Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How we get it all done...

Recently I have seen on the forums I visit that several people are asking, how do you fit it all in? As a homeschooler and stay at home mom, it's hard to find that balance between overloading and underloading, but it's also difficult to figure out how to schedule your week so that you get done what you need to and don't get side tracked. So I thought that I would share some tips that I have gathered from other vetern homeschooling moms that have helped me to get it all done.

Tips to help you get it all in...
1. Plan, plan, plan~I plan my meals, plan when I clean certain parts of the house and plan what we are going to do each day in homeschooling. If I don't plan, it either doesn't get done or I am left frustrated because I feel rushed and disorganized. Can you tell that I don't function well with chaos? Here's a look at my meal planner/cleaning schedule...

I leave the bottom blank so that I can write up my shopping list at the same time, then just tear it off and take it with me.

And my homeschool planner, I have little bubbles to color in or check off for those pesky things that I always forget, such as math drill and poetry work.

2. Protect your school time~I heard this from many vetern homeschoolers when I started and I have learned the value of what they were saying. If you want to get school done, don't let other things interupt your school time. Don't answer then phone, my hubby has his own ring tone and I do answer his calls, but noone else, sorry guys, I'll call back when we take a break. Also try not to schedule appointments when you would normally do school.
3. Have breaks and rest time~I know this sounds counterproductive, but breaks help you, the teacher, to refocus and prepare for the next thing. We take a break after reading in the morning, I use this time to gather our books and supplies for the next several subjects. We also have rest time in the afternoon, I use this time to catch up on my work and emails, clean the house and get a head start on dinner.
4. Get up before your kids~I know it's hard, I'm not a morning person, but I've found that the early morning hours are a great time to get things done! I wake up with my hubby and make his lunch, then when he leaves, I have my quiet time. I follow that with some work, either for my classes or working on my next curriculum. Next I look over my schedule for the day and set out the books for our first block of work. Then I get on the internet and catch up with emails, forums and blogs. Pretty soon after princess gets up. Getting up early has been such a help because I'm able to get all my stuff done before she gets up and I'm not left frustrated about all the things that I need to be doing.
5. When things aren't working, re-evaluate~Sit down and think about why things aren't working. Will another program work better? Do you need to take some time and just work on habits? Does your schedule need rearranging? Are some of the things you are doing unnecessary? Are your expectations realistic?

I hope that these tips will help you as much as they have helped me. Check back here on Thursday, I'm going to share a bit more about our daily/weekly schedule.


Rhonda said...

You have a wonderful and well thought-out plan and schedule Paige! I am very much the same way-I MUST have it all down on a schedule or no matter what it is, it will not get done!!
I totally agree with not answering the phone too. I have always been like that and I still have homeschool moms who will call me during school hours. I just don't understand it, lol. I always let me machine take a message. :)
I love the new header! That is such a gorgeous picture and I thought it was so great when you used it last week for WW. Love the color of the leaf contrasted with the snail.
The new coloration of your blog looks nice too!

Paige said...

Thanks Rhonda! I can't leave well enough alone. Great to hear someone else has the phone rule.