Last year was my first year of “official” homeschooling and I had to stop and wonder…. am I getting enough done?
My days seemed so filled to the brim and yet here I am wondering if I am doing enough? What is enough anyways? How do you REALLY know if you are getting enough done in your homeschool?
I want to share with you what has worked for us in our homeschool. My advice to you is to try and be as effective and purposeful in your day as you can be and the rest will follow. Easy right?? Here are some great tips on the habits of highly effective homeschoolers:
#1 Do the most important tasks first! What is your child struggling with the most? What is the main focus and goals of the next month or so? Figure those out and plan to do those things at the very start of each day. That way, no matter what happens you know the most important work is done. I don’t know about you, but distractions happen here and things can easily get left undone. I feel so much better about my day when our two focus subjects are complete. The rest can roll over to the next day.
#2 Set up for the next day the night before! If you are not prepared for the what is ahead, then you are going to find yourself unmotivated, discouraged, and maybe even a bit frustrated. Take 5 minutes before bed to set up the lessons for the next day. For me this means setting out worksheets, craft supplies, and the days outline. I also make sure all the pencils are sharpened and the garbage is empty (it fills up so fast!). When I wake up the next day I just feel prepared and I have a lot more confidence in getting the lessons started on a positive note.
#3 Meal planning! Okay this goes without saying for most. If you have a meal plan then you are going to save so much time during your day. Plan out your breakfasts (or create a simple DIY breakfast bar for your kids to put their own breakfast together), lunches, and dinners. Knowing what you are going to be cranking out of the kitchen each meal will help you be more efficient in your homeschool efforts and also reduce your stress levels. Make 4 core weekly plans with grocery lists and simply rotate them out! Keep fresh fruit and veggies available for quick and easy snacking.
#4 Household chores! Have you ever been in the middle of a lesson plan and your mind began to wonder off to your cleaning list? Having a set chore chart for everyone in the family will help keep your homeschool running smoothly. Chores also give children valuable life skills and gives them a sense of contribution to the family. Get a chore chart together and get in the habit of getting chores done at set time during the day. Just knowing that these things will get done during the day can help you focus on your homeschooling tasks. Our household runs much smoother with this in place and I feel less distracted!
#5 Don’t sweat the small stuff! Seriously! Don’t give yourself a hard time over incomplete work, co-ops, play dates, ect. It will suck all the fun right out of your homeschool! Not only that, but you will loose motivation and less will get done. Remember this is a journey not a race. Take a deep breath and realize that no one is perfect and there is no right or wrong way to homeschool. Do what works best for you and your family and find your confidence in that. Don’t worry about what the homeschool family down the street is doing.
These simple steps leaves me feeling like I am more effective each day! I no longer find myself wondering “Am I doing enough?”.
Do you have some tips that you would like to add to this? What makes your homeschooling days more effective?