Monday, June 20, 2016

7 Summer Tasks for the Homeschool Mom

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We've been out of school for three weeks.  THREE WEEKS!  Already?  That's amazing.  We've made our family trip to the lake, finished up the dance season, and started trampoline lessons.  VBS has already come and gone and yesterday, we had a family BBQ for Father's Day.  How is it that we're already three weeks into vacation?

If you're like me, you're soaking up the summer, and not ready to think of the upcoming school year.  But as we all know, time stops for no one and the new school year will be here before we know it.  Still before you panic, there are some low stress ways you can prep for the fall,... without ruining your summer vacation.

These are just 7 tasks you can complete this summer to set your next school year off to a great start!

1. Organize school books--Now that we've had a few weeks off, I'm ready to look at that stockpile in the garage.  Somethings we'll hang on to, some we won't.  Near the end of the May, we were just stacking books and manipulatives here and there.  So it's time for me to get back out there, organize by grade, see what I need to replace or sell.  Sometimes I even find some great curriculum that I forgot about.

2. Take stock of what you need next year--Most years I have my curriculum list ready by the end of May.  Not this year.  This year, I've still got a couple of holes.  It's time to finish my buying list.  Summer sales will be happening in the next month or so and and I don't want to buy anything, but what I really want and need.

3. Order any necessary items--Facebook and craigslist are full of used homeschool curriculum groups.  That's where I look first.  After that, Ebay is a great option for finding curriculum, as well as sales at Christian Book Distributers.  Now is the time to purchase to ensure that your packages arrive in time for the start of a new school year.

4. Start planning next year's calendar--Begin thinking about how you're going to schedule your new year.  What worked last year?  What didn't?  Do you need more field trips, more down time, more time for art/music/experiments?  Are you adding a new student?  (I am and I'm not sure how that's going to work)  What do you need to adjust to make the next year successful?  Plan the first 5-6 WEEKS!  You can adjust as you go, but having a several week plan will save you as your adjusting to a new year.

5. Read--Read education philosophy for how better to reach your students.  Read Christian parenting books about how to reach your children's hearts.  Read some of your student's books ahead so you can help with lap books.  Read fiction to just give yourself a break.

6. Play--Schedule some free time in your summer to play.  Swim!  Go to the beach!  Join a new workout group!  Try some new recipes in the kitchen!    Just take some time to let go of the teacher mindset and play!

7. Rest--By the end of May, I was struggling.  I was tired: mentally and physically.  I needed some mindless fiction to rest my brain.  I needed about 24 hours sleep and a mom's night out for coffee.  I needed to rest.  So this summer, I'm resetting my bedtime routine and getting more sleep.  Our schedule has opened up and we have time to lounge at the lake or have lazy mornings at home.  I'm taking advantage of it.

What about you?
How are you preparing for the next school year?

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