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We started Homeschool again last Monday!

I have been stressing out all summer about the “starting” of school this year. How will I get things done? Can I handle it with everything else I have to deal with? Really, all of that didn’t help with the burnout I was dealing with either. In fact, taking the break this summer didn’t really help, either. You wanna know what did help?

Starting school again!

Yeah, so apparently my girls and I just thrive on a routine.

The first month of break they loved it – with company visits, the trip to the homeschool convention, VBS – they enjoyed all the free time to play. But by early July, they were over it. I mean, what kids ASK for school? Homeschool kids, apparently! The only problem was I just wasn’t organized and ready!

So, I finally finished getting prepared, and the classroom/office cleaned up. Wow, that was a feat in and of itself! 🙂

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Here are my girls, ages 7 and 5, before entering the room!

Looking for ideas to make the first day back to school cool and fun, I found leftover balloons from the girls’ birthday parties and part of the leftover helium tank. As soon as they were asleep in bed, I went to work and filled the balloons until the tank ran out.

So Monday morning, this is what they walked in seeing:

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By the way, if you decide to do this, do NOT turn on your ceiling fan while there are balloons in the room! Just a PSA!

And here is the view directly from the door, of the classroom side of the room. Enjoy this picture, it probably won’t be this clean for another year!

SONY DSCThe balloons were a big hit, and the girls got a kick of them floating down as they started to lose their helium. They ended up taking them all down to the playroom after school to play with them more.

Now, someone spied in an earlier post that I had wrapped “presents” on their desks when they arrived! And yes, that is true. What were their presents, you ask? Why their workbooks, notebooks and school items, of course!

Before they opened these presents, I sat them down and told them that I wanted them to always remember that getting to homeschool is a gift, a gift not everyone gets to have. (This is something I’ve told them many times before.) I want to make sure they appreciate that this is a wonderful opportunity we need to treasure while we have it, and to understand that not everyone gets to homeschool, for whatever reason. This is my personal belief about homeschooling and I want to impart that on the girls. We’re not better than those that choose public school, we’re not worse. But being able to spend our time together and learn at home – that’s a gift we have in our family right now that we should treasure.

And yes, you can give kids an empty box with wrapping paper on it and they’d love it — because I gave them their school notebooks and binders wrapped up and they thought that was just the coolest thing ever! (They had seen them before, so it wasn’t “new.” That was what cracked me up!)

I also had a special snack for the afternoon wrapped up as a gift on my desk, to open after lunch. They each got a box of animal crackers and a page about an activity to do with the animal crackers (making a graph of how many which animals were in the box).

????????And then it was time to buckle down and start school!

???????????????????????????????Now that we’re past our first week of school and going through our second, I’m very happy to report that everything is going very well so far, and much more smoothly than I expected! And we are all looking forward to school this year!

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