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Back to School TipsYou don’t have to deal with rushing around to get everyone out the door to school, losing flexibility, or adjusting to new teachers and classmates.

But that doesn’t mean giving up summer days is easy, either! Thinking about getting started could be leaving you and your kids wanting to hit the snooze button.

Try these strategies to get you going.

Ease into it.

You know your family better than anyone, so ask yourself this question: will you be better off jumping in feet first? Or easing in a little at a time?

For a lot of families, starting with fewer lessons for at least the first week is a good way to keep up the excitement. Another way to ease into it is to take Friday off for a field trip!

Start new traditions.

Who doesn’t love special family traditions like picking out a new Christmas ornament every year or making heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine’s Day?

Make starting back to school special, too!

Maybe you have pizza and games on Monday and homemade ice cream for dessert on Friday. Maybe you have each child fill out a little questionnaire about themselves on the first day of school every year. (And take a cute picture, of course!) Or maybe you plan something extra fun for Friday or Saturday—like a picnic, field trip, or a day out fishing or hiking.

Go outside.

Get a little sunshine and run out some energy. Even 10–15 minutes can brighten your outlook.

Read aloud.

Everyone loves a good story, and it’s even better when you share it as a family. Start the day with reading aloud and see how it affects attitude.

Snack.

If your family’s been used to raiding the kitchen throughout the summer, you might want to include a couple more snack breaks than usual.

Get quiet time.

With more noise and more things to do, it can seem like the day just keeps on running, and you never get a chance to catch up.

Try establishing a quiet time lasting 15 or 20 minutes for everyone sometime in the day, maybe midmorning or after lunch.

Check your mindset.

Are you looking forward to it and ready to go (at least mostly)? Your enthusiasm can be a great influence on your family. Even in the face of reluctance and bumps in the road, determine to focus on why you’re homeschooling and on all the good things you’ll be a part of.