Back to school is upon us, and we all have expectations of great things ahead. Instead of only hoping for a successful year, here are five things I’m doing this year to ensure that our homeschool year is better than ever.
Have a printing party
Spend some time printing what needs to be used for the entire school year so the papers are ready to go when you need them. If you are like me, you find those tiny disruptions to print a notebooking page quite annoying when they happen in the middle of a homeschool lesson. It’s totally unnecessary to interrupt the flow of your school day in order to print or make a copy of a coloring page. Go ahead and get it all done ahead of time.
Printing it all out now also gives you a chance to preview what your children will be learning during the year. Moreover, if it’s already printed, it’s more likely to actually get used. PDF files that remain on disc or on my computer are often forgotten.
Explore new books and curriculum
Take some time to familiarize yourself with any new books that you have purchased for your school year. I’m not suggesting that you read every single title (although I will admit, that is my temptation), but you can at least read the back cover and the table of contents to see how the book is laid out.
Invest in some cool, new supplies
After buying cheap binders every single year, this year I decided to invest in heavy duty ones. I’m hoping that they will last forever.
It’s also fun to buy new markers, pencils, glue sticks, and highlighters (especially since they are usually on sale at this time of year). Replace the old and worn out folders. Invest in new composition notebooks and maybe some cool new gel pens too. I find that new supplies help the kids feel excited about school starting. And who doesn’t love new sharpies and white board markers, anyway?
Organize your school areas
Organizing our school books and homeschool areas helps me prepare for the upcoming year. While I organize books and learning tools, I also gather my thoughts about what direction I want our school days to go. This summer my husband and children have re-finished a set of school lockers for us to store our school books and belongings. Bookshelves and rolling carts help keep supplies and books from piling up on the kitchen table or on the floor of the family room.
Take time to group subjects together so when it’s time for math, you don’t have to frantically search for the math blocks. Or when it’s time to do some nature drawing and journaling, everything is in a basket by the door ready to go. No more hunting for pencils and magnifying glasses at the last second because you are organized this year!
Spend time in prayer
Most importantly, spend some time seeking God’s will for your family this school year. What new things is God wanting to show you and your children? Has God revealed to you an attitude that you or your family members need to work on — first time obedience, respect, or kindness?
Has God shown you an area that your family could serve in? Don’t forget that learning comes in all forms and that mission opportunities often lie just around the corner. Spend some time in prayer that your school year would be full of learning opportunities and that God has waiting for you.