This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I thrive on productivity and frequently write about it, but likely not in the way you are thinking. To me, time management and productivity mean being realistic…not… “getting it all done.”
Before I give you my time management tips for homeschool moms, I want you to know that this post will not be about ways you can fit 28 hours into your 24 hour day. This will also not show you how you can check off all the boxes in your planner each day. Like most of you, I am a busy mom. I am pregnant with my 7th child, we homeschool, I run this blog, serve at church, run a household, I’m married and I need my sleep.
We talked a few days ago about creating schedules in your homeschool, and it is important to reiterate. You can set a homeschool routine, a cleaning routine, and/or a basic daily routine. The important thing is to have a schedule so everyone knows what to expect. Schedules change, but having one as the goal should be a priority. Make sure you put it down on paper! We all know how we get when our mom brains are too full! You can rest, knowing at some point during the week, everything will get taken care of.
We will dive more into home management tomorrow, but just know that you can not and should not do all the household tasks. This is easier said than done when you have 3 children under 5, I understand. But when you are able, make sure everyone in the household has their own tasks to complete at a certain time. Even the youngest ones can chip in with certain tasks, especially if an older child takes them under their wing.
Simplify for the Season
I do not mean holiday seasons here, I mean the life season that you are in. If you are pregnant or have a nursing baby, your season will look much different from someone raising older children. If you are in the middle of a life change, like moving, that is your season. Set expectations based on the needs of your family at this particular time. You may need to change curriculum so it is not so teacher intensive for this year. You may need to pair down on outside activities. Think about the season your family is in and adjust your expectations accordingly.
This goes hand in hand with setting a schedule. We talked about setting realistic homeschool goals already. Keep those homeschool goals in mind at all times. You may also want to set goals for yourself each month, week, or even daily. Having a goal oriented mind can give you a focus when things seem overwhelming. You’ll be able to recognize which things may need to go in order to align with the goals you set.
Plan and Use A List
You likely already know that I am a big planner person. I love my planner and fill it with my life. I have one planner for my life and one planner for homeschooling. We talked about creating homeschool schedules and what that looks like. Planning ahead saves my sanity! I love having a homeschool plan in place, even if I have to change it at times. I also have a set time each weekend where I plan out my week. It’s a relaxing time to me and I listen to a podcast and get out some pretty pens and stickers and go to town. I then take a few minutes each night to look over what I have planned for the next day and make a list if needed. When things are down on paper, that means they are not in my head and I can go to bed in peace.
Set Your Priorities
I feel like we have already gone over this with goal setting and planning and simplifying. However, as you are doing all of that, make sure you keep your priorities in mind. What are your priorities for your family? Focus on those first. My priorities are my faith, my family, my health and my home. Everything else comes afterwards and I am more than ok with that. In fact, this post should have been published this morning, but I felt off. I felt like my quiet time hadn’t been prioritized and I didn’t feel like my cup had been filled. How could I pour into others when I had neglected my first priority? Needless to say, I unplugged for the day and focused on God and my children and now this post will be published after my children are in bed. My heart is in a much better place than it was this morning, I can assure you.
Teach Time Management
You are focused on how you can manage your time as a homeschooling mom…so why not start teaching your children time management now? You do not need to make it a school subject, but you could. My children see me using a planner all the time, and they see me making lists for everything. I make sure they do not see me becoming a slave to my list, but that they understand managing my time is important to me and helps my family thrive. All of my children are list makers, even my 4 year old! My older children have their own planners and they make a plan for the next day before they go to bed each night. I believe they will be far better off in the time management skill than I am!
Treat Homeschooling as a Job
My last tip is for you to treat homeschooling as a job. It is a job and it is the most important job you’ve been given! You are, without a doubt, the best teacher for your children. However, we know that homeschooling takes a lot of work. It is consuming and tiring and can be overwhelming. Know when to take a break. Keep yourself fueled for the job by taking care of yourself. Try to eat properly and stay hydrated with something other than coffee. Know that you will have to say no to things in order to say yes to the best things. And be sure to give yourself grace, mama. You deserve it.
HERE ARE SOME POSTS I HAVE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY FIND ENCOURAGING:
AND HERE IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR YOU TO HELP YOU GET YOUR ROUTINES BACK ON TRACK….CLICK THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR KIT!
This post is part of a 10 Days of Homeschool Planning series. I also partnered up with 15 other bloggers who are sharing more homeschool tips with you, so be sure to check them out below!