This is my 3rd year homeschooling and with my oldest son out of the house, I have a whole room to use for our school room. Up until this year, I have had designated spots all over the house (in every room) for books, supplies, etc. With preparation, we stayed organized but it felt as if we had to take extra steps to stay that way, running from room to room and all. Although, I would rather have all of my kids at home again, I am blessed to have one of the largest rooms in the house to prepare for our ‘school room’.
It has been quite a scramble to get everything ready for school again. I am the type of person who over thinks everything. When I was in school, I often got answers wrong simply because I thought that the correct answer was too easy to find so it must be something else. Ridiculous, I know! Now, I challenge myself to keep it simple but never-the-less, I had to push our school back one week because I was running out of time to get everything in order. I have learned that if you put enough planning into homeschool, the school year goes so much smoother. If you start out on the right foot it is easier to see through the chaos in the midst of the school year.. plus planning is the most fun!
Get the school area ready
Like I said, this is the first year that we have gotten to use an entire room for our school. It is already packed full of two desks, and armoire, chalkboards, dry erase boards, a bookshelf, and all of our supplies. I have been having so much fun finding things to hang on the walls. We have two giant maps and a few pictures that were painted by my family members but I am hoping to find a few more things to make it a fun and adventurous place to be. We will be studying physics this year so of course we had to get a Newton’s Cradle for our school room. I have a globe, as well as geodes, crystals, and other fun things scattered about on the tops of the shelves. Each of my kids have a their own desk, full of their own supplies. The top shelf in our bookshelf has little organizers to separate the markers, highlighters, scissors, etc. and the other shelves are designated for each kids school books. I had to sacrifice my own computer desk for the cause and move around my office supplies but the large armoire proved to be plenty big enough for my teachers books, personal office supplies, and extra paper supplies. I am super excited about our newest chalk board! I found a large whiteboard destined for the dump and turned it into a chalkboard. I am writing one of my favorite quotes at the top and I will post pictures when I’m done. I have a bit more organizing to do but we are off to a great start.
Declutter our house
Next up on the to do list is making sure that the rest of the house is organized. With so much of the furniture and books etc. moved into the ‘school room’ the house is already very close to decluttered. None-the-less, there are plenty of areas in the house that need to be gone through. The kids and I have already been working on cleaning out the closets and we have enough stuff to start our own thrift store. I am going to have to have a yard sale with all of the stuff that we are getting rid of. We normally donate everything but we have too much this time around.
Start meal planning
As if you don’t have enough to do, right? This is one of the little things that takes a bit of an effort, but shows huge rewards during the year. When we are busy running to a soccer game or dance practice, or better yet picking on kid up from one sport just in time to drop the other one off at something else, just in time to turn around to do it again… you know what I’m talking about. How do we do it? With dinner ready to go at home. It’s my favorite super-mom move and it’s worth the prep time. I like to keep a variety of meals for my freezer. Over the years, we have compiled a list of which recipes that we like and the ones that aren’t worth making again, but I am always on the lookout for a new recipe to try. I don’t plan our snacks but instead I keep a stock of healthy go-to snacks like, fruits and vegies, cheese and crackers, etc.
This is another important key to making things move smoothly in our house. Who wants to be sitting on a dirty floor to do school work or taking a book off of a shelf that offers just as much dust as pages in the book…. Aaachhooo! Haha. Aside from that, our minds are more relaxed when we are in a clean place. I can feel the peace just thinking about it. Now is the best time to wash the walls, outside windows, scrub grout lines, have the carpets cleaned and clean all of the nooks and crannies that might get overlooked during a normal cleaning routine. I like to be able to be ahead of the game because when we start school (in a week) my focus will be changing a bit.
Are you taking advantage of this time before school starts to prepare your home for homeschooling? In the comments below, let me know what you are doing to prepare for your school year. I always need ideas or reminders of things that I might be forgetting. Happy planning!