Getting organized for the school year is normally an exciting time in our house hold. This year it feels weird with all of the unknown variables for our family & I’m sure families around the globe can relate.
No matter how your family is doing school this year let’s make sure you’re all set up and have what you need to be successful for the 2020 2021 school year:
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How do you like to plan? Are you a post-it queen? Do you have an old-fashioned paper-pencil planner or do you organize your life digitally?
You can buy a paper planner like:
This 20-21 Planner is what I would have bought if I was still using paper planners. It’s simple, effective & Affordable and best of all ON SALE! So if you prefer a paper planner grab this one before it goes back up to full price.
This is new for us this year! I am super excited to be using a digital planner because of the convenience that it connects to my phone. I can download the app and at the end of the week jot down a few notes about our week and then at the end of the year I have our record! If you are Distance Learning or Homeschooling with a PSP you can email the documents to your teacher or portfolio evaluator & that’s it! Pretty neat, huh?!?! There are 3 platforms that I know of:
EverNote (this is what I use)
& I have heard good things about Noteshelf.
For the 2020-2021 School year every family will need to modify their normal schedule or routine. If you are homeschooling you will need to modify your regular homeschool routine to account for social distancing and the like. If you are Distance Learning then you will need to make room for managing school assignments (managing multiple grade levels for some), and balancing out your assignments & work.
The most important part of balancing your day is your schedule (routine or rhythm). How will you make time for school, work and daily life like pulling together meals and making sure the laundry doesn’t pile up too much? Setting up your schedule (or routine) early helps steady home life a bit for when school starts.
Homeschool Starter Bundle
Digital Planner & Schedules Bundle
Routine or Rhythm
Not everyone functions well on a schedule. Life with kids kind of just happens (no matter how well you plan) and sometimes you just have to go with the flow… if this sounds more like your family you may do better with a routine or a family rhythm.
A Routine is more of a series of events that naturally occur daily (weekly or monthly) but not necessarily at a specific time or day.
A Rhythm is the most “go with the flow” and things seem to naturally occur. Yes you’ll brush your teeth every night and your other daily needs will be met but are you going to do writing today? We’ll see. (For those who are Type A, like me, this is a hard one to wrap your brain around. It doesn’t mean you’re putting off writing or not putting effort into writing. You utilize inspired writing time, after you read a book, or watch a movie or discover a cool new creature in the backyard to make the most of writing instead of forcing it.)
What will you need to get you through the first few months of Distance Learning or Homeschooling?
- Paper (drawing & writing: primary, big kid, handwriting)
- Arts & Craft Supplies
- STEM or MAKER Materials
- Board Games
There are many board or family style games that teach foundational learning skills. Check out my blog post about the Best Board Games for kids to find one that suits your families needs. These make really great gifts and are helpful for breaking up all of our time spent at home these days.
Your kids may NOT like this one, but you will… CHORES!!! Part of independence & keeping to keep the house from total disaster is when everyone pitches in to help clean up (after themselves at the very least). Shared chores like dishes, vacuuming &
Independence is a BIG skill that is learned at school. Teacher’s have 24+ students in their class & kids are required to step up their independence.
- Set up a Snack Station! Set out apples, an apple slicer with handles, plates and your favorite nut or sun butter.
- Try a Process Art Kit
- Mud Kitchen anyone?
- MAKER space- carve out room in your home for kids to let their imagination run wild! Save cardboard boxes and buy masking or painters tape. Low temperature hot glue guns work well to add arts & crafts supplies but need supervision.
Digital Tools worth Considering:
Some digital tools just make learning at home WAY easier! Try out some of our favorites!
- Toby; Productivity chrome extension to declutter all of those open tabs
- Digital Planner (like OneNote or Evernote)
- Raz Kids; leveled personal online library (free 90 day trial & then paid subscription)
- Khan Academy (free)
The most important thing to remember about the 2020 school year…
This year is about you & what helps your family grow.
Don’t be afraid to try something new and give yourself some grace as you are figuring out what works best. We started our homeschooling journey with a schedule and school-at-home model which I thought would work great but it failed miserably! I mean it was seriously painful!
Now we are far more relaxed and have simplified our homeschool rhythm with amazing results! He walked into Kindergarten almost a year ahead in math & right on track for reading. My son left Kindergarten at grade level for reading and ahead a year in Math.