In celebration for starting homeschool next week, here are six things I do to I ensure a good start to the year. I promise they will last until at least Thanksgiving. After New Year’s, you might need a booster shot.
1. Ease into your routine. If you’ve all been sleeping until noon every day during summer, trying to rise early on the first day of school is like getting dunked in an ice bath. It’s not pleasant. So, a week or so before the official start of school, start rising a little earlier every day. It helps if you couple that with going to bed early. You know what they say about burning the candle at both ends.
2. Back off the media habit. If your children have watched a dozen movies a day and played endless video games, their brain has likely entered the mush stage. Take a media break the week before school so everyone will emerge from their fog.
3. Cram in a few last minute fun days/playdates. Before you enter the cave to jump into the school books, make sure you have some good memories of the summer, because if you’re like me all the fun plans I had slipped right by me. It’s a scientific fact that summer days pass 5.2 times faster than school days. Totally not right.
4. Meal plan and stock the freezer. Unfortunately, everyone will still want to eat breakfast, lunch AND dinner once school starts. It’s unavoidable, and the best way to keep your hair is to meal plan. Also, by cycling through meal plans every few weeks, you get a little variety but won’t stray too far from what’s familiar. Double your recipes to freeze, and you’ll have a whole week off once a month. This works especially well for breakfast with muffins, breakfast tacos, biscuits, etc.
5. Do a deep clean. Wipe down all those pesky spider webs and sweep up the dust bunnies hiding under the couches. Otherwise, they will take on an urgency once school starts because even housework is more appealing than multiplication tables. And once you clean up one corner, you’ll find five other things to do. It will turn into a Give a Moose a Muffin kind of day.
6. Set a schedule. Plan the day. Know when you’re going to do school, when you’re going to eat, when you’re going to do chores, and when you’re going to have free time. Post it for all to read. The troops are less likely to rebel if they know how the day will flow. If one schedule doesn’t work, tweak it. Nothing is set in stone.
What do you do to kick off your school year?