Maintaining a Tight Ship in Homeschool Waters

Any endeavor that requires organization and a scheduling on a regular basis can be fragile if left to the device of a flawed human. Homeschooling is one such endeavor which can turn from calm sunny skies to a thunderstorm with little warning. It happens in every homeschool family at one time or another. A state of chaos should be the exception and not the rule. If you are living in a chaotic homeschool situation it will frustrate everyone involved and that is does not make for a proper educational atmosphere. Homeschooling is busy, crazy, fun, exhausting, amazing, and full of ups and downs. However, if you are constantly frustrated due to a lack of organization you need to make some changes for yourself and your students. Here are ways to make your homeschool year go by a bit smoother so when you get off track you can easily catch the next train.

Meet your new friend, Crockpot. On days when you are especially busy or on a field trip, leave the cooking to your crock pot.

Assign Chores. If your child is over the age of two, he is ready for chores. In the morning before or after breakfast make the chores a priority. You will feel better and work better in a clean home. When school is over take thirty minutes as a final clean up before your schoolhouse turns back into a home.

Teach in order of age. From youngest to oldest is how you should teach your children. Children are more alert and have more energy first thing in the morning, so it is best to work with your wiggle worm or youngest child first. While you are working with your youngest child assign your older children math drills, spelling drills, etc.
Let them in on the plan. Take some time at the end of every week to plan out the week ahead. Once you have your plan then have an open lesson plan book or provide each student a daily assignment list. This will cut down on your children not getting school done because you were caught up with other tasks.

History doesn’t have to be every day. In my house math, English, spelling, narration and Copywork are Monday through Friday classes. Science, history, art, music, Latin, etc. are held either two or three times a week. In fact, art and special projects can be held once a week.

Establish a bedtime routine. Some homeschoolers, like me, don’t have strict bedtime routines. However, I am here to tell you that once I implemented a bedtime routine with staggered bedtimes my nights improved. My little ones take baths and then get ready for bed. The youngest goes to bed at 8pm, next in line 8:30pm, next child at 9:00pm and finally my junior high child at 9:30pm. This allows for each child to get settled in without distractions or conflicts. It also allows for children to have a bit of time up without mini two year old hands touching all their things. Nights go by smoother and all seem to settle in easier.

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