Fresh Ideas for Winter Back to School!

My kids aren't so thrilled that the holidays are over. Their lazy days of sleeping in, playing Legos, and destroying my home with pillow forts are over; it's time for them to get back to their homeschool lessons!  We usually take an extended break after the holiday, so we treat this last week of January as our second official "back to school" event.

What sort of things do we do to get back on track and into our "classroom?"

1. I go through all the bookshelves in our whole house.  I remove the books, dust, and put the books back on in the categories they belong in.  Math, for example, is put on one shelf, organized by grade level.  Books that don't belong are put in the right room.  Books we no longer need are given to charity.  Workbooks with just a few pages left are put into a "busy box" to be used up and thrown away!

2.  We restock our school supplies by buying them at Walmart and refill our DIY hanging school supplies organizer.  Broken or unusable items (chewed up pencils, dried out markers) are thrown away.  Sets with missing components are used first.

3.  Meal plans are revisited.  My husband is grumbling about all the "chicken" dishes I've been serving, which are likely a result of my lack of planning. This is why I'll take time to go through the dozen magazines I have on my desk, pulling out recipes, and making a shopping list.  My meal plans are very flexible; I refused to schedule what meal on what day.  I do, however, say that I'll make "these 5 meals" in a week, and make them when it's most convenient.  I'll also buy some pantry items from to keep my shopping trip light and my budget in check.  (They offer free shipping on Home Free eligible orders of $45 or more!)

4. Lesson plans will be prepared.  My kids are largely independent learners, so there isn't much classroom prep in my day.  I do look ahead for the next month, copy and print consumables they will need, as well as check out any literary books that we will require from the library.  For those books we can't borrow, I'll buy online.  Walmart has a reasonable selection of new textbooks for highschoolers, as well as a wide range of fiction choices that are on our Charlotte Mason reading list.

So far, things have been going very well!  Have you started back to school?  You may want to revisit some of the shopping tips you employed last fall to restart your engines and get kids excited about the 2nd semester.  I'd love to hear your tips!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.