The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Getting Back To School (at home)

There’s a lot of back to school stuff happening around the internet right now.

I usually love this time of year.

The posts make me feel motivated, inspired and almost ready to get back into the swing of all things school around here. I love looking at the curriculum choices and hearing from other moms, in the same boat, sharing their best ideas and practices.

I usually love it, but this year, if I am being honest, it has not been as fun.

Blame the world. Blame medical treatments. Blame my oldest heading into his senior year and me not being at all ready for it. 

I may be struggling a bit with motivation, but the reality is that no matter what the year, getting back to school is never totally seamless for my family.

best advice for getting back to school

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Getting Back To School

The first few weeks of school are never easy. Leaving behind the more relaxed days of summer, getting back into a routine, dealing with the frustration of starting all over again – it can be challenging at best. Some years, for my family, it has felt like a disaster.

This year, I am reminded of the best advice I have ever heard about getting back to school from my friend, Pam Barnhill.

Her advice for these first few weeks of school?

Don’t quit. 

Not don’t quit homeschooling entirely – more like, don’t quit on yourself.

Don’t give-up on the schedule. Don’t start to re-think the curriculum. Don’t decide that you are a failure.

The Best Advice I've Ever Heard About Getting Back To School, Not The Former Things, Shawna Wingert

This seems simple and I guess it is.

But the truth is, I needed to hear it. I especially needed it as a mom of kiddos with learning differences and special needs.

When it’s week 2 and my son is melting down every time I pick up a book – don’t quit.

When it’s week 3 and my oldest refuses to go to his class that he loves and went to happily last week and the week before – don’t quit.

When it’s week 4 and the doctor asks me about socialization – don’t quit.

The Best Advice I've Ever Heard About Getting Back To School Not The Former Things, Shawna Wingert


This is about giving it some time before I throw in the towel and instead, trusting all the hard work I have put into preparation and planning.

This is about not letting the expectations slide.

Most importantly, it’s about knowing that I am closest to these boys. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know if something is truly a problem, we have plenty of time to address it.

Rather than giving in to the fear and fatigue that often plague me around Day 10, this year, I want to remember that my sons need time to adjust. They need those first few weeks to settle. I need those first few week to settle.

Back to school is not the time to assess anything.

It’s a time to be calm and focused, even when no one else is.

It’s a time to have grace for my boys, and for myself, as we begin again.


Wishing you the best school year yet!

Want to see what we’ve done to get ready for back to school in past years?

Check out these posts – 

Homeschool Curriculum: Where To Start

What’s The Best Curriculum For Children With Learning Differences?

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Selecting Homeschool Curriculum

Strength Based Homeschooling: Your Guide To Creating A Strength Based Learning Plan


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  1. Great advice, indeed! They began work on our in ground pool TODAY!!! We are so excited, but I KNOW that keeping focused as we start back to school next week will be harder than usual with super-cool, ginormous, loud construction equipment working in the back yard all day!

    Wish us luck & best of luck to you!!!
    Lisa 😉

    1. Well, I am excited for you to have the pool finished! Instant homeschool PE. 🙂

  2. Stephanie King says:

    I have read this post twice now and will save it to read again. Don’t quit! Words that I need to remember. Not only don’t quit homeschooling, but don’t quit parenting. And remembering that I an not a failure and my kids are not failures. This is a hard journey that God has put us on. Praying not to grow weary in doing good.

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