Here are some simple rules for Back to School and the rest of the school year.
1. Be prepared– Back to school can be a hectic time for families. Two words: be prepared. Go back to school shopping with a planned out list. Inventory what you already have and plan for what you are going to stock up on. Then shop online and research store sales, so you can plan to shop and save. Lesson planning takes good amount of preparation, too. Find a template and adjust it to your homeschool’s needs, so you don’t start from scratch.
2. Start with a positive attitude– It’s all about mentality. Even when the day is going by and everything feels overwhelming, remember every family is different and we all have to deal with our problems our own way. No one is perfect! Simply don’t let one bad moment trip up your whole day’s mood. Take a break and breathe. Remember that you want to stay positive and get things completed, because you are the teacher and your homeschool needs you!
3. Stay organized– Take 10-15 minutes a day just putting equipment (scissors, paint brushes, books, etc) back when you are done. Create filing systems out of cereal boxes (thank you, pinterest) and label where it goes. This tiny step will help your homeschooling days flow by! Get the homeschool to help as an end of the day activity to clean up the work area. Tack this as a rule in the homeschool space.
4. Be flexible– Sometimes in our homeschools, we get stuck in a rut from problems. Whether you bought the wrong curriculum (this kills me when this happens) or have taken too long to get to a lesson, you need to adjust and turn a problem around quickly. For example, you’ve sunk the money for a new math curriculum and it’s not working out. It’s not too late to reap the rest of what you paid for. Curriculum is not cheap! Homeschooling families are usually working on one income, so we have to make a mistake work. Use what you can from the text and understand what is not working (usually figured out in hindsight). Buy cheap supplements and see what works, then work from there. Usually you as the teacher finally understand how your homeschooler is processing and understanding the information to make a better decision on the next purchase. Scrap it up as experience and move on quickly. This is what it means to be flexible!
5. Be creative and have fun! Don’t forget that your homeschool is absorbing everything they see and hear and feel from you! The saying goes, “The mind is a sponge!” Keep it simple and fun. Stay creative and make inspiration/idea boards for you to use so you can keep the homeschool fresh. It doesn’t take too much (money wise) to make something entertaining. For example, tape some water color paper on the underside of your kitchen table and let your homeschooler feel like a renaissance artist!
Some pointers before back to school rolls around!