It’s that time of year again! Back to pencils, back to books, back to teacher’s dirty looks.
Some of you have already surrendered your little ones to the belly of a big, yellow bus, shuttling them back to the classroom where their imaginations will expand, their brains will wrinkle, and your floors will stay clean for a few hours each day.
Some you, like myself, may be starting the adventure of homeschool again. No clean floors for you, and no stretches of quiet time. But you may be looking forward to reinstating routine back into your days.
Either way, whether your kids go to school, or they stay home and learn from mom, the fact is the beginning of the school year is an exciting time. It’s a time of great expectation, the nervous unknowns, and expected growth.
Each year, before school starts, moms throughout the country download the school supply list put out by their local schools. They take deep breaths, many of them waiting for the mayhem known as Tax-free weekend, and they gather all the necessary supplies, wondering all along why children need 17 glue sticks.
Are they eating them?!
Homeschooling moms have the privilege of not having to mess with the long supply lists, but there are still a few items that all of us need. So consider this my gift to you, fellow homeschool moms!
1.) A Heavy Duty, Electric Pencil Sharpener
This is the greatest gift I ever gave myself. Sharpening pencils is one of the devil’s curses upon mankind. The little twisty sharpeners never really work, and they’re easily lost, which means I used to spend the better part of my days trying to find a way to sharpen pencils.
Then I wised up, grabbed a coupon to our local office supply store, and invested in a good, powered pencil sharpener. In less than a minute I can sharpen 24 pencils to perfection.
That’s basically a miracle in the homeschool world.
2.) A Good, Stout Espresso
Let’s face it – educating those kids is exhausting. Some days, the only way to make it through fractions is to have an extra shot of a heavy espresso. Stock up on the perfect roast and drink it iced, or just shoot it back hot.
You’re even welcome to try injecting it directly into your blood stream for those hard to handle days. I won’t judge you.
For really great, organically grown espresso beans, check out Blue Sail Coffee! They’re my personal favorite.
3.) A Good Day Planner
This year is my third attempt at homeschooling. The first time I tried didn’t go well, and the children went back to school the following year. There were a number of reasons it didn’t work out that first year, but one of them was I simply didn’t plan ahead.
I’m not an organizer. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl. But last year, when I brought two of our children home again, I dug my heels in and made myself plan ahead, and something magical happened…
WE STAYED ON TASK!
I love the Well-Planned Day planner. It’s full of great quotes, has lots of open areas for notes and shopping lists, and offers great space for writing out each week’s lesson plans. This planner is the only thing that kept us afloat last year.
4.) A Subscription to Super Teacher Worksheets
I loved utilizing this website last year. It offered loads of worksheets in each subject for every grade level, as well as fun activities for different holidays throughout the year. At only $19.95/year, this website was a great value. I used it daily.
5.) A good sense of humor
In order to keep your sanity with the children at home, you have to be ready to laugh at all times. When they spill an entire bowl of cereal on that day’s math worksheet, hand them a paper towel and a smile, then laugh while they try to complete the assignment on soggy paper.
Enjoy the kid’s cute stories and misspelled words, even as you correct their grammar and spelling. Being mom and teacher is a unique privilege, so look for the joy in each day, even the days when they’re acting like little hooligans.
And remember, this won’t last forever. One day, they’ll leave the house and you’ll be alone. Your floors will stay clean, you’ll probably be addicted to espresso, and maybe you’ll have a few extra grey hairs.
But you’ll also have a cabinet full of gems from those formative years of learning.