To say that “back to school looks different” this year is kind of an understatement. Even for those of us who have homeschooled for a very long time, it looks different. Will there even be field trips, co-op days, our regular P.E. group days, etc? :(
But for some of you, the changes surrounding the upcoming school year are even more difficult. For those of you who never intended to homeschool and have chosen it for this season. Or those who are planning to do distance learning at home through your local school. Or those who are cautiously sending your kids to the school building knowing that things will look much different than normal. I’m proud of all of you for choosing what is best for your family during this season.
Oh, teachers. Those who love their classroom because of the dear students who fill it and learn inside its walls. I am really sad for you as you’ve endured so many changes in both your career and in your life. And I admire you. You’ve had to make so many adaptations and have worked harder than most of us realize. YOU HAVE ROCKED THIS. I’m amazed at you.
I have a hunch that classroom teachers long for normalcy more than the rest of us – and that’s saying something. Well anyway, this post is intended to be one of encouragement and hopefully lots of help too! Let me head in that direction now, but I couldn’t do that without first acknowledging the pain and challenges that put us all here in the first place.
“Back to School” Looks Different
While none of us are walking the exact same path (and aren’t we glad that God has different and perfect plans for each of us!!) – what I’ve seen for almost everyone is that our plates are all just a bit more full than they used to be.
It’s funny, isn’t it? There are fewer places to go and perhaps not as many outside commitments with so many activities and events canceled. But at home? Well, the cancelation of outside events means that we are all home more, which can make our work at home much bigger than it used to be in some ways.
For instance, if everyone is now working from home and schooling from home, the house gets messier and more meals and snacks need to be made. Take it from a long-time work-from-home-and-school-the-kids-from-home mom. The messes are real and frequent and the hunger is real and constant!
If you’re used to grabbing lunch at a restaurant during a lunch hour and counting on your kids to eat at the school cafeteria – suddenly you need to figure out lunches at home. If snacks used to be eaten in the car on the way to sports practice after school – suddenly snacks are requested every afternoon just about the time you thought you’d catch a five-minute breather.
Thanks for the encouragement, Laura.
Hmmm. I told you this post was intended to encourage, but here I am pointing out more changes and harder work!
But wait. I do have encouragement and help and resources! I have so much encouragement you won’t even believe it. (Really, I do.)
First of all, there’s this: While almost everything around us has changed, GOD HASN’T GONE ANYWHERE. He knew this was coming, He has been at work all along, and because He is a God of good plans for all of His people, He is constantly at work to teach us more about who He is and how He loves us. God is bringing so much good to all of us during this time! Do you see it? Do you recognize it? Just think about all the good God has done during these past months of change and trial. HE IS SO GOOD.
(And yes, even if we’ve experienced extreme hardship during this time, He is still good, still at work, and still working out His good plans. Hardship is how we learn more about who He is. I know this. I’ve experienced this.)
Here’s where I’m hoping to help.
All I’ve been able to think about recently is how I can help and what I can offer. I have 12+ years of resources here at Heavenly Homemakers, and I put the best of them all in our Heavenly Homemaker’s Membership Club site. But I kept thinking that I needed to add more. More to help us all as we figure out more meals at home, more snacks at home, perhaps more about schooling at home, and all the planning and organizing that comes with this new journey we’re all on (different as it may be for each of us).
First, let’s talk about Menu Planning.
What I felt was the biggest need for most of us is figuring out food (or maybe that’s simply where my brain always goes because I love everything about food). How can we all feed our families well without having to:
- reinvent the wheel
- spend more time than necessary
- or work harder at something that we don’t all love to do?
Our membership site already offers an entire year’s worth of Simple Meals packets ($52 value). But I knew we needed more. So the packets are still there, but instead of leaving the section as it was, only offering pre-made menu plans and grocery lists, I exchanged this section:
It’s an entire page filled with Menu Planning Resources now!!!!!
- 52 weeks worth of Simple Meals planning packets (like it always did) and also…
- Our exclusive Recipe Search Bar – so you can type in any ingredients you want to use and find recipes that work with those very ingredients – incredible!
- A brand new packet of printable and practical Menu Planners for you to fill in and use in any way that works for YOU.
- Cheat Sheets!! (These are my favorite new resources!!) These cheat sheets are filled with lists and links that include 100’s of ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks! So instead of thinking on your own and spending a lot of time scrolling and reading and brainstorming, you can simply pull up these Cheat Sheets and skim them to get all kinds of wonderful, simple, tasty, real food ideas!
And here’s a little peek at a few of our new printable menu planners. Some of them allow you to only plan meals and snacks, like a regular menu planner. Others give you the option to plan your entire day – with appointments and to-do lists and oh yeah, your menu plan too! That’s my favorite planning page – so I can plan my entire day from school to appointments to meals all on one page!
And what else did we add to the Heavenly Homemakers Membership Site?
More Homeschool Resources
While we already offered an entire section of Homeschool Encouragement articles:
And we already included a huge selection of homeschool curriculum and printables and materials:
But we just added more. And we had in mind everyone from veteran homeschoolers to new homeschoolers to online distance learners and classroom teachers!
Here’s what’s new:
We created over 50 printable enrichment pages.
While I love our Sonlight curriculum, I always also have files on my computer full of activities and worksheets and printable books I can use to encourage further learning and fun for my kids. The goal for these sheets, also, is to give my kids activities that they can work on in their own time, without much help from me – hopefully!
These printables cover subjects from math to science, to English, to reading, to social studies, to brain stimulation.
We also created and added a packet of Homeschool Planners to our Club Membership site. This includes planners for both students AND parents!
Here’s a little sample of what some of the planners look like:
And the simplest but perhaps my favorite…
Kid Folder Solutions
This is how I’ll be organizing our boys’ school work for this year. The idea is simple and that’s what I love about it. This will help them (from 1st grade to 10th grade this year!) be more independent plus it will keep all of their work in one place. I love this! Club Members, check out Kid Folder Solutions in both the “Family Learning Printables” section and the “eCurriculum Collection.”
$50 added to our $1,000+ worth of resources!
So in summary, while our Club Membership site already includes well over $1,000 worth of helpful resources, we just added over $50 more! Club members enjoy:
- all of our eBooks and eCurriculum
- our beautifully organized recipe section,
- a page full of Kitchen Tips
- a page full of Family Tips
- a page full of Homemaking Tips
- loads of Homeschool Encouragement
- and now a fantastic new Menu Planning Resources page!
- Plus we’re slowly adding articles to our Foster Care and Adoption Journal if you’d like to follow along. :)
Join our Heavenly Homemakers Club!
We’d love for you to enjoy all of these resources and more. :)
Already a member? Go check out all the new resources we added!! Read to join?
Get even more details about what our Heavenly Homemakers Membership Site offers here.