So for us, Monday is the big day! Our 8th grader will be heading back to the Christian school she attended several years ago while I continue to homeschool our 6th grader.
I can’t say that I’m ready for summer to be over, though I do love the routine and predictable schedule of the school year. With just a couple of days before school starts, I’m focusing on five ways I can prepare my heart for this back-to-school season.
1. Pray for my children. Not long ago, I mentioned how I’m writing out prayers for our daughters for specific times in their lives. With our oldest daughter returning to school this fall after three years of homeschooling, I’ve been praying these thoughts for her for the last month or more.
Dear God, I pray that her transition back to school will be a smooth one. Please help her find a group of friends who love You and who will be a help to her in her Christian walk. Guard her from wrong influences. Shield her eyes and close her ears to evil.
Give her discernment; help her to make good decisions and wise choices. Grant her courage to stand for right. Protect her physically. Keep her mind sharp so she may learn.
Open up opportunities for service and personal growth. Let her teachers be wise in all they do. Most of all, draw her close to You and teach her to lean on You for strength each day.
2. Prepare a routine. We’ll actually have two routines this year with the different schooling methods, so I’ll be getting one daughter out the door while making sure the other has what she needs to get her school day started at home. We’ll also have to schedule in time for piano practice, homework, after school activities, etc.
3. Plan ahead. This is what I’ll be working on this weekend! I’m making lists of breakfast and lunch items I need to have on hand, deciding what nights that I need to serve slow cooker or very simple meals, making a final list of school supplies, etc.
4. Focus on what really matters. The most important goals for our family this school year are that, as individuals and as a unit, we come to love God and serve others more, and that we maintain our closeness as a family. I don’t want to get so wrapped up in school-related activities that we miss what really counts.
5. Live in this day’s moments. It’s often said, but easily forgotten for me! As much as I don’t want to think about it, I only have five more “first day of school’s” before our oldest is off to college. I want to enjoy and celebrate these days with my precious girls!
Have your children started school yet? How have you been preparing for the transition from summer to school?
I didn't feel like I got much of a transition from summer to school; I certainly didn't feel ready, but you've already read about that.
How hard do you think it will be to have two different routines in the morning?
Tracey Brewer says
Actually, I don't think it will be too difficult – mainly because my husband's work schedule will allow him to take our older daughter to school at least 2-3 days per week. If I only have to get her – not myself – out the door most mornings, it will be much easier. 🙂
We start back Monday the 25th. I can't decide if I'm ready for it or not – some moments yes, some moments no. 😉
Even though our school year is wearing on (we school from February to November each year, spread over 4 terms, with a month off in the middle of the year), I too am preparing for the new school year (2015). Our government requires a full year plan in advance, so I have to be all ready with my plans and schedules before our summer even starts – the plan has to be lodged mid-November!
I'm curious, Tracey – why are you sending your eldest back to school rather than continuing with the home-schooling? I hope you don't mind me asking! 🙂
How was your first day? 🙂
Tracey Brewer says
Wow – that's a lot of pre-planning!!
When we first started homeschooling several years ago, the plan was to do it for two years. That turned into three – and now four for our youngest. For that period, there were just parts of our girls' education that we specifically wanted to oversee. There were other factors as well, including financial considerations, a more flexible schedule for family travel, etc. Our oldest has wanted to go back to school since last year, so we're giving it a try now. We had peace about that decision and think there are some opportunities there that could be good for her. However, we're going to see how this school year goes, knowing we can transition back to homeschooling if we feel that's what's best for our family next year.
Our first day went well on both fronts! Our oldest was a little overwhelmed, I think, with changing classes, having all the correct materials, etc., but that will smooth out as the week goes on. For my youngest, it was back to business as usual. 🙂 Thanks for asking!!
Yes, I find doing so much planning to be somewhat overwhelming, but I try to start a couple months or so ahead so I can order curriculum and put the plan together in my leisure, rather than rushing it (I have rushed to do it in a couple weeks and it was waaay too stressful!). The one advantage to planning so far ahead is that I can take a really relaxing holiday from school and planning over the summer, only doing whatever summer learning we want to do. 🙂
It's interesting that your eldest has been asking to go back to school – she must really enjoy going to school! It's a good idea to send her back to school with a flexible mindset so if it doesn't work for her or if you don't like the school environment for her, you can pull her out and carry on with home-schooling. Having gone through the public school system my entire school years, and now home-schooling my children, I know I personally would never choose going to school over home-schooling! But then, your daughter is going to a Christian school, and everyone is different in personality, so I can see that some children would prefer going to school. 🙂 I hope it all works out for you and her, one way or another, and that you all settle well in your new routines. 🙂