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School is starting up in a couple weeks for us and it’s been quite the roller coaster ride the past few weeks as we figure out what how school is going to look for our kids this year. We had a mini taste of homeschooling last spring as schools shut down to avoid the pandemic spread, and it was quite the adjustment for all of us as we juggled working and teaching our kids all at the same time!
While there’s definitely quite a bit of uncertainty going into the school year this fall, one thing is the same: it’s time to get ourselves prepared! I’m sharing a few tips on how we’ve transitioned our home to accommodate for homeschooling (as this will most likely be our schooling option this Fall) as well as my top tip to earn a little cash as we take care of our back-to-school shopping this year!
Regardless of whether your kids will be starting school in-person or virtually, saving some extra cash is something we all need! Ibotta launched a Back To School program that runs through September, allowing all of us to earn some extra cash while we’re at it! Deals such as $1.00 cash back on Horizon Organic Cheese Sticks (my kids’ fave snack!) and $1.25 back on Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars (one of my fave snacks! ) makes sure that we have arguably the most important part of the day figured out! I love how easy the app is to use as as I just shop like normal and then scan my receipt in the Ibotta app to collect my cash back!
There’s no extra cost to use Ibotta, and there are deals at some of our favorite stores such as Target, Walmart, and even Amazon! I’ve accumulated so much extra cash using the app over the last few years and it’s always a nice surprise when I can withdraw actual cash from my Ibotta when I’m just doing what I do already everyday!
And now, on to our home-school organization tips!
Create A Distraction-Free Workspace
We started off with the kids in an open counter top area to the side of our kitchen, perched on bar stools and seated side by side. But, we quickly realized that because the kitchen was a common area used for the entire household throughout the day, it didn’t provide the kids with the ability to focus and concentrate. Moreover, sitting side by side made it too easy for them to goof and even join in on each others’ Zoom meetings that weren’t meant for them.
The solution that finally worked for us was re-purposing our formal dining room to be the kids homeschool classroom. They are able to sit across from each other to minimize distractions and also each have enough space where they were able to set up their own mini workspace. It does mean on most days, our formal dining room has some sort of clutter and there’s a new weekly chore for the kids to sweep and vacuum the space, but so far it’s been working for us!
Have A Variety Of Activities
The key to keeping the kids occupied has been giving them a variety of different learning activities they can choose from. Whether it’s workbooks, coloring sheets, or paint by stickers, the kids get options that keep them busy and let me have some extra time for my work as well! Below are a few activities we’ve loved:
- Go Cube – Dylan has gotten so good at the Rubix cube thanks to this interactive toy / app!
- Trace + Draw Projector – helps develop fine motor skills
- Osmo – lots of different interactive games
Place Everything Within Reach
My kids started off on Montessori and I strongly believe in letting them be as self-sufficient as possible. I had this unused book case sitting in our garage that I decided would also be the perfect solution to store the kids’ workbooks and composition journals. I have each section of the book case split out between my kids, with the last section being one that’s filled with activity books appropriate for both.
Set Up A Creativity Station
At 5 and 8 years old, I also want to make sure my kids get plenty of time to be creative and just experiment with different art ideas. I repurposed another pull-out tray organizer that I had to store their art supplies so that it was close to their work area, with options including colored pencils, Perler Beads, Play-Doh, and cute stickers!
Invest In Headphones
Since we’re all working in a small space, having headphones for when we need to get on meetings and/or have apps with audio is key. There’s inevitably quite a bit more screen time involved now that we’re all at home but thankfully with each person having our own headphones, we’re able to still get our own work done without disrupting everyone else.
pin for later!
How are you preparing for back to school?
Have you tried the money-saving Ibotta app before?
** Note: All Ibotta offers were valid as of publish date. Check your app for details, as offers change frequently and may not be available in all areas
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