Bold Turquoise

Jul 31 2013

10 Steps to Get Crazy Prepared for Back to Homeschool- Part 2

10 Steps to get prepared for back to homeschool- part 2

So, Monday I discussed the five things I do to get our school work organized, planned and ready to go for our year, but being fully prepared for the year really goes so far beyond the academics! Today I want to tell you about the 5 things I am working on this week (eeee- our last week before we are back to school!) that really take my preparation over the top and get me crazy-ready for D-Day!

Preparing Beyond the Schoolwork

1- Planning all our food (yes, you read that right!)

Right now I am smack dab in the middle of planning all our food for the next 6 months! I know it sounds crazy but just hear me out! The more I have planned now, the less time I have to take during the year when things are hectic to get my planning done and the more likely I am to stay on course and not start ordering take-out on a regular basis. Dinners I plan out on a calendar and then am able to freeze additional portions when I make them because I know how many more times we will be having the same meal in the coming months. In addition to our tried and true favorite dishes I make sure to plan in some new things that I have found via Pinterest, Food Network or my beloved Pioneer Woman cookbooks. I also figure in easily prepared dishes or leftovers for days that are busy for us. Give it a whirl- you may just find it saves your sanity!

Fall Meal Planning- Freezer Breakfasts

I am also working on planning out our breakfasts, lunches and snacks- I know, again I sound crazy! These, however, I mostly prepare in the traditional method of freezer cooking- especially the breakfasts. So, that means that I pick five different breakfasts, prepare them in a way we can freeze and then we eat the same thing each Monday (or Tuesday, etc…) for that entire month. I choose things like muffin batters that I can easily squirt out of a ziplock and bake on a Monday morning, fully cooked pancakes and waffles that the kids can just throw in the toaster, even crockpot oatmeals that bake all night long and cinnamon rolls! I generally try to incorporate hardboiled eggs or a smoothie into the picture to round things out, but just having our main staples ready that pack a protein punch for my rambunctious little boys makes me feel like a better mom! And well, planning in advance for lunches and snacks insures that we don’t end up eating fish crackers and quesadillas every day for 9 months! Not that that would ever happen. 😉 (fidgets a bit)

There are a ton of other benefits to this all-inclusive food planning method, but there just isn’t room here! I’m hoping to get back on the wagon with finishing up my meal planning ebook which will go into every nitty-gritty detail of this!


2. Organizing a your Abode- Get ‘er Clean, Son!

You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and the night before you actually took the time to clean your whole kitchen up after dinner? Don’t you just feel a little ahead of the game and ready to take on whatever comes your way? You may even consider making a more elaborate breakfast since the sink isn’t overrun with dishes. Well, that’s the feeling I want about my whole life as I jump back into the school year! I want to wake up on that Monday morning without all those lingering cleaning and organizational projects hanging over my head! I want to be able to devote my attention fully to my kiddos without seeing piles of paperwork out of the corner of my eye or cupboards and drawers spilling at the seems from things that have just been thrown in. So, I have been taking time over the summer to try to get a handle on most of these projects.

Here's a before shot for you, ladies!  See, I couldn't start school with messes like this around my house!

Here’s a before shot for you, ladies! See, I couldn’t start school with messes like this around my house!

Now, I have to admit that in this final stretch before school it isn’t looking very likely that I will get it all done, but I sure am farther ahead than I was when I started! Let me just encourage you right now to make a list of your top 5 projects and formulate a little plan, some time each day, to tackle them. You will feel so much better on that dirt day of school if you do!


3- A Plan to Keep Order

These are the boys' chore charts, aka Family Blessings

These are the boys’ chore charts, aka Family Blessings

Well, that’s all fine and dandy if you manage to get your house organized before Day 1 of your school year, but it ain’t gonna stay that way Woman! You’ve got to get a plan! What I like to do is first of all create a little grid of what needs to get accomplished each day and each week. I then divy these tasks out between me and my boys and also assign specific days to the tasks that only need to be done once or twice a week. When I combine this list with my well-thought-out daily schedule, which of course allows time to accomplish all these tasks, it helps the boys and I get into a routine and keep things up much more easily. It isn’t perfect and we don’t always keep up, but it’s a starting place and a solid foundation that we can always come back to should we stray from the cleaning course!


4- All Mama’s Other Stuff

Do you remember how I said I like to feel like I have my whole life decluttered before that first back to homeschool morning? Well that includes having all the other pressing areas of my life, besides actual school and homemaking, organized as well! In my little huge planner that I make for myself I make sure to incorporate all my other responsibilities as well. I include to-do lists and timelines for my homeschool co-op secretarial duties and my blogging, along with planning out, in as much details as I can, my homeschool co-op classes for the year.

