Getting Back In the Groove: Ideas and Encouragement for a New School Year

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Is anyone else excited for a fresh start on a new school year?

I know there are some of you that homeschool year round, and some of you do Sabbath Schooling and only take a few months off in the summer time. I know others that start with the public schools and other families (like myself) who start the week of Labor Day. Regardless of when you start, it can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to “Get back in the groove” of a new schedule and routine of homeschool. 

I had an entire post idea in my head of encouraging tips and ideas to help you get ready for the school year. I had plans to go to Panera with my brand new, crisp, beautiful planner and take a photo of it next to a cup of coffee. I haven’t had a chance to start planning yet and my planner… well, to be honest,  it’s buried somewhere in this pile…

This is a pile of everything we finished from last school year that I still have to put into each child’s portfolio! 

Not only have we had the pleasure of looking at this table in our dining room for the last two weeks, if you go out into our “school room” which we never do school in you will see this…
school room
I’m not even sure what this mess is, but I can tell you it looked worse last week! I have been tackling this for at least an hour a day!

At least the school room can be closed and you can ignore what is out there for a time. The piles and things have gotten so bad in my attempt to organize and move things around, there is no escape! If you go into our bedroom you will be greeted with this:
bedroomThis was all in our nice window seat next to our table where we actually do school at. It all got moved to our room when we had people over for dinner a few weeks ago!!!

I am supposed to be encouraging you to get back in the groove for a new school year and I am the one that needs tips, ideas and encouragement!!! Please know, if you are overwhelmed, you are NOT ALONE! I have been homeschooling for almost 12 years now, I will have children in 10th grade, 4th grade, 2nd grade and preschool. I still get overwhelmed every.single.year!

Here are some things I have learned along with some ideas to help you get ready for your new school year:

Purge and Organize:
This is what I am currently attempting to do. I had two tables in my living room and I am happy to say that after this weekend there is now only one table! I was able to organize the past year’s school work and put them into each child’s portfolio which are stored in these cute milk crates on a top shelf in the “school room”.
Look! I managed to organize our readers and History books too!
Don’t let it get out of control:
Seriously, it was actually way worse than some of my photos. I took these after I had already started to tackle the mess! I think this year I am going to set aside two nights a month to reevaluate what we are using and if I want to get rid of anything. I want to begin to file things as we complete them so that my piles for portfolios won’t be a 20 hour job! My husband has agreed to help me with this! Sometimes having a second opinion can help you not to get so overwhelmed and keep things into perspective in regards to planning and making sure things are getting done that need to get done!

Take a quiet, afternoon out:
Once the messes are tackled and you now have the ability to plan, by all means, take that pretty planner out and buy yourself a cup of coffee!!! I don’t have a picture of this yet, because I haven’t made it that far. My goal for this coming weekend is to go out by myself and start filling in those blank pages of the planner for our new year. 
Prepare ahead for meals and busy seasons:
I think this is very important! I am planning my list for BJ’s and Costco this week. I am going to get lots of “healthy convenient” snacks and meals for the first month of school. Once our activities start back up and we are schooling full time again, I find myself extremely tired those first few weeks while my body adjusts to the new schedule. This is where planning ahead really helps!

We will be going back to our weekly meal planning where we write on our chalkboard wall what we are having for dinner, I will also write our lunch options on there. This eliminates the stress of figuring out what to make and avoids the “what’s for dinner?” questions that you may hear multiple times a day.

Since I am not a morning person, my favorite secret weapon is the Breakfast Station
The Breakfast Station download is also available in this awesome back to school package from Not Consumed

Be encouraged, you are not alone:
Sometimes, homeschooling can be lonely, but I want to encourage you, you are not alone! God is with you and He will equip you with the skills and creativity to educate your children. Others are starting this journey with you or continuing on year after year! If you do not have a homeschool group I encourage you to join one so you can walk alongside others in this journey. You can do it! Enjoy this fresh start of a new year, and I pray you can “get back in the groove” and have a blessed new school year!

You may also enjoy this great post:
FREE Back to School Themed Printables, Activities and Recipes!

Written by Sarah


Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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