Back To The Grind

This is a first for me! I always write for the blog late at night after the children are sleeping, and I’m in bed with my bedside light on. But today is different! It’s raining hard, which limits outdoor chores for the bigger kids, and instead everybody’s looking through their new school notebooks, markers, and talking. They’re always talking! Here I sit on the floor on my side of the bed and face the window. I’m kind of out-of-sight. I finished my heavily buttered toast and brought my coffee upstairs with me. Baby Samuel takes beautiful morning naps, so maybe I can get a few words in.

We’re savoring the last slow days of summer as I’m certain you are too! But the joys of fresh new school days are quickly approaching, and before the start a new year, I find it very helpful to take 2 or 3 hours to pray, plan, read teacher guides, and write a schedule. Some years I have gone to the coffee shop by myself on a Saturday afternoon and some years I quickly left right after dinner with my Bible, books, notebook and a pen. This year, Nathan was a most wonderful help, and we did the majority of the planning together a couple of days ago.

Actually, we not only made a schedule, but reassigned the chores! I gain much confidence and excitement about the new school year when we have this planning session under our belt. I will be sharing our full schedule with you soon! There usually are a couple things that need moved around once the year is underway.

Whether you homeschool or not, I wanted to share with you a little list of things that have made a difference when we’re back to the grind. As you know, days get very full and sometimes so fast paced, that we need to have a few things in place to help the days be successful for everyone!

Our Back-To-School Aids:

  • Trader Joe’s organic pops or suckers (this is a first for us). It seems to help little Providence remember to empty all the trash cans!

  • Clorox wipes (have been recently buying these) It has simplified some of the kids’ chores.

  • cooked-ahead breakfast sausages (cook up lots of extra links on the weekend) We don’t have a microwave, but the big kids can reheat these on a small skillet easily. Stored in a gallon zip-lock in the fridge.

  • soft-boiled eggs (same as hard boiled, just a little softer yellow) All the kids love these with a little sprinkle of salt. They keep well pre-peeled in a gallon zip-lock in the fridge.

  • Trader Joe’s frozen hashbrowns (love these!) We usually have them for lunch with fruit or a smoothie.

  • homemade frozen muffins (they thaw so fast!) We keep several dozen in the freezer.

  • bagels (we keep them in the freezer and thaw them the night before) This is the perfect breakfast for us on co-op days! We warm them all on a cookie sheet in a low-temp oven for a few minutes, slice and spread cream cheese on them. Ready to go!

  • freezer meals (these always save the day!) We try to keep 5 dinners ready-to-bake in our freezer.

  • paper plates and paper bowls (huge help!) We don’t have a dishwasher, and paper simplifies school day breakfasts and lunches when quick clean-ups are essential.

  • cereal (hopefully healthy) This is our first time buying breakfast cereals as a staple, and we will see if it makes mornings easier!

I realize this list is not all-inclusive, but I hope it helps as you gear up for the new school year too! What are some of your must-haves?

with love. Damaris

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