Out With The Old, In With The New

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.

Image Credit

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,

~Rhen

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13 responses to “Out With The Old, In With The New

  1. love shopping for school supplies, but I wait until the sales start and buy all the loss leaders. 🙂

  2. I will go to Walmart all by myself each July just to browse the school supplies before I take my kids. I even love the smell!

  3. I am so interested in homeschooling year round! I would love to, but I would feel like I am depriving my children of a summer! 🙂 Do you do anything different during the summer?

    • We have been schooling year round for about 3 years now. Schooling year round doesn’t mean that we do not take any time off in the summer! We take a week off at the beginning, a couple of weeks in the middle, and then again at the beginning of Aug. Beautiful mornings can easily be spent outside, while the hot afternoons allow plenty of time to tackle a few subjects. The summer schedule is “lighter”, we still enjoy summer, and we are far enough ahead in our studies to take time off in the spring and fall when it is truly gorgeous outside! Go ahead and experiment with schooling year round and find the right fit for your family.

      ~Rhen

  4. I would really like to homeschool my children. This year my oldest would start pre-K. It is not required where I live, but she knows most things that is standard for a Kindergartner to know by the end of that year. I am so new to this and could really use some good resources for information and advice. Do you have suggestions?

  5. Wow! pow organized you are. The best part of homeschool for me is supply shopping. :-))
    Thanks for these tips.
    ~Imelda

  6. Oh, we are in the middle of doing the exact same thing! But we take about 6 weeks off and I’m not nearly as organized as you…actually I’ve been procrastinating quite a bit. :-/.

    I do get giddy over school supplies…but only we I can get a ton of it for super cheap with all the back to school deals. :o)

  7. We school year round also, although the kids don’t recognize our summer activities as school *wink*. Love your list as that is exactly how I survive transition each year, it feels refreshing to get it all done too!
    ~Sheri

  8. Thanks so much! You are such an inspiration!

  9. I love your post on getting ready for the next school year. Yes, I love buying school supplies, but figuring out amounts is hard. This year I ran out of glue and had way too many composition books!
    What do you use for recordkeeping? I have used The Homeschoolers Journal for many years but I am thinking of making my own planner in a binder this year so I can print out weekly lesson plans for my kids. I am also using my Well Planned Day software that I got for being on the Home Educating Family review team. We will see how that goes.

  10. Pingback: The Lost Art of Letter Writing | Yes, They Are All Mine

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