Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

Back to School Tips, Anyone?

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It’s back to school time and I have a question for you!

What makes your family’s school days go better, whether your children attend traditional school or whether they are homeschooled?  Do you have any mom tips to share?

I started our new homeschool year with a lot of apprehension, but God has been very good and we had the best first days of school that I can remember (either as a student or now as a teacher).

A couple things helped.  One is simply throwing myself on the mercy of God, knowing that I can’t do this on my own.  I am not super organized or particularly gifted, and teaching my children is more a matter of obedience to God and personal calling than of being a homeschool devotee.  That said, I do want them to have a happy childhood and a good education, so I’m so thankful for God’s help to enable it go better and better.  The longer I parent (admittedly not very long yet) the more I realize that I just can’t get it right on my own; I have to have Jesus.

Secondly, I made a realistic schedule, something like this one (but tailored to our family). This was not my first go-round with a schedule, not by a long way.  I have typed countless ones over the years, all of which have failed…until this year.  I gave myself a bit more grace, which mainly means I didn’t put things on there that I knew would probably not get done anyway (getting up for a 4am workout, for example…if you do this please don’t tell me).  I also alerted the kids to my expectations in advance, which has helped.  I don’t say this to brag, but rather to encourage you that if schooling/routine/child training have seemed almost impossible, hang in there and it will get better!  All these years of rocky starts are finally paying off for me!

Third, for a couple weeks now I’ve been preparing for the next day the night before…lay out clothes for everyone, make any necessary advanced breakfast prep, make sure I know what’s for supper the following night, check the calendar for appointments, and scratch out a quick to-do.  (I have this written into the schedule so I don’t forget, because I WOULD forget.)  This 10 minutes of preparation  makes the mornings go SOOOO much better.

So what about you?  I can’t wait to hear!


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