The new school year can bring excitement, anxiety, dread, fear and joy, not to mention any number of other emotions. These feelings aren't just feelings that we, as moms, feel, the kids feel these things and sometimes even the dads. Some kids can't wait for school to start again and others - dread it entirely. Our home has a mix of both. Fall is my favorite time of year and I love the planning part of a new school year. The actual "schooling" part of school - well, it really depends on what emotions my kids bring to the table. Yes, I know that the emotions I bring will be a big part of where they land on the emotional spectrum. If I keep a positive outlook - they will be inclined to be more positive also.
So there you go - that is your first "Tip" -
1. Keep a positive outlook. Remember that whatever may come your way - it is only one moment in the day, or one day in the year. Help your kids to celebrate the positives and you will too!
2. Be Thanksful! My husband always tells the kids that it is hard to be grumpy when you are thinking of things you are thankful for. Sometimes we will have a few min of thankfullness if we hit a rough patch.
3. Consider a four day school week instead of the typical five days. Keep that 5th day for field trips, catch up or just a long and well deserved weekend.
4. Keep the focus on learning, fun and making memories as a family - try not to get sucked into accomplishing the workbook or "getting it done" (I am talking to myself on this one).
5. Get organized - You can see my detailed blog here on lesson planning (complete with example), meal planning, household chores and more.
6. Stay healthy - This means, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Eat well and exercize. Find and keep a balance. Everyone needs "Me Time". Make sure you take that time for yourself. Stay connected to friends.
7. If you are grading school work, especially for high school, don't put the grading off. It will pile up on you SO fast, and you will dread it. Grade it and return what needs to be returned by the end of the day. You will feel like you have accomplished more and you won't get bogged down over the weekend or holiday break.
8. If you are homeschooling high school, make sure to have some good tools in place for things such as transcripts and other helpful resources. We use Homelife Academy - they have been wonderful for us whenever I have a question re how to proceed with some of my kids in schooling, they take care of the transcripts and do annual reviews to make sure you are on track for graduation, and if you ever need anything school related on letterhead that is more "formal" in nature - they are happy to do it for you. They also have online classes and accountability programs for your students. 7Sisters is another company that I really have come to love for homeschooling teens. They focus on "No Busy Work" curriculum for teens. They also have an abundance of helpful parenting resources and podcast videos for parents - many of these resources are free!
9. Rest, Rest and more Rest - Parents and kids need this more than we think. Last year, through various dr appointments, I found out that my 14 year old son needed 9 1/4 hours of sleep a night - I knew he was not getting that. Click here to find out how many hours of sleep a night you and your children should be getting.
10. Don't stress. Hard times come - but they also go. Everyone has different seasons going on in life. Be a source of support when you can and be willing to accept the support of others when you need it.