School has started and life is in full swing. As a homeschool parent, it’s possible that things are getting a little overwhelming as you add the role of teacher to your already busy life again.
I’m not saying that we ever stop teaching, but I’m referring to the “official” start school in the fall!!
As a mom, you have a lot of roles to play: caregiver, nurse, counselor, peacekeeper, chief cook and dish washer, housekeeper, taxi driver, schedule organizer, etc.… and this doesn’t even include being a godly wife and also any responsibilities you might have outside your home!
When you become a homeschooler, you also have the role of teacher and guidance counselor.
Now you know why it seems a little overwhelming sometimes! You have a lot of responsibilities!
This isn’t meant to discourage you, but rather to show you that you really need to have some sort of organizational plan in place so you can juggle all these roles and responsibilities. When God led you to homeschool, He didn’t intend for you to feel overwhelmed.
How can you make life more organized as a homeschooler?
There are basically have two areas that need some planning: managing your home life and managing your school schedule.
In this post, I’m going to focus on managing your home.
Next post I’ll focus on the managing your homeschool schedule!
It’s easier to only focus on one at a time! And if your home life is a mess, you’ll find it will really affect your homeschool days. So I think this is the place to start!
As a mom, you typically have to plan the meals, keep the house clean and manage everyone’s busy schedules, right? It really helps to keep all that information for the home in one place.
I recommend creating a home organization binder… this is just a simple binder like your kids might use for school, with sectional dividers to separate information.
Items for the home organization binder:
- List of important contacts: doctor, dentist, tutor, etc.
- List of meals and groceries needed to make the meals. My husband helped me set up a system where I had 7 weeks of meals planned with a grocery list for each one! Yes, this took a little foot work in the beginning, but it was well worth it because of the time it saved me each week. Here’s one of my weekly grocery lists with the meals that it would cover above it:
The best way to get this system set up is to do one week at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed! With your husband, or the whole family, sit down and list every meal that you like to make. Then each week, choose seven of those meals that will work well together for that week (sometimes you can use the leftovers from one meal to make another). Then make your grocery list – you can even set it up so it follows the organization of the grocery store if you’d like. Since my husband did a lot of the grocery shopping back in those days, he liked it all organized! I kept the lists in plastic report covers and stored coupons in there with the list. You could store your recipes for each list in the plastic sleeve as well.
- List of chores that need to be done daily and weekly (see flylady.com for some ideas on how to divide out your housecleaning chores). We had one day a week where we did a thorough cleaning of the house, and then the other days were just the daily chores to keep the house up and manage meals and clean-up.
- Chore chart for each child (we had four weeks of chore charts made out with rotating chores for each week so that I could just pull out the next week’s chore lists for the family and post it on the wall). Go to my post called “12 Ideas for Raising Responsible Children” from August 5, 2016 to see age appropriate chores for children. You can create your own chore system with a simple spreadsheet (check out http://www.homegrownlearners.com/) or there are several great chore management systems out there. Here are couple to consider if you don’t want to create your own:
- Bill pay section: it helps to have a pocket file here to hold the bills awaiting payment. A clear plastic report cover works well. Then you can see the bills and you won’t forget them!
- Calendar with everyone’s schedule included: I recommend color coding your children so you can see with a glance where each child needs to be each day (and they can too). Pick up some colored markers so you can color code the information you write in your calendar for each child (Everything that relates to child #1 is blue, child #2- red, etc.)
- To do list (short term and longer term). We have too much to remember as moms
to store our “to do” list in our heads! Keep a list of what you have to do today and also the longer term list of things to get done in the future.
All this takes time to set up, so work on one thing at a time!
What is most urgent? That’s what you should focus on first. And you can let your older children help you with getting this organizational system set up. It’s a great way to teach them to be organized, and you might find out that one or more of your children have a gift for organizing!
Some people will prefer using their IPad or phone to contain all this information, and that works great too! There are several really good organizational apps out there.
My personal favorites are Google calendar and Evernote, but if you search your apps, you’ll find there is a plethora of apps for organizing out there!
IMPORTANT: God wants to help you get your life organized!
Spend time with Him each day, seeking wisdom and guidance on what you need to do to make life run more smoothly. Pray for strength for each day as well, and for His help in managing your home life.
Next post: organizing your homeschool life!
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