Way back in 2014, I started a Almost Back to School Series to talk about what I needed to do to get ready for a homeschool year. Well, although the years have changed, the procedure really hasn’t. My big kids are done homeschooling, but my little ones are now coming up the ranks. We’ll be doing 3rd Grade and 1st Grade this year in the Bee Hive, and this week began my back to school planning. I haven’t decided an exact date to start back, but it will either be this month or early September, depending on how long it takes me to get the things on the below list done.
This list is a great guide for ideas on what you can do to help your school year run smoother.
Not everyone will have to do everything on this list… I’m a bit of an overachiever when it comes to making lists. I struggle to get all of the items checked off (which is why I made it through only 4 of the 5 Almost Back to School Series Posts I promised last time I wrote this series in 2014). But hey, I circled back around and here’s my updated 2018-19 version. Can you even BELIEVE that it’s 2018? And 19, that’s just silly.
It’s that time of year again; time for planning a homeschool year.
So…. what all do I have to do to get ready for school? You ready for this? The list is long. Don’t let that scare you, though. These are all just SUGGESTIONS. You pick the ones that pertain to you, and do those. I love back to school planning, and I love organizing, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE a clean, shiny, sparkly new planner for the school year. Right now, I’m chicken-scratching the last few miserable pages of my 2018-19 planner and dreaming of cracking open a new one.
FIRST, I MUST DO THE CHECKLIST:
A HOMESCHOOL TEACHER’S SUMMER LIST : PREPARATIONS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
*Pray about the school year, ask for wisdom and strength, focus and follow-through for plans made, His direction
*Review last school year, what worked? What didn’t? Make new goals for 2018-19
*Year end placement tests online for seeing what areas we should focus on for 2018-19 review
*Finish up portfolios for last year’s stuff, hole punch, binders shelved
*Gather up teacher resources/books for this year and box the rest for storage
*Sort/purge & organize my school binder and homeschool file cabinet – purge all resources for preschool thru Kindergarten
*Make teacher devotional reading list, bible study list, and new teacher education/inspiration book list
*Re-read The Organized Homeschooler, Educating the WholeHearted Child and Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach (skim books for inspiration)
*Tag books we’ve read on Goodreads, box up books we’ve read for storage, rearrange bookshelves in boys’ room
*180 betime books list for 2018-19 (I made sure we had 180 books on the bedtime shelf, and will tag them on Goodreads when we’ve read them)
*List of educational books and read alouds that are non-negotiable for K-3, research my notes/online/file cabinet
*List of Ambleside books for K-3 – cross check, add titles I want in Paperback swap and check local libraries for them
*Organize the house, box more things we don’t need for storage
*180 daily folders or monthly folders for school year with daily work in them prepared in advance
*Sort through what’s left from last year’s monthly folders and toss, give away, or add into this year’s review
*Purchase any needed curriculum
*Set up or purchase lesson planner for 2018-19 (I was thinking of cutting a spine off and hole punching for a binder this year)
*Height chart for the school wall since we are moving and won’t be able to use the one here any more
*New wall hangings for the school area, update and tidy
*School photos – plan, take, edit, post, print, frame, send to grandparents for Thanksgiving
*Go through and purge curriculum for preschool through Kindergarten and all supplies/manipulatives/charts/etc.
*Make out a rough school calendar that will eventually be transferred into my new planner once it is solid
*Make list of Art, Science & Nature (binders), Music & Composer studies for the school year, research for new piano teacher
*Make resource list for all the curriculum we plan to use, break those down into dates to cover by, sketch out lesson plan bones
*Go through and organize supplies and put them where they will be used
*Print printables (assignment lists, chore charts, planning pages, etc.)
*Plan Bible for the boys (devos, drills, gratitude journals, study, videos, resources, scripture memory work, etc.)
*Purge the boys’ clothes in their closet that are too small, rearrange/organize, donate or give away clothes, purchase a few things they need
*Purchase binders and school supplies on the first day of school / Back to School breakfast out with the boys
*Join co-ops for school year, add co-op dates to school calendar, back to school planning meeting with co-op moms, pay dues
*Plan out circle time/table time with kids
*Plan KONOS unit studies and Biblioplan/Mystery of History for the school year and gather books/resources
*Purge and sell/give away any books we don’t need from the shelves as I organize and pack them
*Pack toys/clutter from boys’ closet for storage, purge anything they don’t play with any more
*Plan USA State Books and Visualize World Geography to coincide with KONOS and Biblioplan studies
*Find temporary home (few years or less) for one of our pianos when we move, have pianos tuned
*Gather information on classes, extra-curriculars, contests, projects we want to participate in offered by various organizations/groups
*Plan gardening – planting calendar, learning activities, list of to-do items, and weekly garden and landscaping chores for the school year
*Plan English/Writing: book report lists, tools, grammar and spelling, pen pals, copywork, handwriting, cursive
*Create correspondence spiral with log to remember who we have written, thanked and when (include addresses)
*Go through posters and place mats and purge/hang or store
*Organize or store VHS tapes for science and learning, see if Mom’s VHS player works, purchase one if needed
*Library memberships renewed, fees paid if needed, fines paid if needed, renew TXShare and review online options for digital borrowing, new Library fliers/info for my teacher binder, visit library on first day of school with boys
*Review material in Doorposts and pray over behavior, spiritual guidance for boys this year, set goals
*Plan field trips, work with co-op field trip coordinator to include group outings on list also
*Write or print out goals for kids and mama in homeschool planner for 2018-19 (include spiritual, academic, physical, life skills, & personal)
*Make non-negotiable book list from grades 1-12 and put in binder to refer to each school year for planning purposes, combine book list information into one list in binder and toss excess printouts/notes
*Print monthly overview pages for assignment folders that list what we will cover each month in all subjects
*Make list of frequented educational bookmarks online and print/list any notes (update big homeschool list post this year)
*Print annual year at a glance planning printouts for academic lessons and field trips/important dates
*Print out parent’s prayer and make that a part of daily routine / place in school binder/planner
*Plan out birds and bees talk (oh, lawdy!)
