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This is part of a series, Getting Ready for Another Homeschool Year! Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here.

7. Set up Systems. Make Your Routines and Life Easier.

Another thing I’ve been working on over time, is setting up a “command center.” It’s still in process, but is slowly taking shape!

First, I have one small area specifically for the girls. It’s a bulletin board in the hallway between their bedrooms and their bathroom. This is for their “morning routine charts” (more coming on this later) and they can also pin up items they want to keep there.

I also have an area in my office – a hanging file holder from Thirty-One Gifts – where I hold items I don’t want to lose. (If I can lose it, I absolutely will!) Bills, gift cards, membership cards that we have, etc. Also, because our office room is right by the front door, I also have copies of of our HSLDA membership cards and homeschool information here. Pennsylvania is one of the most regulated (difficult) areas of the US to homeschool, and I had my first run-in with the local school board right after we moved here. So, I’m a bit paranoid, yes, but if needed, I can quickly and easily grab contact information and have it ready.

Newest, is our “command center” in our kitchen area – actually on the side of our fridge! We have a large open-concept main floor, and this is easily accessible and viewable. Along with magnets holding important numbers (exterminator, energy company, etc) We have added several magnetic dry erase boards. One is for the girls – I list their daily school assignments and chores on it and they wipe them off as they complete them. I might add another next year, so my oldest can get used to start being responsible for her own work assignments.

I also purchased a calendar dry erase board this summer. Originally I was going to make a very fancy menu planning list that I’ve seen on Pinterest,  but at the rate I’m going, it will be years before that actually happens. This was done and easily adaptable to my needs. We’re still working on making this work for us as a family, but at least now we’re not waiting on needing to make it pretty too. (I also bought a bunch of dry erase markers during back-to-school sales at Staples at a fabulous price!) Sometimes I’m embarrassed by how much this little thing excites me, but if it solves my dinner dilemma, it’s worth every single penny!

8. Have Fun! Enjoy Your Summer and Get Outdoors!

After doing this all summer it feels a bit that I have been “drudging” all summer. I have, to a certain extent. BUT, I would recommend you take advantage of all the summer has to offer– get outside, soak up the Vitamin D, and enjoy the sun! All too soon, winter will come and we will all be stuck indoors moaning over the 6 feet of snow blocking our front door! Enjoy it all while you can, build up those memories of pools, Popsicles, and homemade ice cream with your kids!

Please share with me your own ideas to help your year run smoothly! What do you suggest??