happier home schooling-day 7

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a smooth home schooling day is to prepare.  This really does go without saying and yet, if you are like me, it’s easy to get distracted by the life lived outside of schooling.  Find a day that works best for you to gather materials for the week ahead.  Make the copies you need.  If you have little ones, you may have loads of items to pre-cut.  I keep a baggie of the week’s cut-outs ready and hanging on our clothesline art/brag wall.  Check your craft supplies to make sure you aren’t having to make a mad dash to the craft supplier to get the one item you didn’t know your kids used up while you weren’t looking.  It happens.   If you have items that need to be purchased, keep a list similar to a grocery shopping list at the ready to record what items are needed for the week.  Carving out the time to prepare will save many a headache or the disappointment of having to forego an activity because you don’t have what you need ready to go.   Another great idea is to have some prepared “centers” for the younger kids to access when their formal instruction time is over and  you still need to keep them busy.  Keep these items on hand for the younger kids that are easily accessible:



playdoh with dough tools…I love abc and number dough cutters to reinforce phonetics and basic math.


magnetic letters


lacing cards

buckets of manipulatives with pattern making cards

unifix cubes

finger puppets

plastic animals


bins of various items and egg cartons for sorting…This is called tubbing.  Let the children sort items into groups of many kinds.  Ask them the rationale behind the groupings.  Perhaps they are grouping by colors, size, shape, or some other creative thought!  ** As always, make sure choking hazards are considered when making small items available to very young children.

Rotate items frequently to keep them fresh and exciting.

What are your favorite “go to” activities to keep on hand?  Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite ideas!

Happy preparing!

Join me tomorrow for looking ahead.



  1. I left you a comment yesterday but it never posted, hmm. Great ideas and we have a lot of the same activities for little ones.

  2. Kim, one thing that I’ve recently discovered (in the past year) is Do a Dots..and the books that go along with them. My younger two LOVE doing Do a Dots…though expensive, they last forever and if you use a Michaels coupon you can save a good chunk of change on both books and the paints. Do a Dots are bottles of paint but there are sponges on the tips…and spill proof..and they don’t dry out. =) Where do you find the letters and number cutouts for playdough????

    • kimmyskids says:

      We have used Do a Dots from time to time as well. They are great for little ones and messes. Thanks for sharing that tip with our readers. I found the playdough letters at The School Box, which is a teaching supply store. If they don’t have a store front in your area, they also sell online!

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