For homeschoolers who follow a traditional school schedule, and even those who take a break in summer, this is go time!
Your excitement is contagious, mom. Check out these great ideas for planning, organizing, and the first day of school. Choose a few of them and set aside some time to put them into practice. Ask your husband to take the kids on an outing, trade childcare with a friend, or go somewhere you can focus.
I’ll keep sharing inspiration all year on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. Hope we can connect there.
Planning & Organizing Ideas
If you still need curriculum, I’ve got you covered. Check out the best places to buy used or get homeschool freebies below.
The Best Places to Buy, Borrow, Sell, or Donate Used Homeschool Curriculum
The Best Places to Find Homeschool Freebies, Printables & Giveaways
If you haven’t even started planning, don’t panic. You can use either of my crazy easy approaches to homeschool planning and record keeping and be ready in no time.
The Easiest Homeschool Record System Ever
The Most Motivating Homeschool Planner Ever
If you want a simple reminder of what you should be doing every day, every week, every month, and every year, you’ll want to nab the free printable PDFs I’ve created that you can put into page protectors in your homeschool planner. When you download one of them, you’ll also get access to a monthly and yearly to-do list in the subscriber freebies folder (linked at the bottom of this email for subscribers).
Daily Homeschooler’s To-Do List
Weekly Homeschool To-Do List
If you’re looking for help with your homeschool schedule, check out the amazing free printables from Pam Barnhill at EdSnapshots. She not only provides you with the free printables, but the help to go with them.
Loop vs. Block Scheduling with Free Printables
If you just need direction for getting organized, you’ll want to start with the Back to School challenge and continue with the weekly Organized Homeschool challenges. Just 15 minutes a day will do it!
The Back to School Challenge
You’ll also appreciate the Back to School printables I shared in this edition of What’s Hot in Homeschooling.
Meal Planning Ideas
Parents of traditionally-schooled children are busy looking for school lunch ideas, but homeschooling moms need ideas, too! Check out my 10 lunch ideas and be sure to check out the other iHomeschool Network bloggers ideas, too. Then be sure to download my free meal planning ebook that will help you simplify this process that takes so much of our time.
10 Crazy Easy Homeschool Lunch Ideas
iHomeschool Network Top Ten Lunches for Homeschool
Free Once-and-for-All Meal Plan
Follow Dr. Melanie Wilson @psychowith6’s board Back to Homeschool on Pinterest.
First Day of School Ideas
Once you’re prepared for school, you’ll want to make plans for the first day. My favorite thing to do is surprise the kids. We have gone out for ice cream and last year we went to a theme park the last day it was open. I’m still trying to come up with a unique surprise, but I love these ideas.
My friend, Pam Barnhill, shares 8 easy tips for taking school photos.
My friend, Rebecca, shares first day of school signs you can use as photo props where your child writes what they plan to do when they grow up.
Heather Bowen shares some clever ideas, including taking your child to the bookstore to purchase a book to read.
Katie Horner shares great ideas and printables, including a scavenger hunt ending at an educational location. I may have to steal that one this year!
At Real Life at Home, my friend Jen Dunlap shares some sweet ideas, including giving each child a greeting card the first morning.
Do you have any special first day of school traditions? Comment or tell us about it at Homeschool Sanity on Facebook.
Can you believe it’s here already? Whether you’ve been homeschooling all year or won’t be getting back to it until next month, this week is as good as any to do some back-to-school organization.
#1 Create a school schedule
I wrote about scheduling your homeschool several years ago, but thought I would share what my current schedule looks like.
6:00 Devotions, time with my husband, breakfast, workouts on certain days, shower
7:45 Kids up, dress, breakfast (my time for morning must-do’s or time with kids)
8:15 Chores and organizing
8:45 Chore checking and tweaking
9:00 Bible time
9:30 Classical Conversations & other memory work
10:30 Tutoring individuals
11:00 Language arts
11:30 History, Science
1:30 Individual work (my to-do’s)
3:15 Weekly chores
3:30 Individual work (my project time)
4:00 Outside play / free time (my project time)
5:00 Dinner & tomorrow’s breakfast prep
6:30 Evening chores
6:45 Family / Activity Time
9:00 Ready for bed & reading (my writing time)
A lot of this schedule is very close to what we actually do. The problem we have is with going to bed and getting up at the same times. We’ll be getting better at this soon! We have activities that necessitate a completely different schedule on one to two days a week, but this is our at-home schedule.
Real Life at Home’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Scheduling can help you create a schedule that works for you. Just remember that it’s ALWAYS a work in progress. As a result of heatmapping, I discovered that I was doing subjects that took the most energy at the times I had the least energy. Take your energy levels (and your kids”) into account when you schedule.
#2 Plan activities to make the first day special
I used to surprise the kids with new school supplies when they were younger, but I think I own enough school stuff to supply a small country. Last year I surprised them with a trip out for ice cream.
Heather at Upside Down Homeschooling shares her ideas for making the first day special. I absolutely love the idea of interviewing kids on the first (and last) day of school using these forms.
#3 Check school supplies
Remember what I wrote about having gobs of school supplies? That’s because I’ve skipped this step too often. To prepare for back-to-school, make sure you go through your stash. First, use a school supply list appropriate to your children’s’ ages. This is an example. Cross off items you have or don’t need and then see how many of the items you already own. The rest will be your shopping list.
If you haven’t already organized your supplies, this would be a good day to do it. Check out this great clear organizer. I also love this school supply organizer I made last year.
Now that you know what you actually need, you can shop. Don’t forget office supply stores which often give homeschoolers a teacher discount and are much less crowded this time of year.
I needed notebooks and glue sticks. What do you need to buy to get ready for school?
I’m linking up with A Day in the Life Blog Hop. Check out the great posts!
Here is the August Organized Homeschool Calendar and a list of previous weeks’ challenges:
Organized Homeschool Challenge
Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge
Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge
Week 3: To-Do List Challenge
Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge
Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge
Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge
Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge
Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge
Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge
Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge
Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge
Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge
Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge
Week 14: The Chore Challenge
Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge
Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge
Week 17: The Friendship Challenge
Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge
Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge
Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge
Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge
Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge
Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge
Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge
Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge
Week 26: The Homeschool Planning Challenge
Week 27: The Bible Time Challenge
Week 28: The Special Study Prep Challenge
Week 29: The Extra-Curricular Challenge
Week 30: The Core Curriculum Prep Challenge
Week 31: The Elective Curriculum Challenge