How many times have you sat down to start your school day only to have it derailed because you weren’t prepared? Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of this more times than I care to admit.
I’ve misplaced a textbook or answer guide I need for the day. We’ve started science lessons only to realize I forgot to pick up something I needed on my last trip to Walmart. I’ve assigned work only to discover I forgot to print out the necessary pages.
Ugh! Total homeschool momma fail!
Not only does that frustrate me to no end, but it embarrasses me as well. How can I expect my kids to work diligently if they have to wait for me to get my act together?
One key to homeschooling success is being prepared. Try these three tips for being prepared for your homeschool day.
Have a Plan
Unfortunately, I have sat down at my desk on Monday morning only to realize I forgot to write out my lesson plans over the weekend. I know! Who does that? Well, I do sometimes. We’ve been busy or sick – or I just plain forgot!
The good news is that I spend the summer writing out an overview of the year for each subject. So, it doesn’t take long for me to whip out a lesson plan for Monday morning. And, since my daughter starts her school day watching CNN Student News, I have a good ten minutes to get it done.
However, it does not make for a smooth start to our homeschool week. I’m stressed. She’s rolling her eyes because she’s having to wait on me. (Yes, we’re working on that sass…)
It may mean we can’t do an activity because I didn’t plan ahead and get the supplies we need. This might throw off my schedule later in the week, as well, as I try to circle back around to get it done.
- Have your lessons planned out for the week (or day) ahead before it’s time to start school Monday morning.
- Gather your supplies for the week or for a unit before you begin so that you don’t have to put it on hold.
- Bookmark videos and websites you want to visit online.
- Print out all tests, worksheets, and notebooking pages.
- Reserve books from the library.
Have a Place for Everything
I do fairly well about not losing school stuff – for the most part. My teacher’s guides are on a bookshelf behind my desk. My daughter’s books are in the side cabinet of her desk. Our school supplies all have a place in our workspace.
However, I have a bad habit of stacking papers on the edge of my desk. Then, when I need to work, I plop the stack beside me on the floor. Then, I move the stack somewhere else when it’s time to vacuum.
Currently, I’m missing an outline page for our next history lesson. I can’t find it in any of the stacks. If I filed my papers in my daughter’s binder where they are supposed to be, I’d be able to find them when I need them.
- Create a weekly binder or folder to hold tests, maps, outlines, etc that you’ll need for the week.
- Have a designated place for pens, pencils, art supplies, and notebook paper.
- Create a teacher’s binder or folder to hold lesson plans and answer sheets.
Set the example
My kids are watching me, and yours are watching you. What kind of example will we set? Will we teach them to have a plan to be organized?
We are all more productive when there is a certain level of organization. If we have to spend time hunting for what we need to complete a project or assignment, we are wasting time and creating bad habits.
What tips have you discovered that help you be prepared for your homeschool day?
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Tara is wife to Matt and homeschool momma of three. Her children are 21, 16, and 11 – two boys and one girl. She is currently homeschooling her daughter – 6th grade. When she’s not blogging, Tara enjoys crocheting and snuggling up with a good book. She and her family recently moved from Texas to Ohio, and they’re having fun exploring their new surroundings. She blogs about homeschooling, motherhood, and family life on both of her blogs – Homeschool Preschool and Teaching with Children's Books.