*Review Charlotte Mason helps
*Eye, doctor, dentist appointments scheduled
*Buy vitamins for boys (we are out)
*Plan out Good Citizenship, stewardship, service projects, random acts of kindness, Operation Christmas Child, hospitality, etc.
*Make an emergency phone number list (updated) for fridge
*Make cover and contact/emergency page for my binder
*Update my weekly schedule overview for all subjects/classes/activities we plan to attend/do and print this out for binder
*Go through Boyscout, Webelos/Cub Scout, and Contenders for the Faith for lifeskills list to teach/do this year with Dad
*Go through past teacher resources (Lazar) and read, toss, give away, etc. (including curriculum catalogs/magazines)
*Plan 2018 family portrait and get it done before November so we can send it with Christmas cards
*Go through local magazines/paper/online sites for parades, events, festivals, events, holidays, etc. that fit with our school goals (add to field trip calendar as ‘possibles’)
*Consider budget for extra curricular and what is most important, gather info and find out dues, join/or not
*Plan family vacation or camping trip – get Dad’s vacation calendar from work (find out if he’s planning any hunting trips)
*Put sponsored child info in correspondence folder, write to him, plan geography study on his country
*Plan “difference a year makes”/scrapbooks/memory books for the school year (set up schedule for printing photos/reminders)
*Make a projects for later list for things we can’t get to but want to do still (add to this/consult this each school year)
*Get ID cards for teacher discounts at places we frequent, find out when teacher sales are
*Print out prayer list pages for binder, update this for current needs
*Print out rules/routines, discussion with kids about it, copies for their binders and for mine, signed agreements, rewards system/charts
*Make a gift wish list for boys so they have it ready when November rolls around and the grandparents ask about Christmas gifts
*SAT/ACT or testing dates, testing information and fees (won’t need this for 3rd and 1st grades, but it’s on the to-do list annually)
*Financial Aid, Scholarships, College Info etc. – always start planning for this years before you will need it (it’s a bit far off for us, but I’m helping my eldest with his admissions currently since he’s going for his fourth semester later this month)
*Make birthday lists of family / friends so we can send cards (put this in correspondence binder and add dates to school calendar)
*Planning page for joint birthday party in late February, keep notes in binder for this event so I can plan ahead, mark date on calendar
*Go through and organize Pinterest school boards, make list of any projects to add to this school year by subject
*Update my address and phone number “rolodex” after Christmas cards get returned (this is on the list, but not something I do until January)
*Research Kids Eat Free locations locally and make a list for my binder, collect coupons, etc.
*Plan Co-Op or Mom retreat, also church retreats – get dates on calendar, find out fees, plan ahead
*Plan PE activities we want to master from huge Physical Education teacher manual (sports/stretching/motor skills/etc)
*Print out Menu Planner, make list of repeating meal ideas and gather a month’s worth of meal pages from past magazine tear-outs in a folder in the kitchen (I plan menus every week or every other week depending on what we have in the fridge to use up)
*Go back through past school lesson planners from big kids and make notes of any things I want to repeat with younger set
Wow, right? Yeah, I overwhelm even little list-making self.
As Dory says in “Finding Nemo”, and it’s really a life-motto for me… “Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! What do we do, we SWIM!”
One foot in front of the other. Do the next thing. Eat your frogs so you can not be at the mercy of the urgent (in other words, get the hard stuff over with first so you won’t procrastinate and end up in hot water and get nothing important finished).
I’ve already started plugging away at this list. My boys’ book cases are already finished and their books from last year are boxed and waiting for some strong muscles to carry them away to the farm storage unit. I’ve already gathered up all the curriculum I’ve got on hand and decided what I can part with or save for later. I’ve already begun purging their toys. I’ve already got plans for my planner and have requested some gently used ones from friends which may be in the mail as I write this (hooray for sharing!).
I’m digging in and getting ready! How about you!?!
I’m not sure if my homeschool printables are available on my site any more, but I have quite a few of them that I’ve made for myself over the years. I’ll try and get them uploaded in here someplace and shoot you a link when I get post #6 done. Keep reminding me if I forget! Or you can always email and request them and I’ll shoot you some PDFs from my PC. I really do need to make time to get an ebook of printables together… but that takes time. One of these days!
Here were the posts from 2014-15… and this post is standing in for #5 (I may even do a #6 when I get this list checked off and tell you what all I’m planning for 2018-19 back to school)…(I have this problem with ellipses and parenthesis, have you noticed?)…
Almost Back to School Series Intro
Post 1: Starting with God
Post 2: Getting Organized
Post 3: Planning, Scheduling & Preparing (including printables)
Homemaking Mostly Grain and Sugar Free Lunch Ideas
Post 5: 2014-15 School Year
Are you gearing up? Already started?
I hope you have a wonderful homeschool year!