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I am having a hard time believing how quickly this summer is going. My parents came for a week-long visit and just left this morning (sniff, sniff), so we had a bit of summer vacation while enjoying them. Otherwise, this summer is still filled with a lot of activity. When I recently looked at the calendar and saw how soon a new school year will be starting — and how little I’ve done to prepare — I decided to buckle down and get ready.
I’ve already written several posts on how to prepare for a new school year, and I’ve even got an audio if you’d like. But I thought I would put together a list of important ways a mom can spend her summertime, mostly in preparation of her own heart and mind for the year ahead.
Yes, I’m talking to you! You need to take a little time off from “Super Mom” status and recuperate from a long winter and busy spring. Need help? I’ve got some ebooks for tired moms, and I especially recommend Time Management for Tired Women.
One reason we don’t rest much in the summer is that we feel obligated to entertain our children. (“Mom, I’m bored…”) Seriously, though, let them be bored! A little boredom is exactly what they need to learn how to play creatively and with imagination. It’s good for them!
If they really need ideas, then make a list of activities on 3×5″ index cards. You can find some ideas at this post.
Another idea is to use the summertime to teach your children some new household chores. While this might not help you immediately, it will certainly pay off in the months to come. Of course, it will help them in their futures as well. I recommend the bookWhat Every Child Should Know Along the Way, especially the wonderful lists of chores by age near the back.
If you can find the time, try to do some reading this summer.
- Read through your Bible in 90 days. Highly recommended! Life changing! You can find a reading plan here.
- Read through the book of Deuteronomy,with an eye on ideas for parenting and homeschooling. Here is a study you can download from my personal blog.
- Read through Biblical Home Education. I do this, too! I may have written it, but that doesn’t mean I can remember everything in it! 🙂 It’s an ebook, so I put it on my Kindle and slowly read it over the summer, remembering the goals and principles that my husband and I prayed much over in the years past.
While you’re taking a short break from classes, take some time for teacher training.
- Don Potter has an excellent website, and his Education Pages are jam-packed with good “teacher training.” You’ll be pushed to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. He has many free resources to download, too.
- Ponder “Ten Things to Do with Your Child Before Age 10,” an excellent article that will help you reevaluate your homeschooling priorities.
Before you make your official plans for next year, be sure to declutter your home. God might have already provided much of what you need — but you might not be able to find it in all the accumulated mess!
- Declutter your books.How long has it been since you’ve read all those books? Are any of the books rather worthless (even idolatrous or humanistic)? Are some of the books amazing classics that you forgot about?
- Declutter your computer. I probably download 5-10 freebies each week… and they get lost in the vortex of my hard drive. Take several hours to eliminate freebies that you know you’ll never use, and to organize into folders all the rest. While you’re at it, check your ebooks, your Kindle, your iPad or tablet, your cell phone, your browser bookmarks, your OneNote, and all those Facebook pages you like.
- Declutter your supplies. Oh, how many times I headed out to the late summer school-supply sales before cleaning out my own cupboards. And that is why I have so many boxes of crayons in the bottom drawer. At least I won’t have to buy those this summer….
In a month or so, we’ll start to talk about the new school year. In the meantime, maybe you should go for a walk outside before the snow returns! 🙂