Hey everyone! It’s all about back-to-school time over here at the Confessions Household. And for me that means that I need to get all of my ducks in a row and spring back into action from my otherwise lazy routine we’ve lulled into over the course of the summer.
Here are some tips I use to get myself back in gear!
1. Monthly Meal Plans: I tend to fall off of my monthly meal plan wagon over the summer, but it’s time to print this baby out, head to the store, and get myself prepared so we’re not eating crumbs from the bottom of cereal boxes.
2. Big grocery store trip: This might not sound too exciting, but usually by end of summer I’m slacking and we’re almost out of milk, people are scraping up the last bits of cereal, or fighting over the last cheese stick. So I like to make a big grocery haul right before school starts. That way I know we’re covered for my meal plan, and we have a lot of goodies to eat at home. That also keeps me from being tempted to head out to eat for lunches.
3. Clean up and clean out! I always do a huge clean up of the house the week before school starts. Kind of like spring cleaning only in the fall. It always helps me get motivated knowing that i don’t have a pile of household chores to tend to. That means laundry done, kids rooms cleaned, house clean. And yes, I’m a bit of a clean freak. I don’t function well when there’s clutter and dirt hanging around. So it really helps my mindset to know we’re starting off with a clean home for the year.
4. Out with the old, in with the new! I do the same type of clean up in our homeschool room. I clean out the old stuff, and bring in and organize all of our new curriculum. The kids clean out their workboxes an sometimes we’ll swap seats or re-arrange the room just for a change of pace. We also load their drawers up with new curriculum. And do a big pencil sharpening session, replace any old school supplies with new ones, and just generally get everything ready for day 1!
5. Quick Curriculum Review: I like to take a quick minute to flip trough my teacher’s manuals to make sure I’m ready for week one. I’ll make sure I have any supplies needed, an get an overall sense of how the day will run. That way I’m not him-hawing around wondering what to say or do.
6 Last minute supply run: I usually gather all of my supplies right after I’m done planning over the summer break. That way I’m ready to go. But it never fails that I forget at least one thing. And I usually figure that out when I do my quick curriculum review. So I just make sure that I have printed any copies, gathered books, and obtained craft/recipe supplies that we’ll need for the week so we’re prepared.
8. Show the kiddos around: I usually take the Friday before we start and do a quick tour around the new room. I let the kids run through their workboxes and check out their new curriculum. We also talk about what our day/year is going to look like. And I inform them of any super fun projects we’ll be working on just so they have something to look forward to. I also let them in on any holidays, vacations, or fun days that I have scheduled. And I hand out their annual lesson plan spiral showing all of their assignments for the year. (I print this out from my lesson planning software.) This is the daily planner that they’ll be using to keep track of their work. And yes, I print it out for the whole year and spiral bind it. If we have any changes, we just write it in pencil. But it’s great way for them to be able to be in charge of their own work. I usually make a fun cover page for them that they color that day and decorate just so it’s more personal for them. That way on day 1 they can come in confident in what they’ll be doing and knowing my expectations for the year.
Here’s an old photo of what it looks like…
Now onto the fun stuff…
8. End of Summer party! I like to do an end of summer party for everyone. It’s not anything huge, but we’ll usually just do a special BBQ with Smore’s and maybe invite a few friends over too. Just to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall!
9. First day of school breakfast: I think it’s fun to make a special breakfast for Day 1. During the year we canget lazy and end up eating something quick. But for day 1 we do pancakes, eggs, bacon, the works! Plus it puts everyone in a good mood before I show them all of the work they have to do LOL!
10. First day of school pictures! I like to do first day of school pictures just like everyone else. It’s fun to look back on this day and see how your kiddos have grown! I usually have the kids first assignment to make their own grade card, decorate it, then we go out and take pics. A lot of time I’ll use these pictures in their School Days Memory Scrapbook.
What do you do to get ready for the new year? Hop over to the COAH Community and share your tips for a good year!
More organization posts that you might enjoy:
I’m super excited about printing your printables for our new school year! Would it be possible for you to update the calendars on the Preschool Daily Learning Notebook? Thanks so much for all you share! Blessings on your new school year!
What lesson planning software do you use? I would love to print my kids assignments off like this.
We are looking for a good geography curriculum and we like yours but it says it is for grades 1-5 and we need it to work at an eighth grade level could we still use your curriculum or should we find something at a higher grade level?
Thank you for all your hard work in helping other moms stay sane!
I love your monthly meal plans! I have done something similar, but continue to fall off the wagon. Your plan is helping me to stay on track. We start school at the beginning of Sept and I am already looking ahead to try to get organized. When do you typically share the next month’s plan?
Thank you for helping to organize our lives! 🙂
I usually share the next months meal plan at the end of the month. Maybe I should put it up a bit earlier to help people plan! I’ll try to do that next month, this one is already scheduled.
What a fun idea to have an end of summer party! I guess we’re doing an impromptu one this weekend with grandpa visiting. I also love the first day of school breakfast idea, we usually do fun breakfasts on holidays like St. Patrick’s and what-not. Thanks for the ideas!
Please share more details of your spiral lesson plans. Can we see more detailed pictures and tell us how your create your weekly plan? Thanks!!
There is a whole chapter dedicated to creating lesson plans in my Homeschooling 101 book. And I have a couple of posts on it as well here: http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2014/02/homeschooling-101-creating-lesson-plans.html
Would love more information on your lessons plans for the kids. This year I am homeschooling our twins for 2nd grade, our son for Pre-K and our granddaughter (2 yrs old) wants to do school like the big kids. So any thing that can help my week run smooth, would be great. Thanks for all the ideas!
I have a whole section devoted to creating lesson plans in my Homeschooling 101 book, and there is also information on my blog on creating lesson plans as well:
Thank you for the information, I missed this when I was looking through the site. Think it would be a great investment to just get the book 🙂
Thanks again and have a blessed day!
We use e-meals – it’s awesome!