Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Your Questions Answered: Would you share some tips on starting the school year well?


Tips from your Seton counselors on starting the school year well, improving high school performance, and writing better reports.

Would you share some tips on starting the school year well?

First, always begin your day with prayer. Incorporate brief prayer times throughout the day, and attend daily Mass if possible. Having “quiet times” in the house where everyone works quietly (as quietly as possible!) is also very helpful.

Second, make a plan to stay organized. Make central locations to store your school supplies: have bookshelves or book boxes specifically for your school books, and keep all school supplies in designated drawers, jars, or baskets.

Third, create a light and flexible daily schedule. Having a general plan is essential, but it also makes room for those days when you need a change or something unexpected arises.

Some students prefer to start their day with all their hard subjects and then move to the easier ones.

Other students like to alternate between hard and easy subjects. Some subjects don’t need to be done daily but can be covered a few days a week. Talk with your students and make a plan that fits their needs.

Lastly, take breaks, have fun, bake cookies, spend time outside, visit family, and go on field trips! It’s important to have fun and not only develop your student’s academic skills but also form the whole person.

How can I do better in my High School studies this year?

1. Create a daily schedule and stay as organized as possible.

2. Look ahead in your course schedules and get an idea of what and when major assignments are coming up. Plan enough time to do your work well and prioritize more important assignments over less important ones.

Remember that the major assignments graded by Seton are the ones that require your top attention – these determine your course grade.

3. If you submit work online, try submitting assignments as you complete them rather than all at the end of the year. Submitting assignments one at a time for each course will give you access to important grader feedback. This feedback will allow you room to improve your grades as you go, rather than having to backtrack and re-do many assignments.

4. If you are struggling, do not hesitate to ask our Counselors for help. They are very friendly, have expert advice, and look forward to helping you!

Asking for help early on is much better than waiting until the end of the year when you have little time to re-do assignments or re-learn material.

5. Don’t forget to pray and ask God for help with your studies!

Amy Nutt, Academic Counselor

Why didn’t I receive Phonics 5 in my curriculum this year?

We have officially discontinued the Phonics 5 course this year, so it is no longer used in the curriculum. Last year, we reworked the Phonics 4 course to include concepts taught in Phonics 5.

If your students completed Phonics 4 last year, they will have already learned the material formerly covered in Phonics 5 and will have all the Phonics skills they need to be successful readers.

Currently, Phonics 5 is still available as a supplemental option. If you want to purchase the book, it can be ordered through our Setonbooks.com website.

Christina Nutt, Academic Counselor

My student will soon write his first book report for this school year. What can I do to help him succeed with this task?

Writing Seton book reports is one of the most critical and challenging tasks your student will complete before entering high school.

A Seton book report is not a plot summary of the book but an analysis of the main character. Completing these book reports will help your student build the skills necessary for writing high school essays in the future.

The key to success when writing a Seton book report is to use the Book Report Handbook sent with your enrollment.

This handbook takes the student step-by-step through the book report writing process. Also, it is helpful if you read the book report book yourself. Reading the book yourself will allow you to discuss key aspects of the book with your student.

Finally, contact one of our Elementary Academic Counselors with any questions or concerns. We are always happy to help.

Laura Fusto, Academic Counselor

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