Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back to (home) School

I've seen it...I'm sure you have too. The inevitable inundation of back to school supplies at every store imaginable.

For moms who send their kids to school, maybe this is an exciting thing. Back to school equals back to...a few hours without offspring every day?

For home school moms, back to school means back to the grindstone-for kids and for us. It means math and grammar to teach. It means long, structured days. It means much less free time.

I personally am not ready to let go of the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer yet. I am not ready to embrace the back to school craze. I am planning to live to the fullest these last 5 weeks of freedom. (freedom must always be read in your best Mel Gibson voice.)

But, though I am tightly hanging on to the last vestiges of summer, even I must admit that there is some preparation that should be done now to get ready for our upcoming homeschool year. Here are 10 things to do now, to make your summer/school year transition nice and smooth.

1) Assess school supplies and buy what is needed. The plethora of back to school sales means rock bottom prices on paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, glue and Crayola crayons. Now truly is the time to buy your supplies. While they are in the stores, and while they are cheap. You will pay more for one package of crayons in September, than 10 packs right now.

2) Order school books. July is a great time to buy school books online. There is often free shipping deals, plus if you order in July, books will certainly arrive before the start of school in September. Even back order books. So, take stock of what books you have, and what you need to purchase to fill out your curriculum for this fall, and order your books.

3) Organize your school area. Put last year's books away, and get out this year's. Hang your maps and timelines, make your supplies neat and tidy, and get things looking good for the year.

I have to work on this. Our primary school room is the dining room. Because of it's size and the fact that it is also our only eating area, I can't leave tons of school stuff in there 24/7. I am thinking up ideas for organizing our big basement room and a closet with school stuff. I am ready for a "school" room.

4) Plan your daily schedule and start to move bed times and wake up times in the right direction.

5) Sign up for co-ops or home school groups.

6) Write down your scholastic goals for each child for the year. Write down the steps you will take to reach these goals. Put them in weekly or monthly increments in order to measure progress.

7) Think back over the past year and ask yourself, "what went well? what needs some shoring up?" Make plans accordingly.

8) Make a list of easy and nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas.

9) Get out fall clothes, and make sure each child has what they need for the upcoming year. I know they aren't going anywhere, so the need may not be as great. But, you have time now to find out and gather what you need. During school it will be a whole lot harder to carve out a chunk of time for this task.

10) Party-hearty, folks. You have 5 (or less) weeks of summer break left!

Well, what have I forgotten? Remind me in the comments.=)