If there’s any day of the week that gets a bad rap, it’s Monday. Whether heading into a new work week or a homeschool Monday, something about letting go of the weekend and starting a new week often leaves folks dragging their feet.
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Believe me, I get it. Mondays can be rough. Before I became a homeschool mom, my Monday mantra was this: Mondays are a terrible way to spend 1/7th of your life.
You can approach Monday prepared, renewed, and ready to keep calm and #homeschool on. #ihsnet
Aren’t you thankful that a homeschool Monday doesn’t have carry that dread? While there’s still some hustle and busyness that comes with starting a new week, you can enter your homeschool Monday prepared, renewed, and ready to keep calm and homeschool on.
5 Tips for Starting Strong
I no longer dread Monday. In fact, it’s my favorite day of the week. Your schedule may be different from mine, but Monday is the only day each week that I don’t have responsibilities outside of my home. If there’s any day I can embrace, it’s Monday.
Maybe that’s not the case for you. Maybe homeschool Mondays are downright overwhelming in your home. Maybe your Mondays feel chaotic instead of accomplished. Just know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s easier than you might think to take back your Mondays and start strong each week. Here are 5 tips for starting strong as you homeschool Monday:
1. Rest well
Weekends are busy for many of us, but resting well on Sunday evening makes a huge difference in having a strong start to a new homeschool week. Entering Monday exhausted from a busy weekend usually guarantees a rocky Monday.
Regardless of what happens Saturday, Sunday morning, or Sunday afternoon, be sure to get plenty of sleep Sunday evening. A good night’s sleep on Sunday is the best gift you can give yourself for Monday morning. That, and coffee. Coffee always helps.
2. Focus on the present
Real homeschool life comes with schedule interruptions, unexpected errands, and allergy seasons. That means your homeschool schedule is subject to modification with no warning at all. That’s why I plan our homeschool two weeks at a time. I can easily prepare for the week ahead while being mindful of the supplies needed for the following week.
Where does homeschooling Mondays fit into all of this two-week planning? I have yearly, quarterly, and monthly homeschool goals, but planning our homeschool in small blocks keeps me present in the here and now, but aware of what’s needed in the upcoming days.
That makes Monday manageable because it’s easy to be prepared. In turn, I’m less stressed because I’m not scrambling to gather supplies at the last minute or skipping activities or projects altogether.
3. Keep it light(er)
One key element to starting strong each week is to be realistic with your homeschool plans for Monday. If Mondays are generally rough for you or your kids, the last thing you want to do is to tackle an endless to-do list. That’s a surefire way to kill the joy of learning and set yourself up for failure as the week goes on.
Instead, focus on reasonable plans for Monday. If your Monday homeschool goals only cover three or four subjects, you can tackle them and tackle them well while avoiding the overwhelm that comes with a packed schedule.
4. Set up on Sunday evening
One of the best things you can do to prepare for Monday in your homeschool is to gather everything needed on Sunday evening. That paves the way for a peaceful start to your homeschool day and a smoother homeschool week.
I do this by looking at my two-week homeschool plan, gathering any non-regular supplies or reading materials, and checking for any printed items that are needed. Then I make sure these items are all where they’re supposed to be and accessible for the kids.
By doing all of this the night before I start a new homeschool week, we avoid a delayed start and I can make the most of my kids’ most productive and attentive hours of the day.
5. Ease into your day
You don’t have to hit the ground running every Monday morning. As a homeschool family, you have the luxury of easing into your new week. Why not take advantage of that? This is true for any homeschool day, but a gentle start can be especially helpful on Mondays because it sets the tone for the rest of the week.
A gentle start is helpful on Mondays because it sets the tone for the #homeschool week. #ihsnet
How do you ease into your day? Put some interesting books on the table for the kids to read during breakfast. I like to use DK’s Where on Earth?, When on Earth?, and similar library books for this. These books are packed with great information and prime the pump for the rest of our homeschool time.
You can also ease into your day by tackling a chapter in your current read-aloud while the kids draw or eat breakfast. You may even prefer to take a walk outside and start the day with nature journaling.
Regardless of what you choose, the rest of the lesson plans will be there waiting for you without the stress and chaos that comes with a hectic start.
All of this said, there are times that Mondays will sneak up on all of us and find us unprepared, but hopefully these tips will help make that a rare occurrence for your homeschool.
Do you have tips for starting strong each week? If so, share that wisdom in the comments below!