The Best Resources for Back to Homeschool

The Best Resources for Back to Homeschool

The Best Resources for Back to HomeschoolFor homeschoolers who follow a traditional school schedule, and even those who take a break in summer, this is go time!

Get Inspired

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.

Best Places to Buy Borrow Sell or Donate Used Curriculum

The Best Places to Buy, Borrow, Sell, or Donate Used Homeschool Curriculum

best places, homeschool, freebies, printables, giveaways

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.

Easiest HS Records


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).

A Homeschooler's Daily To-Do List

Daily Homeschooler’s To-Do List

Weekly Homeschool To-Do List Free Printable

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: Get organized for your first homeschool week!

The Back to School Challenge

homeschool, printables, back to school

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 HS Lunch Ideas

10 Crazy Easy Homeschool Lunch Ideas

top ten homeschool lunch ideas, recipes

iHomeschool Network Top Ten Lunches for Homeschool

meal plan ebook cover.jpeg

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.


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The Back to School Challenge: Week 32

The Back to School Challenge: Week 32

The Back to School Challenge: Get organized for your first homeschool week!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

10:00 Piano

10:30 Tutoring individuals

11:00 Language arts

11:30 History, Science

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Literature

1:30 Individual work (my to-do’s)

2:30 Workout

3:00 Snack

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.

DIY homeschool supply organizer

#4 Shop

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:

August 2014 Organized Homeschool Calendar

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

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