Photo Credit: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Face it. After a couple months of doing nothing for summer, relaxing, no class, no school, not much agenda, it can be stressful getting back to school routine. For me, at least.
Here's how I try to smooth out our first week of school.
1. Plan EASY for first week.
MFW does a WONDERFUL job of that. In the beginning I felt like we were so underchallenged when I looked at what we were assigned to do in the TM(Teacher's Manual). After a few years of following to the "DOT" what MFW prescribes, I appreciate the wisdom of easing into school.
The first week usually has no language or Math (or Spelling) so we can transition from doing nothing much in summer to normal school days.
2. PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.
I'm a staunch believer in planning. I think it saves a lot of brain cells. I used to plan a couple weeks of school before it starts. Then I did a couple months. Today when I started school, I've planned (and printed and filed) for until February.
No, I agree, that's too much. It's just that, I have four and one is a 10 month old (much fewer than many of you) and life can be pretty unpredictable. =) And also, I'm weird like that. You don't have to do that. But some planning IS better than none! If about two weeks of school are planned out (and all the things needed printed out, sorted out, put into place - so that you can take them out without rummaging through the pile), then school can be done in a shorter time (that means, more play time for kids) and you get to use those two weeks to plan for the next two...you get the idea. You should be ahead.
I know everyone has his/her circumstances and I feel for those whose plates are so full they are only able to pull out the TM on the day school starts. (and seems like MFW makes it that it's possible!!) However, IF circumstances allow, it really IS much easier to homeschool by planning ahead instead of going all frantic reading the TM the morning school is to be done. Kids work better with a calm, collected mom who seems to know what she is doing. Usually.
3. Plan for the day/days.
Homeschooling is not about the 2 or 3 hours school time. There is still stuff to be done in the home! There is lunch, laundry, housework, dinner...So, plan ahead for those (clean the house on Sat/Sun?)
This year, I am intentional in making my first week of dinners EASY (still cautious about being as unprocessed as possible of course).
This is our meal plan this week.
Mon - Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles (I really like this recipe and nothing beats Slow-cooker meal on day one)
Tue - Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken with edamame, steamed sweet potatoes and rice
This recipe isn't bad, but I like it better when I tear the pieces (after cooked) and broil them for a few minutes.
Wed - Roast Chicken, Roast Cabbage, homemade rolls
(no cutting = easy cooking)
Thu - Breakfast for dinner (One of our kids' favorites. Eggs, ham/bacon/sausage, potatoes, and yes, even some cereal)
Fri - Burgers, oven-baked sweet potatoes
4. Clear the week of appointments
IF POSSIBLE. No playdates, no special appointments, classes etc. This helps this week to be focused on starting school.