Our family may be a year-round homeschooling family, but like most other homeschooling families, there is that time frame that we change over from the old school year to the new school year.
I usually take two weeks to get everything prepped for a brand new year. You know, cleaning, re-organizing, purging, rearranging, and refreshing.
I thought I would share with you the top 10 thing I do to prepare for a new school year.
1. File away! I gather together all papers, notebooks, workbooks, evaluations, projects, tests, and anything else the children have accomplished in their schooling and pack it away in a box labeled with its school year. Each year is stored in the garage.
2. Purge! I go through our curriculum and find anything that just didn’t work for our family for whatever reason. A great place to sell curriculum is the yahoo group Used Homeschooling Curriculum.
3. Re-shelf and haul out! The kids take great joy in putting last year’s books back onto our curriculum shelf and grabbing the new year’s books.
4. Review and fill in. Part of the reason we homeschool is to be able to reach and teach each of our children through their learning styles. If part of the curriculum for one child isn’t “speaking” to them, then I want to find something that will. I also have to purchase for our oldest and make sure that all areas of her high school career are covered. That includes deciding what subjects each year and filling graduation requirements.
5. Sort and order! A great deal of the curriculum we have has teacher and student books that we reuse for the kids who are coming up through the grades. While the student and teacher books are used again, I have to order workbooks, test books, and/ or worksheets for the student who will be using them this year.
6. The supply high! This is one of my favorite preparations for the new school year: school supplies! Glue, scissors, pencils, pens, filler paper, notebooks, whiteout, rulers, crayons, markers, construction paper, paints, labels… the list could go on and on. I gather all of our tubs of supplies and see what we are low on. I make my list and head to the store. I have to be very careful or I will purchase way too much and spend hours doing it. Does anyone else get practically giddy about buying school supplies? *grin*
7. Principle/ Teacher meeting. Mark is fantastic! He knows just how much I love making lists, organizing items, preparing new charts, and hunting down a curriculum deal. While I do most of the school year preparation, he does want to know what is going on. We sit down and go through each subject for each of the children. We also set goals for the year and pray together.
8. New Poster! This is just one of those little things that we do each year. It started years ago when only a couple of the kids were old enough and prepared to “sit at the schoolwork table”. I purchase a welcome to the new school year poster and write each of the kids names on it and our verse for the year.
9. Schedule, please! Before the school year officially gets underway, the kids and I sit down for a little schedule powwow. There was a time when I didn’t use a schedule. Then, I started having 5 kids at the table, and that number grew to 6. My schedule makes sure that each child gets ample one-on-one time and all subjects are well covered. I don’t want to have 3 or 4 kids all doing math at the same time. That subject requires too much individual time.
10. Breathe! When the books are ready, the supplies are organized, the pencils are sharpened, and the classroom is ready to go, it is time to take about a week and just breathe. We enjoy doing nothing, playing outside, getting messy, and taking a moment to step away from the books to be refreshed and ready to tackle a new year.
What do you do to get ready for a new school year?
Any advice for families getting ready for their first homeschooling year?
All for God’s glory,
Join us on Yes, They Are All Mine’s Facebook page!