It isn’t always simple to go from the hazy lazy days of summer, and transitioning to the hectic (and often harried!) schedule of fall…
I, myself, find that the excitement in our home builds steadily in anticipation of the rhythmic ‘back to school’ lifestyle, although it CAN be heavily stressful, I do quite enjoy its routine.
However, it can take us off guard…that is, if we’re NOT prepared!
So today I’m sharing with you:
My TOP TEN Tips For Getting Ready For Back To School
1) Prepare for Earlier Mornings! (Homeschoolers: you may not start your day early, so skip this if you need to & move on) I love to get as much done as early in the day as possible. I like to get a great head start on my day, and relax later only having the ‘extra-curriculars‘ left to accomplish. So to get our family ready for this transition I like to start the earlier bedtimes at least a few days before our school routines actually officially start.
2) School Supply Shopping! Make a list, so you can stick to your budget as much as possible. Pencils, erasers, pens, notebooks, a new laptop, whatever. Your school experience will be unique, but the point is to have a list and ALSO to search out wherever the sales are. Pricing can vary incredibly from one store to another, so it’s a good idea to look through your flyers!
3) Go Over the Meal Plans! Having an effective meal plan for your home can remove extra stress from the household. I have seen this repeatedly in my own experience. It can also save money, help contribute to a healthier lifestyle (allows you to control what is going to be on the table) and keeps your family in the know of what is being served on the table each & every week. Involving the kids can make it even more fun for them! Get creative and map out your fall menu for this next season in life.
4) Take a Day Solely for Planning! Maybe you can only carve out half a day. Perhaps it’s a bunch of afternoon nap times. Just ensure to make this a priority before back to school to do this oh-so-important task. Whenever you do this, set aside this precious time to: set educational goals for the upcoming year, make notes to yourself about any important to-do lists you need to conquer to make the transition as smooth as possible, & anything you need to care of in general before school begins (re-arranging your set-up, getting the workbooks in order, etc.)
5) Make Plans For A Date Night! Hopefully you go on regular dates with your spouse, but it’s attempt to have that time together BEFORE the next year starts up! I find that having a date specifically to chat about the upcoming season is important. Taking the time to talk through (communicate, communicate!) any major scheduling changes in the week will prevent a TON of disagreements from occurring in the future 🙂
6) Celebrate the End of the Summer With A Special Celebration! Make it memorable. While you don’t have to break the bank to do so, it would be better to make it a precious time that you & your children can look back at fondly. And it also gives them something to look forward to next summer!
7) Look At Your House Lay-Out: How can it Improve to Better Serve Your Purpose?? Is there an entrance way that is cluttered? Is there a room that is full of ‘junk’ that needs to be emptied? Remember: the goal is to make space for precious private study area (especially for older students). Even a way that you can better organize the mail & bills can make for a more peaceful upcoming school year. If Mama is not at peace, then let’s not fool ourselves, our kids will pick up on it and won’t be at peace either…
8) Set a Tentative Back To School Schedule! It could involve a more rigid routine, or totally laid back, but if you have something to aim at, it will be helpful when you (hopefully) re-evaluate again…I usually re-evaluate after the Christmas season. Consider discussing it with your children who are old enough to give input, and type it up (even laminate) so you can hang up ahead of time…so everyone knows what is expected when school actually begins.
9) Have a Family Meeting, or Two! This is where you can nonchalantly discuss any concerns that were brought up from the last school year, and see where your children/spouse may have suggestions to take into consideration. Moms & Dads have veto voting rights, but if you children feel that they are a part of the process, they’re less likely to buck at any ‘sudden’ changes.
10) Important–> Set Your Own Personal Goals! It may be in the area of health. Perhaps in your own spiritual journey. A new budget could be overdue. I find that when I’m on ‘top’ of things with myself, it’s easier to handle the chaos that inevitably ensues when the new school year arrives. Evaluating where you’re at helps to allow you to feel more peaceful about where you’re at right now. Balance is the key for the homechooling Mama.
****BONUS!!! WRITE This All Down! I’ve read on multiple leadership/inspirational blogs that those who are SERIOUS about making substantial progress forward, you need to have the pen/paper (device) in hand. To write down is to commit…or at least have something tangible to gauge your journey by.
Even consider encouraging your older children to join you in the process by letting them set some of their own education goals.
What about you? What do you do to ensure a smooth transition when beginning school?