Time is a homeschool mom’s most precious resource, but it’s one that gets used up far too quickly. When you have subjects to teach, food to cook, household chores to complete, shopping to do, and any number of other things to get done each day, twenty-four hours never seems like enough. Unfortunately, there’s no way of extending the hours in our days, but we can learn to manage our time well and make better use of the hours we already have. With that in mind, here are some time management secrets every homeschool mom should know.
Establish A Daily Routine
Figuring out a routine that works for your entire family is far from a simple task. But, once you’ve found your rhythm, everyone will be a whole lot happier and calmer. This is because you will all know what you should be doing at any point in the day, which will cut out the need to make those on-the-fly decisions that could sprout chaos. This will result in smoother transitions between tasks and less time wasted.
Eliminate Your Biggest Distractions
When you and your children are trying to work, the last thing you need is a distraction or interruption to ruin your concentration. This will make it much harder to focus back on the task at hand, wasting precious minutes. For this reason, strongly consider what you can do to eliminate your biggest distractions. For me, it starts with limiting how much I am on my cellphone and other devices during school time. They are okay if I’m using to school, but it’s a huge distraction when not.
Also consider limiting the amount of clutter and “stuff” in the area where your kiddos are doing school. This can help keep the focus on what you are having them do in the moment. If your toddlers are anything like mine, they’ll flock to the nearest pile of toys instead of focusing on our lesson.
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Let Go And Delegate
Truth bomb ahead… Whether we like it or not, we can’t always do everything in life all on our own. Having a support system of some sort is crucial to time management sanity. Thankfully, there are ways to incorporate some help even when you are starring in a one-man show. For starters, instead of attempting all of the chores yourself, hire help. From maid services to companies like Chem-Dry carpet cleaning, bringing in outside help is a start.
Another idea is to get the family involved. Creating a cleaning schedule and assigning jobs to your children (and spouse) can do wonders. Simply put, this lightens your load and teaches responsibility. It’s a win-win!
Teach To Multiple Children
This would typically take the number one spot because I do this every. single. day! Your children may be different ages, but that doesn’t mean that you need to teach them all separately. Instead, you could save time and teach all of your children at once. Once you start, it becomes easier to adjust individual tasks and requirements based on age and ability.
This may seem impossible but it’s totally doable, especially with subjects like science, Bible, and history. If you’re juggling super-littles, I recommend lots of hands-on sensory play. Also consider in-person or online COOP options that can help with bringing a variety of learning options.
Learn To Meal Plan
Just like a routine, a meal plan can make daily life a whole lot simpler. It helps eliminates the need to make meal decisions each day and also gives you the opportunity to prepare certain foods ahead of time. Knowing what you want to eat each day of the week also means that you can buy all of the ingredients at once, saving you from daily trips to the store.
My favorite money-saving place to shop is Aldi. I save hundreds of dollars shopping there and their selection of health foods is amazing. Don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to meal plan the hard way. Grab a piece of paper, write down the days, and start jotting down meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do a pantry check, make a grocery list, and whoolah – you’re all set for the week!
Prioritize Your Self Care
Unfortunately, none of the tips above are going to be of much use unless you take proper care of yourself. If you’re skipping meals and losing sleep, then you’re not going to perform at your best. Instead, you’ll be left tired and sluggish, which could turn the most basic of tasks into stressful moments. To avoid this, try to prioritize your self-care to boost your mood and energy.
Also consider making self-care a family thing. Not only will you get moments of rejuvenation, but you’ll also be showing your kiddos how important it is for them to do it as well.
Time management is a skill many homeschool moms struggle with, but, hopefully, with the tips above, you’ll be able to make the most of your days.
CHIME IN: Share your time management secrets in the comments below!