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Back to School with Confidence!

Hey there, homeschooler! Can you believe it’s about time to prep for the coming school year? Summer is rushing by, as it always does, and back to school sales are starting up again. 

Before you are in the midst of all of the fall activities starting back up, take some time to prepare so that you can get back to school with confidence! 

The best way to start the next school year off fresh is to make sure your starting point is clean and uncluttered!

Declutter from Summer 

  • Get rid of outgrown/ unused clothes and shoes
  • Host a Coat or Clothes Drive for your local shelter.
  • Sort through School Supplies and get rid of outgrown or worn-out items
  • Sort through School Workbooks, Curriculum and Textbook, Compost, throw and donate worn out and outgrown items.

Once you’ve donated and thrown away outdated and worn out items, you are ready to think anew about what’s ahead! It’s going to be a great year! 

Tips for Shopping

Have your kids help with the planning and shopping:

  • Ask them what they want to study and how they want to learn it.
  • Give them a budget, catalogs and see what they come up with.
  • Award a prize to whoever finds the best deal!

If you are curriculum shopping, it might help to check out our Typical Course of Study for High School and Typical Course of Study for Junior High. 

Make plans to get the books you need. Decide whether you will be going to the library regularly or purchasing books.  

Remember that back to school sales are a great time to get supplies for your school year activities, crafts and hobbies.

Low angle of excited small daughter giving high five to mother and screaming while celebrating successful online shopping using laptop at table in light living room

Back to Homeschool Supplies

  • Lap Desks
  • New Water Bottles
  • New Fun Socks or PJ’s
  • Fill a backpack for a student in need or donate a meal to the food pantry together. 
  • Purchase homeschool family t-shirts 
  • OR create tie-dyed homeschool shirts for field trips or bleach dye them.

Don’t forget the digital tools your kids will need. Now is a good time to purchase, upgrade or replace them.

  • Password Organization tools
  • A plan for organizing each students online work- papers, passwords, 
  • Internet safety and classes or clubs.
  • Noise Dampening Ear phones -public spot for online classes.
  • Basket to gather phones and other electronics at night so everyone gets a great night sleep 
  • Tablets/ cases/ chargers 
  • Computers/ cases, chargers
  • Extra Charging cords and power banks
  • Earbuds
  • Lap Desks 
  • Bluetooth speakers

Develop Daily Habits

You’ve got the stuff, now consider HOW you are going to manage your days and weeks.

Waking and Sleeping/ Nap routines

What soothing rituals can you incorporate into your daily routine to cue your and your kiddos that it’s time to start or end the day? Here are a few ideas:

  • Peppy or soothing music
  • Smoothie or fruits and greens drink
  • A brisk walk or a family read-aloud.
  • Plan and Create a Morning Meeting or a Morning Basket.

When we had a houseful of kids, starting the day off with the youngest calmed and soothed them. Our Morning Basket was one of the most fun parts of our day and we all loved gathering to study together!

Other Tools and Resources That Make Homeschooling Easier

Do you need to think about adding in any of the following? 

  • Live online classes
  • Self paced classes
  • Local co-ops/ class days
  • Community Service
  • Memory Work Time
  • Read Alouds
  • Bible Study
  • Foreign Language Study
  • Music and Art Study
  • PE
  • Fun and down time? 
  • Homeschool Clubs

Home and Homeschool Planning Tips

Plan for the Inevitable so that you can manage keeping the house clean and people fed and clothed while homeschooling and possibly working as well. 

  • Meal planning, shopping and prepping
  • General pick-up and cleaning plan
  • Laundry plan

Create Learning Stations in your home to build routine and muscle memory. You don’t need vast amounts of space. You can really create a “station” with a simple basket or shelf. 

  • Science “Lab”
  • Art & Music “Studios” with log sheets
  • Book Nook
  • Group together kids’ kitchen tools, recipe books and cooking supplies
  • Audio Learning Lab
  • Foreign Language Lab
  • Writing Workshop
  • PE course or equipment/ log sheets
  • Unit Study or Lap book/ Scrap-booking 

Think about Weekly/ Monthly/ Seasonal Routines and Events/ Happenings

What days off or prep time is needed for each, who is budgeting, doing the prep and clean up afterwards?  Remember to add these to your calendar so you can quickly see what is coming up and avoid scheduling conflicts.

  • Field trips
  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Co-ops
  • Church and Bible Study
  • Nature Studies
  • Weekly Meeting with each student to go over planner and assignments from 6th grade on up
  • Weekly Family Planning Meeting 
  • Vacations/ trips for travel

Create First Day or Week of School Events

  1. Host an Open House for your fellow Homeschool Friends or a Themed Book Event
  2. Create a “Day of discovery” for the first day of school:
    1.  Balloons outside their door
    2.  New toiletry items in the bathroom
    3. A new school planner 
    4. Yummy special breakfast items
    5. Awesome morning basket finds etc.
  3. Plan a bonfire and cook S’more’s with friends
  4. Create a paper chain countdown a week before school begins
  5. Create a vision board for the year
    1. Gather magazines
    2. Tape and glue
    3. Spend time creating together
  6. Create a bucket list for this school year
  7. Have your kids write a letter to themselves for the year- include goals, hopes, dreams and then save it to send to them through the mail at the end of the year.
  8. Take a First Day of School Picture
  9. Make a What We Did this Summer timeline 
  10. Create a first day of school video or Instagram reel, to look back on at the end of the year.  (don’t forget to tag us! @truenorthhomeschoolacademy )
  11. Give your kids a book they’ve been wanting, complete with “Book Worms” to snack on (gummy worms)
  12. Create a school supplies/ books Scavenger Hunt so they can discover what they’ll be learning throughout the year
    1. Find a new backpack or book bag first so that they can add their supplies to it. 
    2. Have them find fun school supplies like glitter pens, stickers, etc.
    3. Have them find actual school curriculum along the way- like Math book
  13. Make a Schultutue! 
  14. Purchase a new board game to play at the end of the day together
  15. Make a school banner and choose a school motto/ colors./ name
  16. Discover what School is like around the world with this short video.
  17. Learn with a messy and fun science day
  18. Celebrate with a messy art Day
  19. Have a Silly String war at lunchtime
  20. Plan and prep special meals throughout the day or plan a special tea and scones event for the first day of school.
  21. Decorate your homeschool room together
  22. Start a scrapbook, Blog or Instagram account together that you add to and curate
  23. Have a “not back to school” celebration- Hit up a park, zoo or museum when everyone else goes back to school or even go somewhere fun for a couple days/ week-
  24. Start your the year off by camping
  25. Play the “M & M” Game with your kids and let them tell you about themselves!  

Podcasts & Blog Posts That Will Help You Plan

Whether you are a veteran homeschool parent with years under your belt, or new to home education altogether, we hope that you will find some ideas here that inspire your “back to homeschool” celebration!