Though I am always thankful for a break from homeschooling when the end of May rolls around, come August, I start to really look forward to starting a new school year.
I appreciate the freedom of summer, but I’ve also realized that after a couple of months of it, I start to miss the structure that our school year brings to life!
In order for our school year to have the structure it needs, I have to spend some time in August preparing myself for the next 9 months of homeschooling. I try to focus on three areas: preparing my home, my schedule, and my heart and mind for what’s ahead.
If you’re ready to prepare yourself for the homeschool year ahead, dive in and prepare these three areas with me!
Preparing Your Home
I homeschool three children, with two younger ones looking on and playing while their siblings work. That means that we have multiple levels of materials that need to be accessible and organized in order for everyone to get their work done and stay on task. We have a small area for our homeschool materials, so I have to organize wisely!
I look over our school area (which is just a dedicated area of our living room) and work on the following areas:
- We organize our school bookshelf. Books that won’t be used this year are moved to the bookshelf in our basement. Books that are downstairs and will be used are brought up for this year. Room is made on the school bookshelf for new materials, as well.
- Desk areas are cleaned. We sort markers, glue bottles, and other craft materials that have seen better days. I also clean off my own work desk!
- We go through last year’s school work. We choose our favorite pieces of work and store in a manilla envelope for each child. The remaining work is either recycled or given to grandparents.
- We label new notebooks and folders and get them stored in the school basket.
I use the term “we” purposely. The children help me get all this done! They enjoy looking through their old work, seeing new materials, and labeling/decorating their folders and notebooks for this year.
Preparing Your Schedule
I’m probably not the only one who let’s go of homemaking organization a little during the summer. I went through the first trimester of my current pregnancy this summer, and the extra fatigue made me much less organized!
But a good homeschool year requires organization on my part. That means I become more diligent with planning:
- Meal planning for breakfast and dinner becomes vital again.
- Our basic cleaning schedule needs followed.
- I have to rely on my homemaking planner more consistently again.
- I need to look over our classes, appointments, and obligations that take place out of the home so I can prepare for them and decide how many additional activities the children and I can realistically do.
Preparing Your Heart & Mind
Finally, I often have to spend some time preparing my heart and mind. Homeschooling is a great blessing, but I know there are times when it feels overwhelming and challenging. I like to remind myself why I do this and why it matters.
- I have to let go of summer goals that didn’t happen to turn my heart to schooling. This year, my garden once again was neglected and the weeds reigned in our landscaping. But in the big picture, that’s all really okay.
- I like to look over last year’s accomplishments and appreciate the work they put into their schooling. Every year they do projects that truly impress me!
- I imagine new goals for this year. What can I realistically expect them to learn and improve upon? What might make them feel accomplished? The possibilities are motivating!
- Finally, I like to think of all the reasons we homeschool. What advantages am I trying to give my children? How do I want to impact their hearts and minds? What do I want them to say about their homeschool experience when they are grown?
Here’s to an organized, prepared new homeschool year!
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