These are my custom to-do lists for my planner, so I can easily see everything I need to get done all in one place.

These are my custom to-do lists for my planner, so I can easily see everything I need to get done all in one place.

Not only does plugging all this info into my planner provide me with one central easy-access place to find all my needed information, but it also helps give me an overall grasp of what I can be expecting for the year and how I can best fit these things into my life without taking away from my family. At heart, I am a procrastinator (no, seriously!), so looking at the big picture helps me pace myself a little bit better so I’m not running into late nights and last minute deadlines. All in all, it just helps me feel ahead of the game! So don’t forget to account for everything else you are doing and plan space into your life for it! (a more detailed planner post is forthcoming)


5- Don’t forget to make your life pretty!

I love, love, LOVE how simple it is to customize my chalkboard wall for any occasion we may have!

I love, love, LOVE how simple it is to customize my chalkboard wall for any occasion we may have!

I know that all this planning and preparing can make you feel a little like you are running a business and not a home, so don’t forget to add in those special touches that take your life from regimented to beautified! In all that planning youre doing figure in some time to make a cute wreath or bunting you found on Pinterest. Rearrange your mantel and add some cute spray-painted pinecones for a splash of color, or some vintage books from a garage sale to the top of your piano. Our houses can’t be perfect and I’m not talking about becoming obsessed with going over the top in a Pinterest-idealized culture, but a just few small touches here and there can truly make you feel like a more accomplished homemaker and they go a long way towards improving the overall atmosphere of your home.

 

So, do you feel more ready?! Still need a little kick in the pants and extra motivation to get yourself crazy ready for the impending arrival of all things learning?! Well, if so, come back on over here tomorrow to see my newest installment of Bold Turquoise On Live where I get really real with you and can hopefully show you a little bit more of what I have been talking about here! Plus, I just might have a fun new printable available to subscribers!

If you missed the first 5 steps, be sure to check them out right here!

In the mean time, I would love to hear what your favorite ways are to get yourself hyped up for a new school year! Share in the comments!

 

10 thoughts on “10 Steps to Get Crazy Prepared for Back to Homeschool- Part 2

    1. mackenzie Post author

      You can buy chalkboard paint in black or green, BUT there are numerous directions on Pinterest for making chalkboard paint out of ANY color you want!

      Reply
  1. Amanda

    A woman after my own heart :) I’m doing a lot of the same things right now. Hopefully I can get everything in order in time for school to begin!

    Reply
    1. mackenzie Post author

      Don’t you feel like, “Oh, I’ve been pacing myself- ill be fine!” and then it’s still a mad rush at the end?! I know I do! Cute name of your blog, by the way!

      Reply
  2. andi

    I can’t tell you how excited + happy I am that you are blogging so much! I am loving all your posts this week and I can’t wait for your next vlog! We are not starting school for another month, but I am feeling so inspired by these organizing posts! And it is always reassuring to find another person who is as obsessed with homeschool curriculum as I am :) I love what you said in your post earlier this week about picking five things to focus on doing/organizing before school starts. My to-do list is a mile long and can feel so overwhelming. That reminder has really helped me hone in on the priority things the past few days. For example, cleaning the homeschool closet- priority. Sorting through and organizing the entire storage room- can wait if it needs to :)

    Reply
    1. mackenzie Post author

      Oh Andi- I’m so blessed that you stopped by and found my post helpful! Yes, I’m trying to get blogging again. I’m hoping to grow things and turn it into more of a business venture- it would help our family so much if I could make a little moola from it! We shall see- I’m praying hard for God’s direction and blessing!

      I hope you are well and the last month of your summer is super blessed!

      Reply
  3. Christin

    Great planning tools you have listed here!! LOVE that chalkboard wall! We have a small wall that I painted with chalkboard paint and we use it for birthday wishes, too. :)

    I love your meal planning idea. Dinner is my nemesis but I ALWAYS feel so much less stressed when it’s planned and I don’t have to worry all day what we’re going to have for dinner. Keeping it the same each week for a month is simple and easy. Love it.

    Reply
    1. mackenzie Post author

      My hubby hated having our dinners being the same each week, but for breakfasts and lunches it works brilliantly for us! Now, instead of doing the same dinners each week, I will freeze numerous portions when I make something so that even if it a month away I have the sauce (or sometimes the whole meal) premade. It is such a time & mess saver!

      Reply
    1. MacKenzie Post author

      Maybe… it’s a lot of work to type it all up and link to all the recipes. I may work it into some sort of bold meal planning program though where I do the prep lists and everything, if people are interested.

      Reply

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