So next year we're looking at Kindergarten and 2nd grade. The younger one, I'm not stressed about since she doesn't even have to be registered, is an eager learner, and wants to stay home with me. My 2nd grader...
But what comes first? You make up a curriculum or decide to follow an established one. Do you pick the start date, register BEFORE you begin? How did you mark the beginning of the year? Sell them on doing work with YOU? AT HOME? I'm looking at state laws but for the Californians, did you do the affidavit thing after the school year began? Is there a checklist for the first day?
We are in CA,The PSA (public school affidavit) has to be filed in October.
We use a public Charter school but I work on my own schedule and choose all my own curriculum. I do all my own lesson plans, they just big my curriculum. Technically I have to follow their schedule so I just report on their calendar and do what I want when I want.
I start about a week before they require. We work during the summer, etc.
I choose all my curriculum (mostly from Rainbow Resource) and then break it up into 10 monthly units with 20 days each. Some things I do daily, some I do only a day or two a week.
As for getting the kids on board, mine hated public school and were thrilled to come home. They help pick some materials and that helps. They know they don't have afternoon homework and field trips each month instead of 2 a year.
I'm not in Cali but our first day, my kids were given a list of things to do. Mine were older when we started. I wish we had started when you are!
I would consider delight driven homeschooling at those ages.
Everyone's first day looks different.
Make it a celebration. Make it fun. Try not to do school at home so much as learning naturally and enjoying each other. JMO.
I'm in Ohio, and the Notice of Intent is supposed to be in before the public school year starts so I send mine in August.
I say, start off having a *Not Back to School Bash*. Do something special that day. Some go out to a pool or park. Some homeschool groups here actually have a whole BBQ party. LOL During that time, discuss how homeschooling will be different than ps and how it will be the same as ps. Talk about what everyone wants to get out of their education for the year. Maybe make short term and long term goals.
Also, I find it helpful about 2 weeks or so before you want to start, get your morning routine down. That way when your first day of lessons come, you have a strong building block. You aren't going straight from pjs until 10am to up at 8am and doing school work by 9am.
We are in California. We had to fill out an affidavit between Oct 1-15th. I did it online and printed it out to keep for my records. I also keep a cumulative file and a calendar to mark the days they "attend". This year I am going to do a year round school. 180 days are what is required so I sat down with a 2013 - 2014 calendar to plan out our year. I am going on a trip in August so our year will begin the week after I get back, at the end of August. I totaled up all of the days, marked off holidays and took off 2 weeks in December/Jan and a week in November. I still have 24 days to play with for days off and have considered having Fridays off...haven't decided yet. My husband is in the Army and he gets a 4 day once a month so I might save those days for then. We are also taking the whole month of July off. So we will go from end of August to end of May, take off July and start back up at the beginning of August.
Everyone has covered the affidavite. This is our 3rd year. We school for an hour a day in the summer, if that. They kids love doing the work.
I have changed my mind a million times because everything is up in the air. But we are using charter schools for the 2 that have to register. My 6 year old has decided to stay with CAVA (I hate it, but she loves it so I will deal, she is still learning) My 7 year old has decided to go with Greater San Diego Homeschool Academy. We do pretty much what Jinx is doing. I make sure I get the time in, but I do not follow the school's schedule. We will be starting back to school on July 15th.
That day I will take pictures, we will have a back to school party where they will do a little of each lesson, help set up anything still needed set up. Then we will go outside and play in the pool and trampoline.
CAVA starts in Aug. and so does the Homeschool Academy.
I can't comment on the technical side of things, but make a big deal out of the first day of school. Take pictures, be excited over the supplies and books, point out things they can do that they couldn't in public school (only if they have gone before), have a special lunch menu. Set the tone for the year. Tell them that you will be working every day just as they would in a school building. Tell them they are required to have school every day by law. Show them this is serious BUT show them you are going to have fun, too. Ease into the subjects--maybe start at "half speed" and work your way up to a full day. Celebrate the end of the first week by going to the park or on a field trip. Don't expect every day to be perfect. Homeschooling is "slow and steady wins the race."