #96: Are You Ready for a New Homeschool Year?

Episode #45: 5 Things to Consider as You Start Homeschooling

Rate & Review the Podcast

If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

Or simply pop on over to and choose where you want to leave your review.

And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a coffee!

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