How I Manage Homeschooling {for myself}

How I Manage Homeschooling and Our Home @JessicaMWhite.com

Over the past few weeks I’ve shared about HOW we homeschool and WHAT we use, now I’m going to share a bit about how I handle homeschooling so I don’t lose my mind. I don’t let homeschooling rule our life, which may or may not be a good thing. We get the work done, but it’s not the focus of everything.

There’s a school of thought, 1 Child – 1 Activity, created to help parents keep their kids activities from ruling the family. I’m very much a proponent of this {we do have 5 kids and it could get crazy as they get older} in all aspects of life. We need to be able to function as a family, not as caterers to everyone’s interests {that doesn’t mean that if our kids are interested in something we won’t let them do it, it’s a matter of priority}.

How I Manage Homeschooling @JessicaMWhite.com

I shared our schedule a few weeks ago. We try to get the sit-down work of school done first thing in the morning. It’s the best time for all of us. I can check it off my to do list, the kids are usually otherwise interested and can be on their own, and Peter naps. We spend between 1 and 2 hours and then it’s done. Getting that done first thing in the morning is a HUGE thing off of my shoulders. After that I feel like we still have the day ahead of us and I don’t have to dread trying to corral everyone.

The single most helpful thing for me, besides a set schedule, is a planner. I’m a planner girl. I like writing things down and checking them off. This year I went with HEDUA’s Well-Planned Day. It was the ONLY planner that allowed me the space and functionality that I needed. That said, it is a bit limited. I’m hoping, if we continue next year, to put together my own planner for next year that will work much the same way, but allow me a bit more space where I need it.How I Manage Homeschooling @JessicaMWhite.com

After our last lesson of the week, Avelyn is free to go play and I sit down with all of the instructor guides for everything and spend 20 minutes charting out next week and deciding what I need to pull together. I love this time! I love the quiet {because the kids are all ecstatic that she’s done for the week}!  I love sitting down and writing lists and filling out a planner! {Psst…This has quickly become my favorite spot and one of the highlights of my week!} I know this is not for everyone, but for us me taking the time to plan ahead is imperative for me not losing Avelyn’s attention when we do sit down to do school.

The other thing that has helped me manage homeschooling is meal planning and freezing! I know those dreadful words are always popping up all over the internet. Honestly though, it’s a huge help for me. I can take out dinner in the morning and let it thaw. If we have a busy day I can pull a freezer meal out, if I have time to cook I at least don’t have to guess what to cook.

We only do school 4 days a week. This allows us a catch-up day, whether that be schoolwork, housekeeping, outside activities or anything else. Pushing all our work into 4 days helps me know that we only have a certain amount of time, but frees me up to know that we can get the house back in order before the weekend or do things beyond school.

I keep everything together. In our dining room I have a couple of shelves for all of our school books, but I only keep the things we are using right now in the kitchen {where we school}. I have two large tote bags that contain all of the books we are using, my planner, and a pencil box with anything we made need for school {pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, post its, etc}. It saves so much time when I don’t have to go looking for things that we need.

Our method is working for me so far. I’m able to accomplish schoolwork, and still have time to get the other things that we need to be done…done.

What tips do you have from your own schooling experience?

Jessica

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