It is back to school time and we are gearing up around here to start school very soon. I am excited about this year because I really did a revamp on our schedules, classes, and projects. I just really wanted something NEW and FRESH this year. Can you relate? I have four teens that I will be teaching, two twins and a busy preschooler so I want to make this year memorable.
I spent many hours looking for just the right tools and share some of them in this post below--I think the kids are really going to have a special year this time around.
Here are a few tips to get you started if you are going back to school this year--I hope they are a blessing to you:
1. Pray - we need God's help, wisdom, and guidance to show us how to plan our days so this is always the first stop.
2. Go to Bed Early a Week Before - Ease your children into getting back to a normal schedule a week or a few days before so they get enough sleep and don't have a hard time staying awake.
3. Get Your Kids Excited - Before school starts I start telling them about the fun things I have planned and new fun school books we have this year.
4. Ease Yourself In - Don't try to be a drill sergeant and do everything on the first day as you bark out orders, hurriedly pass out long to-do lists and schedules and demand all classes to be done by noon. This is a surefire way to make them not enjoy homeschooling. Do a few classes or a half day or have something fun planned.
5. Have a Morning Routine - This helps get the day going smoothly. For my younger children I would write out a list of what is expected (washing up, reading their Bible, fixing their bed, starting on schoolwork, etc.) so that there are no misunderstandings. Make some morning time for yourself by waking up a little bit earlier if needed.
6. Make Easy Meals - If meals stress you out then try to make meals simple and available. You don't always have to cook by scratch and most often times the healthiest meals can be easily prepared like salads and fruits--you can prep them beforehand.
7. Make Your Day Relaxing - With nine children in the house things can get loud and chaotic quickly. I like to play classical music or a relaxing music station with no lyrics during our school day. We also try to make sure everyone practices self control during school time by being quiet for others.
8. Celebrate - We like to kick off the school year with a party--this year we are doing Minute to Win-It Games and some baking.
9. Add Something New - This year I bought new patterned school boxes (they usually get the plain), new exciting books like Graphic Shakespeare (it's like a comic book), Extreme Dot-to-Dot, and we will be adding in Poetry Tea Time (which I will share on the blog very soon) --we all can't wait to begin! I also changed their Grammar class (their most dreaded class) to Daily Grammar (super simple and only takes a few minutes a day) and adding in lots more learning game and project ideas from my Homeschool Inspiration Pinterest Board. We all can't wait!
10. Add Some Margin to Your Day - Planning this in adds flexibility and helps your day not to be rushed. It also helps you realistically tackle the things that do need to be done.
11. Have an Evening Routine - This helps too so they know what to expect and you don't forget anything--like chores, playing outside, dinner, baths, prep for tomorrow, etc.
12. Plan Ahead - one of the best things you can do is plan ahead. I like to have a calendar overview of the month along with notes of what I am doing that week and the next day. It helps me keep on top of it all and not wake up surprised or unprepared.
"Of all the joyous motives of school life, the love of knowledge is the only abiding one; the one which determines the scale, so to speak, upon which the person will hereafter live."
What would you add to the list?
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