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Yes, it’s still summer. So you are probably not thinking about a smooth homeschool start to the next year.
And yes, some homeschooling families continue year around, taking breaks as needed.
But whatever your method or calendar flow, August and September typically represent fresh starts for school rhythms. Our family ramps up slowly with academic work between August until right after Labor Day. Then it’s full-blown homeschooling days around here.
Over the years, I’ve learned to think ahead and prepare for the season. While it’s important to organize and get familiar with curriculum, I want to offer 10 ways to get your home ready for busier and fuller days.
Stock up on School Supplies
Take inventory of what you have plenty of and what is still needed. Catch office supply or regular store sales as well as dollar stores.
Stock up on Household Basics
I use summer to purchase extra cleaning supplies, paper products, and toiletries before September, usually enough to carry me through the fall. Then I do the same for winter!
Organize Work Spaces
If you have designated space for curriculum, supplies, works stations and desks — refresh those areas! Give them a good clean up, move around some furniture or add your children’s art up on the wall. Most importantly, put away last year’s stuff!
Set up or Freshen your Command Center
This might be as simple as creating a home management binder or an area set to keep up with paperwork and mail. Place contact lists, schedules, and other needed information in ONE place! Saves your stress levels later on. Check out my post on using file folders for yearly organization — a system I’m refreshing right now.
Create Simple Menu Plans
For the fall season, I plan breakfast and lunch by assigning each day a set of meals, rotating meals each month. Every Monday we have ___ for breakfast and lunch, every Tuesday ___ and so on. After about 2-3 months I tire of this plan but find it really helpful for school start! Dinners are planned weekly.
Stock up on Groceries
After my breakfast and lunch plan is ready, I simplify by purchasing ALL needed items on a monthly basis! I’ll also purchase dinner basics and stock up on sale items. This way, weekly menu shopping is a quick breeze.
Do Some Freezer Cooking
If you find it helpful and can manage, plan several freezer cooking days. I offer tips on how to plan freezer cooking here at this post. Having a few partial or fully made meals can be incredibly helpful!
Train Children on New Chores
Many years ago it dawned on me summer was a more ideal time to help children learn new household responsibilities. This way when our lives and schedules grew busier, they were already trained. Less frustration for Mom and kiddos… win-win!
Brush up on Systems
Having simple and steady routines for repetitive household tasks such as laundry, paying bills, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. helps keep brain space open for other important tasks. Use summer to establish and brush up how you plan to follow through on these responsibilities.
Evaluate need for clothing, shoes and personal supplies
I try to do this early in summer and then hit thrift stores and yard sales for deals. Figure out co-op supplies, sports gear and equipment, backpacks, shoes, and more needed for each family member going into September. Write it down and chip away at your list little by little — instead of all at once!
These are just some tips I hope to follow this year. Whatever you can do to ease your homeschool days, DO IT!