Time management is a very common question homeschooling families get. How to manage going grocery shopping? When do you clean? When do you plan out your lessons? I’d love to tell you that we homeschoolers are a special breed… capable of more achievement than the normal human being, but that’s not true.
So here’s my tips and tricks to time management for homeschoolers:
Enlist the kids
Seriously, kids can do much more than a lot of people give them credit for. Here’s a list I found online of what are some reasonable expectations for kids chores as they grow up. Don’t worry, you’re not going to ruin your kid’s childhood by having them do a few chores. Even an older child can write out their lesson plan for the week. My mom used to make dinner once a week when she was a kid, along with just keeping up on her own chores. With four brothers and sisters, that meant that my grandmother had a small fleet of helpers around the house. A little work training kids on chores goes a long way.
Know your priorities
Does it bother you if your home is not show-ready each evening? Do you put a high value on eating a home cooked meal each night around the table? Do you want your school day to be meticulously planned day by day? Find what is really important to you and focus on that first. Hubby greatly appreciates a home cooked meal ready for him when he gets home from work and would rather have a mess in the house than have to wait for dinner. Who can blame him? After being gone for over 11 hours, he’s hungry and just wants to sit with us at the table and relax, so as I’m prioritizing my day, dinner is at the top.
Hire help, if you can
Some hired help isn’t all that expensive, like grocery delivery. The grocery delivery by us only charges $5, and it is very comparable in item price to our local supermarket, plus they have some pretty great deals from time to time. Some moms have someone come and do the major cleaning, or trade time with a friend to watch the kids so they can get everything done.
Plan a to-do list day
Who says a school week has to be five days? Take Friday off for Jummah and get some grocery shopping done and do lesson plans for the next week. Maybe one day is a “life skills” day with the kids. Kids learn from these experiences, whether it’s how to conduct transactions at the bank, how to look for unit price at the grocery store, or how to menu plan for a family with a special diet. Whenever the time is, if you plan ahead when it will be, it’s easier to work around. Imagine if you were working outside the home. When would you get these chores done?
It won’t all get done every day. That’s okay. Remember what your goals and priorities are in the big picture and rest assured you are probably doing better than you give yourself credit for. If dinner is chinese take out tomorrow, no one is going to go to therapy. If you have a day where you take a walk with the kids and watch documentaries instead of sit down and do worksheets, the kids are still learning. Give yourself a break sometimes, and just keep moving forward the best you can.
Still wondering how to have effective time management? The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas is PACKED with tips and tricks for any part of your homeschool journey. Just read the reviews!
The rest of the series to check out!
- Q&A: Homeschool Scheduling (February 20, 2013)
- Q&A: Homeschool Time Management (March 7, 2013)
- Q&A: Keeping Track of Grade Level (March 18, 2013)
- Best Kids Islamic Resources (April 1, 2013)
- Q&A: Planning the High School Years (May 7, 2013)
- Q&A: What is a co-op, and why have one? (May 28, 2013)
- Q&A: Pros and Cons of Virtual School (June 10, 2013)
- Q&A - I'm not patient enough to homeschool (June 26, 2013)
- How Do You Check Academic Performance? (October 19, 2015)