6 Ways to Ease Into A New Homeschool Year
Sometimes it’s tough to say goodbye to summer. The relaxing days with nowhere special to be. And staying up late reading or watching movies. I find it especially hard for us here in Florida. The palm trees stay as beautiful as always. There is no “Fall is in the air” smell or cooler temperatures that tell us Fall is on the way and time to start school. This makes transitioning back to school more difficult! Are you struggling with the motivation to get going (like me!)?
Here are six ways to help you ease into a new homeschool year:
#1 – Declutter Your Space
Whether you have a school room or just use your dining room or kitchen table for lessons, having a clean and organized work space is key. There are tons of studies that have been done and the results always show people with organized spaces are more productive. My kids are able to focus better if the area they are working in is free of extra papers, or stacks of books, etc. Take a minute to put away any items that are unnecessary. Fill a plastic bag or crate, label the outside and store it in a closet to go through at a later date.
#2 – Use A Planner
Most years we have homeschooled, I’ve planned my school year using free online planner pages and a spiral notebook. In hopes to be more organized, this year I’ve decided to use the Ultimate Homeschool planner by Debra Bell along with my old school grade book The weekly/monthly planner offers more flexibility than some I’ve seen because it has blank pages with no dates or subjects. With spots for multiple children, it allows me to customize it for our family. In addition to our schooling, it will be my go to place for keeping up with special dates, birthday.s and anniversaries, doctors appointments and deadlines.
Your kids may enjoy having a planner of their own. For years we used the Cars, printable planner. Click Here for the link. My boys loved it. We three-hole punched several copies and put them in a binder just like it shows in the link. The boys used this up until 6th grade and it really kept them organized.
If you’re looking for something a little meatier for your children, you might like the Order Out Of Chaos Student Planner. It offers a great layout that helps kids visualize their week. Your middle school and high schoolers will enjoy filling this out and organizing their homework, schedules, and activities.
#3 – Start With An Abbreviated Schedule
Try easing into your school year with reading time in the morning, followed by one subject for the first week of school. Their reading time could be a book from your Literature curriculum or just a good book that they choose.
My friend and fellow homeschool mom has a wonderful idea that combines reading and art. Her children choose any art project they would like to work on, and she reads to them while they’re creating their masterpiece! Not only are the kids using their creative side for their art projects, but being read to will help increase their attention span and encourage them to be readers as well!
#4 – Do A Short Bible Devotion
Start each morning with a short Bible devotional based on your child’s age. My boys always enjoyed drawing the Bible stories they read on comic book paper that I printed out from the internet. If your kids like keeping a journal, this Blank Comic Book is a great place for their Bible drawings.
#5 – Prepare Food In Advance
Take a Sunday afternoon to prep some of your foods for the week ahead. One way I save time during the week is preparing fruit and putting it in small Solo cups with plastic wrap. I have the hardest time keeping up with my Rubbermaid lids! So the cups work best for me — and they go right from the fridge to the dinner table or lunch box easily! I also try to buy my ground chuck in large packages. I take time on Sundays to cook it and place in labeled freezer bags. Usually half with taco seasoning and half plain for spaghetti.
#6 – Lay Out Everything The Night Before
At the end of our homeschool day, after dinner, all I want to do is sit on the couch with a good book! But, taking just a few minutes to gather all our curriculum and supplies needed for the next day makes our school days start so much easier!! Teach your kids to set out what they will be working on the next day to save yourself some time 🙂
Oh! And if you’re new to homeschooling check out Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started. Written by one of my very favorite bloggers, Erica Arndt, over at confessionsofahomeschooler.com. The book also comes with directions to download a FREE planner!
Hopefully these ideas will help you get back into school with ease. Enjoy the last bit of summer and Happy Schooling!
How do you prepare for a new school year? Let me know in the comments below!