By 2018 many of us are familiar with the different online delivery methods. There is the ebook, typically a straightforward delivery of information.

Then there is the online course which includes modules of info along with extra tools and action items to help you work through a process and find a solution.

Homeschool Consistency Doing School

You might be wondering, though, what is a boot camp? And how in the world can this help you to be more consistent in your homeschool? I am here to answer that question.

A boot camp is a combination of information, tools, action items, and accountability within a specific time frame. It is an intense period of time you set aside to focus on a single problem area with the idea of building good habits that will carry over to those non-intense times — or times in your life when you become intense about other things like batch cooking, exercising, or holiday planning.

See the idea is if we spend about seven weeks working on your homeschool consistency problem, then some of those habits will stick when you need to focus on other things. And you will need to focus on other things at some point. That is life after all.

Warm-up week is the key to homeschool consistency

So what does it look like to actually do the boot camp. Let’s start at the very beginning.

The Consistency Boot Camp begins with warm-up week. During this week we are not yet trying to do school every day (though most people are doing school, and that’s a good thing). Instead we are working out our plan of action for how the next six focused weeks will unfold.

There is one video about how we will get prepared and then a series of five short assignments.

You can feel free to complete all the assignments at one time — it won’t take you more than 30-45 minutes to do that — but we have a discussion thread in the forum every day during warm-up week that covers one assignment each day.

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The assignments, which include things like identifying stumbling blocks and making a plan for them, coming up with a back-up plan for bad days, setting your course for the next six weeks, and signing a promise to yourself, sometimes encourage meaty discussion, brainstorming solutions, and questions that you need answered. The forum is the place we do all that.

The homeschool consistency forum

Speaking of the forum, once you post your first introduction in the forum you are assigned to a company or small group for the duration of the boot camp. Each company has a mentor who has been through the boot camp multiple times and has led others through.

This experienced guide will be there to encourage you and challenge you over the following seven weeks. You will get to know the people in your group and will possibly make long-term friends who will continue to encourage you after the boot camp is over.

Homeschool Consistency Boot Camp Forum

The warm-up week will take the most of your time and there will be much more conversation there than any other week. Even so, you still are not required to participate in or read everything in the forum — especially if it tends to be a stumbling block for you. Only participate as much as you need to be successful.

We actually have a “rule” that you should never be in the forum before 3:00 PM in your time zone. While we can’t enforce this rule, it is something we highly encourage.

Completing warm-up week will give you a workable plan of action for the six weeks that follow. You will know exactly what you need to do to be successful and have a back-up plan for when life happens. You are ready to conquer your consistency problem. Let’s get started!

The six weeks of the consistency contest period

The next six weeks that follow are what we call contest period weeks. These are the weeks that you are striving to do school for the 23 out of 30 days that you have committed to do in the warm-up week.

As you complete school each day you mark it off on your tracking sheet — many moms make a fun game of this, getting the kids involved and celebrating together.

Each day you should also check-in on the check-in thread each afternoon. All you have to do is post, “we did it” or “it didn’t happen today.” Just those small messages will hold you accountable to your peers, but say as little or as much as you want. We love celebrating with you the good feelings of accomplishment that start happening with increasing frequency as the boot camp unfolds. It is one of our favorite parts.

If you are having problems and need extra encouragement you can also post a request for help explaining your problem. When you do, your company mentor will provide some extra solutions, encouragement, or even some tough-love for you.

In addition to the daily check-in threads which we do six days a week (we have found we always have some weekend schoolers in each group — you are not required to check in on the weekend if it is not your norm to school then) we also have a weekly troubleshooting thread on the weekends.

In this discussion you can reflect how the week has gone for you overall, what a-ha moments you realized this week, and where you might be struggling. As always, your mentor and classmates are there with support.

Motivation and support for consistency

While all the doing school and checking in is going on during these six weeks, we are also providing you with extra motivation and some additional tools to challenge your thinking and encourage you.

Each morning during the contest period you receive a text message (if you live in the USA) that provides encouragement or reminds you that it is time to start school. This quick text message is your little push each morning to get started and not ignore your obligation to your family.

Homeschool Consistency Boot Camp Lesson Page

Every Sunday we also publish a video message from me along with a transcript and a few workbook pages. The videos make you think about your role as a homeschool mom, the messages inside your head, and how you can conquer bad habits and self-doubt.

These are the weekly topics:

  • Week 1: Why consistency matters, the rewards you are after
  • Week 2: Homeschooling is your job, being a good worker
  • Week 3: Morning habits and routines, using and avoiding friction for success
  • Week 4: Motivation and willpower, how they fail you, and what to do instead
  • Week 5: Handling distractions and getting back on track
  • Week 6: The difference between giving yourself grace and making excuses

Watching the videos each week and completing the small assignments will take you about 30-45 minutes. You have time to do them on Sunday as you prepare for your following school week, and they will allow you to begin your week pumped up and ready to conquer your homeschool.

We also have a discussion thread in the forum each week for discussing that week’s video and assignments. I have gotten some great ideas from the other mamas inside the boot camp for my own homeschool.

The wrap-up week

We end the boot camp with a little reflection of what we have learned and accomplished over the previous seven weeks. Wrap-up is also the week that you can submit your contest entry. If you completed 23 of the 30 days of school you will be eligible to win some fun prizes.

We love cheering your success at the end of a period of hard work and know that by carrying on with the habits you established in boot camp you will continue to be successful.

Any other questions

I have tried my best to answer any questions here that you might have about the Homeschool Consistency Boot Camp, but if you have any others, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or use the contact form on the left of the page to email them to us.

If you are ready to get consistent in your homeschool, the boot camp is open through Friday, September 21. We would love to have you join us.

I want to be consistent!

Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.
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