Let’s face it- it always seems the homeschool moms get the short-end of the stick when it comes to the back-to-school fun. But, what if we could have some back to homeschool fun that benefited us all year long? I mean, who doesn’t want to save time, energy, and money? Who knows? Maybe one of these hacks will afford you an afternoon at your favorite mom spot to read the afternoon away (or shop) while sipping on something yummy?
And if you happen to be a little bit on the lazy side (like me), I think you’ll especially love numbers 2,3, 7, and 8.
Here are my 10 best homeschool hacks:
- Invest (or make) a homeschool hub with a white board. It’s hard to miss something so visual and the built-in accountability of having your to-do list front and center can keep everyone on target all year long.
- Keep a folder or zip-lock baggie full of coupons for places to grab a quick bite to eat. Appoint an older child to keep the coupons current. They can even be in charge of locating them online (with your permission) from Coupon Mom. These can be used for times when you’re not going to make it home in time for lunch/dinner, or as a
mom cooking breakweekly reward for everyone keeping their school work on task.
- Schedule a library day each week. When Ben was little he had a book bag and could check out no more than 10 books at a time. Your older children can use library time for researching topics they’re studying in their lessons. If there’s an appropriate storytime, that’s a great little break for mom, too!
- Spend a day before school starts going through your children’s clothes. Make piles for things that can be handed down, donated, mended, or washed. If your kids are as wily as mine , you’re bound to find something unwashed someplace it shouldn’t be. After the sorting is done, list what needs to be purchased. Take advantage of back to school sales and coupons. Participate in a clothing swap with other moms.
- Get good at making lists. Seriously- have a list for each child and keep it in a notebook. Everything can go on this list! Curriculum needs, prayer requests- whatever you can think of. Use this list to communicate with your children or your husband about their needs and what’s going on with each child. I used to do this at night after Ben went to bed.
- Speaking of lists- each subject in your school curriculum can have a list! This is so helpful when lesson planning. You can add needed items for science, object lessons, etc. to the list and obtain it before school is underway. This saves times and energy looking for the items later. It can also save your child the frustration of not having what’s needed to finish a lesson.
- Make a list of educational videos on Youtube. You can also keep a stack of educational DVD’s. If illness or emergency strikes, you have a plan in place for when you have no plan! This is also helpful when older kids are waiting on instruction and you’re working with your younger kids. They’ll have something non-chore related to occupy them.
- Subscribe to a menu-planning service. This can save you hours of time and piles of cash.
- Have a morning rhythm. Do you need coffee or prayer time before you can focus? Plan for that ahead by using a schedule for showers and who’ll set out breakfast. If you’re not into Pop-tarts or cereal, then overnight oatmeal or boiled eggs (ahead of time) can make a morning less work for mom. Rotate kitchen clean up, or even leave it until lunch. Whatever you need to do to be able to face your daily responsibilities with peace-do that.
- Set aside one day per week for rest and worship. God designed us for that for a reason. Trust He has our best interest at heart here and take the time to really rest. Play with your children. Snuggle with your husband. Visit your parents.
If you noticed a trend here – a balance between scheduling and fun – you’ve picked up on the secret to the hacks! Schedule enough to give you confidence and equip you for the journey ahead this year, but don’t forget- everyone needs fun and rest!