Back to School Tips for Teachers and Homeschooling Moms

Inside: Get organized with our back to school tips for teachers and homeschooling moms! Declutter, set up learning centers, and more.

Summer is almost over and we are, whether we like it or not, thinking about getting back into it. We’re thinking about decluttering the room we teach in whether that is a public classroom or a room in our home. We want to start the year off on the right foot.

Back to school tips for teachers and homeschool moms

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Back to School Tips for Teachers and Homeschooling Moms

Declutter and Clean

Start by removing any unnecessary items that have accumulated over time. Donate, recycle, or store away materials that are not needed for the upcoming school year. A clean, organized space sets a positive tone for both teaching and learning.

Arrange Furniture for Optimal Learning

Consider the layout of your furniture to ensure it promotes a conducive learning environment.

Desks and tables should be arranged to facilitate both individual and group work. Ensure there is enough space for movement and that key areas like the whiteboard or teaching station are easily visible to all students.

Create designated areas for different activities: Having specific zones for different activities can help in managing the flow of the day and keeping students engaged. For instance:

  • Reading corner: A cozy area with comfortable seating and a variety of books.
  • Art station: A space with supplies like paper, crayons, and paint, where students can freely express their creativity.

As a long-time homeschool mom, I have rarely had a space dedicated to homeschooling, and when I did, we didn’t use it! We learn in our home, the living room or kitchen, wherever the kids are most comfortable. We have bookshelves everywhere so my kids can access their books, or hands-on learning materials easily.

child sitting on the floor with a book in front of bookshelves

Setting Up Learning Centers

Learning centers are a great way to provide focused activities that cater to different subjects. Some ideas include:

  • Math center: Equip with manipulatives, math games, puzzles, and worksheets.
  • Reading center: Stock with books, reading comprehension activities, and vocabulary games.
  • Science center: Include experiment kits, science books, and observation tools like magnifying glasses.

Tips for rotating activities: To keep things fresh and engaging, regularly rotate the activities in each center. You can change the materials weekly or bi-weekly, and involve students in setting up new activities. This not only keeps them interested but also allows them to experience a wide range of topics and skills.

Learning Centers – Morning Totes to Get You Started

Spring Morning Work Tote
Autumn Theme – Apples Morning Tote

Decorating the Space

Theme ideas and decorations: Choosing a theme for your classroom or homeschool area can make the space more inviting and exciting for students. Some popular themes include:

  • Nature: Use plants, animal posters, and natural materials.
  • Space: Decorate with stars, planets, and rockets.
  • Under the sea: Incorporate ocean creatures, waves, and aquatic colors.
honey bee bulletin board
Honey Bee Bulletin Board Borders and Color Posters

Creating a welcoming environment: Use posters, charts, and student work displays to make the space visually appealing and educational.

Here are some ideas:

  • Posters: Educational posters related to the subjects you’re teaching, motivational quotes, and classroom rules.
  • Charts: Visual aids like multiplication charts, grammar rules, and scientific processes.
  • Student work displays: Create a bulletin board or dedicated wall space to showcase students’ artwork, writing samples, and project work. This not only decorates the space but also boosts students’ confidence and sense of ownership.

By thoughtfully preparing your space, you set the stage for a successful and enjoyable school year. A well-organized, inviting, and functional environment supports both teaching and learning, helping students thrive.

Even as a homeschool mom who doesn’t hang a lot of posters around the house, I ALWAYS decorate the marker board we have hanging in our dining room. At the very least I put up a border around it the night before our first official day while they are sleeping. It is something they look forward to.

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