Most successes in life are because they came from a plan. Build a house, definitely need blueprints. Make brownies, I need a plan (recipe). Start off a new school year right. Yep, it also takes a plan. In my crazy household with 4 kids, I really need a plan.
Here are the steps that I use to prepare for a new school year:
- Chores. If I’m going to change any kids chores then I like to train on these during our break. I also work to getting the kids in the habit of doing their chores. To assign chores for each kid I first think of all the things they need to do. Brush teeth, make up bed, etc. Then I think of the household chores that need to be done in a week and divide them up according to age and abilities. If I’m working at homeschooling then I can’t do everything.
- I like to look over the curriculum I’ve purchased and see what supplies I need for each child. Clean out from last year’s clutter and see what needs replacing. I also like to spend some time cleaning out drawers, books, manipulatives, pencils, binders, folders, etc. This is a great, time to do a major cleaning of the school room and any areas where school items are stored. After purchasing needed supplies I set up notebooks and print all things needed for their curriculum that will make it easier throughout the year.
A little time spent organizing and preparing here will save loads of time later.
For example I learned that it worked better when I printed and assembled all the pieces of a classical music composer study lap book with my son over the course of two days helped him to be successful at completing it later. He simply saved the coloring and work on it until later. This prevented him from having to open the file, print (hoping that we had ink) and cut each piece out during a busy school day.
- Work on a new schedule/routine. Whichever you choose, schedule or routine, you will need to create something to follow. It helps to plan for what each child will be doing. Yes, down to the babies. Especially the babies. Plan for the youngest to the oldest. I like to use post it notes and a poster board. Each person gets their own color. This allows me to move them around and play with it. Now that I have two very independent kids and two younger school age kids it’s a little easier and I just sketch out time blocks. Although the post it notes do work the best. Especially when you put down what each subject takes. Sometimes I have been able to see why something won’t work without feeling like I’m failing. We all only have 24 hours in a day and only so much can fit.
- Menu plan. Since your kids are home you need to plan breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners. Or at least have a list of breakfasts, lunches and snacks. This will help you to have a lot less stress come meal times.
- If you have small kids, plan for them first. They will need activities that rotate often and possibly someone to watch them.
- Now stop and pray. Pray over your schedule. Ask God if you need to make any changes. Now try it out. You may find snags. Rearrange things that don’t work. Don’t try a full schedule on the first day. Build up slowly. It takes time for this to become habit and it’s hard work.
- Reward yourself at the end of a long day. Hot bath, long walk. Something for your hard work!