Starting the New Year Off Right, by Jennifer
Now that Christmas break is over and it’s time to get back to school, there are a few things you can do to help start off right!
- Plan: You don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to be doing each day until May, but at least go ahead and write down your goals and the topics you want to cover. If you want to get more specific, go ahead. You may end up changing things, but you’re much more likely to accomplish your goals if you have a written plan.
- Prepare: Once you have a rough sketch of the coming weeks or months, do something to make those plans a reality. Put books on hold at the library and check to make sure you have art supplies for special projects. Is there anything you need to order? Do it now. When March rolls around and you’re losing steam, it’s wonderful to realize you’ve already done the preliminary steps.
- Practice: Are you starting 2012 with something new? If you’re adding something to your school routine, plan to spend some time practicing it until it becomes a natural part of your day. We’re starting some new morning work and I’ll have to go through it several times with my son before adding the next steps and eventually learning to do it all independently. If you expect to start four new things and have your kids pick them all up immediately and perfectly, you’re going to be disappointed. Take your time.
- Pitch: Look back at the first half of your school year. Is there something that hasn’t worked out like you had hoped it would? Pitch it. There are too many topics to cover and too many products available to use to keep using something that doesn’t work. If you’ve given it several months and it’s still a battle, sell it or pass it on to someone else. It’s time to move on to something better.
- Polish: (Well, maybe polish is a bit extreme, but I didn’t want to mess up the alliteration.) Whether you have a dedicated school room or a dining room table, clean it up before it’s time to begin. Toss out old papers and round up the supplies you use most often. It’s so much nicer to start the day—and year—off without navigating around piles of clutter.
I hope you have a wonderful start to your year!