Time is on your side, homeschool friends. Really it is. You really aren’t behind. You really can enjoy the extras. And today I share my best tips for time management. Most of these you likely know about. But you may be like me and need a reminder. Those days I feel stressed and wonder how we are going to fit it all in…when we are being stretched thin…
These are the habits that have blessed our homeschool and opened wide the doors to more! These simple steps I’ve found are key to fitting in the extras for us. First…
But how? The ‘These Things Must Be Done Before School’ – Before 8:45 Checklist‘ (often a Before 9:45 checklist). I’ll admit I am a morning person. But my teens are not. So we have a little give and take there. Often I can start the day with the little ones while my upper grade children are still getting breakfast. This works though. The youngest ones are done and can play together. I am available for the older ones.
The checklist is simply a reminder. A tool. It even reminds us to brush our teeth, clear our spots from the breakfast time, have some quiet time with the Lord, do a morning chore. It is a blessing.
Act Like Homeschoolers
You’d think that this would come naturally for me but it didn’t. I was raised in a public school setting and really had to coach myself on schooling at other times besides 8-3. We can act like homeschoolers! A few ideas for fitting in subjects in the homeschool way:
- Read alouds at bedtime
- Audiobooks in the car when you are going to and fro
- Math in the evenings when a child needs a little help from Dad
- Science labs on the weekend
- Reading during afternoon quiet time
Add Just One Extra A Day
One more thing after lunch. That’s how we have accomplished the extras. It all began by telling the children we were going to just do one more thing after lunch. A habit we adopted from my fellow homeschool friend, Kerri.
See, when I just had little ones I was used to finishing up our school day by lunch time. I found it hard to continue on. We’d made it to lunch and that said a lot! But Kerri helped me to see that simply saying, “we will do one more thing after lunch,” changed my mama attitude. An example of how we make this habit work with a subject: 15 Minutes of Geography Supplement a Week.
Our Schedule for Extras
We sort of have certain days of the week we enjoy the extras. But it’s very flexible. Sometimes we rotate. Sometimes we do a little more. Every day, while the children eat lunch, I read Manners Made Easy. Also sometimes a Proverb and a selection from 365 Days of Celebration and Praise. Sometimes I go ahead and read aloud our science lesson for the day.
- Monday – nature study with Outdoor Hour Challenges (though they aren’t limited to that day), science
- Tuesday – science and/or Tapestry of Grace, Visual Latin, English from the Roots Up
- Wednesday – art and composer study with Harmony Fine Arts
- Thursday – Tapestry of Grace, Visual Latin, English from the Roots Up, science
- Friday – Tapestry of Grace arts and activities
I also need to mention that the older children are doing more than just one more thing after lunch. For example, they are studying Apologia Biology at least four days a week.
Group the Extracurricular Together
My children are involved in just enough extracurricular activities to keep me from being stressed out. And, it took me a while, but I learned to group those things together on the same days. One day we have piano lessons and choir activities. Another day we have drama troupe practice. I often schedule appointments around the same time I know we will be out.
This gives me a guarantee. I know that I will be home at least two and often three full days a week. The whole day to accomplish learning. That is so very important for getting school work accomplished. And for fitting in all the extras!
A useful exercise might be to write out all the extras and extracurricular. Prioritize, mix and match and fit them into certain days.
- Afternoon Quiet Time for All Ages
- A Day in the Life at Hodgepodge
- 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Homeschool Schedule
January is the perfect time to soak up some homeschool encouragement. Hop on over and check out all the topics by the ladies of iHomeschool Network – January 2013 Hopscotch.
- Day 1: How to Fit in the All Homeschool Extras – What Are the Extras?
- Day 2: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras with Unit Studies
- Day 3: How to Fit in All the Homeschool Extras: Time Management
- Have you entered the two giveaways yet?
- Through the end of January, I have a free download for you: Return of the Routine: Six Simple Steps to Success
~Subscribe to Hodgepodge for more homeschool help!
How is time on your side in your homeschool? Do you fit in extras after lunch?