Some things that have helped, or I'm hoping they will help, things run smoothly:
-- I snipped the review chapter at the back of the girls' English workbooks and stapled them together as we were finishing up this past May. We pulled them out yesterday for some review before we dive into new English books. In the past, I've used free Internet resources to do review. This is WAY faster.
-- I get their chore cards reassigned in the evening. It helps to be able to call out "check your cards!" when things are approaching chaos in the morning.
-- menu planning - I've been loosely menu planning all summer but I will be getting back to planning snacks and lunches as well. The one thing that has stayed consistent all summer has been taco Tuesday. It's a quick and easy dinner that everyone loves. To help spread the taco meat a bit further on Tuesdays, I always make a dinner with rice as a side dish on Monday. The extra rice gets mixed in with seasoned ground beef, canned black beans and a cup of beef broth to make it saucy. Dinner is ready in about 15 minutes. Love it.
-- even though it goes against my normal habits, I'm getting dressed - to the shoes - before breakfast each day. I usually stay in pj's/lounge clothes while i do morning chores. I'm hoping the girls will continue to follow my example. It's making everyone a bit more motivated today.
-- our snack basket is still in use and a huge time saver. I don't have to go find snacks at 10 and 2. They are pre-portioned and ready for the girls.
-- and lastly, rather than a corporate Bible time, we are doing individual quiet times. Our girls need space from each other during the day. It cuts down on bickering drastically. In the mornings, they will do a quiet time. In the afternoons, they will do some free reading. As a group, we will be doing the Kids Of Integrity character study.
So off we go, launching into another year of homeschooling. I'm freshly aware and thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my children. We are so blessed to be able to keep them home all day, even if some days the moments like this outweigh the thankfulness: