It’s back to school time! Are you excited or Are you stressed? I am BOTH when it comes to knowing what to do before school (homeschool or public) starts this year. If you are like me, you might be a little frantic leaving some things until the last minute, but don’t worry I have a few tips to help you and your kids be prepared before they go back to school. Let’s Get Started!
Before I begin I dedicate time over the course of a few days to go through these 5 steps. You can do this on a weekend & be ready to go!
1- Review Last Years Accomplishments – All The Good and Bad
- Before starting the new school year I like to sit down with my child and review progress, including their accomplishments and where they struggled. During this conversation, I learn their strengths and areas they struggle and will need help in the coming year.
- Homeschool can be challenging when I am dividing my attention between multiple children of different ages. Reviewing their accomplishments gives me a guideline for where my child will need the most help this year. This way I can divide my limited time between all my children, helping where they most needed it.
2- DeClutter – Clean Out & Make Room
- This tip is extremely important. A clean space promotes learning and helps keep kids focused. With so many people in our house, things tend to get cluttered fast. A few good hours of clearing out a learning space makes all the difference. Our kids are much more eager to learn when they have a place they can go that is undistracted from noise and clutter.
- My kids migrate for learning in multiple areas, including our classroom, the kitchen table, and bedrooms. I like to have a desk space set up for each child so they have a place they know is theirs. In their study areas, I help them get rid of any unnecessary items so their learning environment is a distraction and clutter-free zone.
- Go over curriculum, courses, and classes. Kids need to know what you expect them to do in the school year. I love planning with my children because they vocalize their interests and have a say in what they are learning. I try to make sure each child picks at least one course they love each semester along with their core curriculum.
- Even for public school you can sit down with your child and go over the plan of after-school activities. It really helps me to have it all written in a planner. That way I don’t miss running kids to soccer practice or music lessons.
- Write down what courses & classes they are taking. After picking the courses I have my kids fill out their planner with their assignments by week. This helps them know each day what assignments they need to complete without asking mom.
4- Create A Learning Space / Organize
- From experience, I know that simply having a designated learning space is not enough, It needs to be organized and functional.
- I like to use things like pencil bags, bookshelves, bins, and desk drawers to keep all their learning materials organized.
- We go through and organize our learning spaces at the beginning of the school year. After everything is in place it doesn’t take much to keep it tidy throughout the school year.
5- Create a Schedule or Routine
- Schedule your school day for homeschool so that kids know when it’s time for school and when they can play. In our home, we have a family meeting after breakfast and then from about 9 am until noon the kids are supposed to do school. After lunch, if they haven’t finished, they return to getting their school done in the afternoon. This is the ideal day, but it rarely goes this smoothly, something always seems to come up!
- You can also create a routine for public school. I recommend focusing on helping your kids create healthy after-school habits. You don’t have to worry as much about their schedule at school, but it’s great to have some structure when they come home. Kids often have homework assignments to finish along with extracurricular activities after school. Keep in mind, that i’s helpful for kids to have a mental break after school before jumping into homework assignments.
These 5 simple steps help me get going each school year & if you need to refresh with some of these during the year, do it! I love homeschooling, is it easy…NO! But I enjoy the time together with my kids & also I love seeing their growth.
What are you doing to get this school year started? Share with me your tips. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel