Refreshed and Ready for the New School Year
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I remember as a kid when that school bell rang and it meant summer break. It also meant we didn’t have to think about school or return until August. Instead, I was busy riding bikes, playing outside, going to the summer movie series, swinging as long and as high as I could, and swimming at the pool every afternoon. When August finally rolled back around, I was refreshed and excited for school.

It’s already July and I am looking at starting up school the second week in August and am not really ready or refreshed. It’s time to put some things into action. For me, it’s a balance between logistics and fun.

I have two major logistical tasks to accomplish. These have to happen for me, or I just don’t feel ready to start school.

• Purge the school room. I have a need to file or throw away all work from the last school year. Those things I do not need, I happily toss. If I don’t do this, then I am overwhelmed when we start the year.
• Organize school room and curriculum for the new school year. This includes getting all my teacher’s materials prepared, kids’ materials organized and having all supplies (pens, pencils, papers, etc.) ready to go.

And, then the best part for me is the pure fun, refreshing activities I schedule. Yes…I said schedule. If I am not intentional about scheduling activities that refresh me as a teacher, mom, and wife, I find I am not refreshed and start the school year already with a little burnout.

• Swimming Pool Days – I schedule several lazy pool days with friends. No worrying about getting home. Just fun to play. To make sure I feel refreshed…I schedule it with moms. I need my time to visit and connect with friends. In doing this, it’s a win-win situation. Kids get to play with their friends and I get to connect with mine.
• Summer Movie Series – I will never forget the excitement of getting to watch Don Knotts in the Apple Dumpling Gang one summer as part of the kids' series. While the movies have changed, getting excited about a movie morning has not. I like to load up the kids and see at least one of the summer movies. The kids love it and we spend the morning laughing and eating popcorn.
• Lazy Pajama Day – This is one of my favorites (and repeats itself throughout the school year at times). We find a day the kids and I have no commitments and schedule our lazy pajama day. We stay in pajamas, eat pizza, watch a movie and just play. This slowing down time filled with TONS of laughter helps prepare me for the next school year. When I am moving at a slower pace, I just truly find joy and it reminds me to make sure I slow down.
• Teacher Inservice – Making sure I spend some time with fellow homeschool moms, aka TEACHERS, is important. It really is just a chance to listen to each other talk about our school year we just finished and share our hopes and plans for the new school year. For me, these will mostly occur by phone with good friends who live far away. Calling it a Teacher Inservice makes it sound more official.

In the end, it doesn’t matter which activities I do. The goal is to incorporate friends, laughter, downtime with my kids, and a slower pace. When things slow down, I breathe more deeply. And, with each breath, I feel more refreshed.

It’s easy to focus on the logistics of getting papers, supplies, and books ready for school. I encourage you to take some time to figure out what brings you joy, slows you down and allows you to be re-energized. Then schedule those things for you and your children. And, when that school bell finally rings, you will be ready for the new school year.

Debra Schroeder
HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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