Yikes! We’re almost to that magical time of year where we can start with a clean slate. But even though many of us will vow to do better with our time, we still struggle. Why is time management such a hard thing for many homeschool moms? Here are 3 root causes and a FREEBIE to help you have a quick win.
Homeschool moms struggle with time management…
Because we think we have to do school at home
When you’ve lived your whole K-12 educational career inside the four walls of a traditional school, then you might be tempted to think that homeschool has to look the same. But it really doesn’t! In fact, it probably shouldn’t.
When you have one or more kids to educate, homemaking chores to keep up with, and maybe volunteer or work responsibilities on the side, you need a far more flexible plan than replicating school at home!
Embrace the natural energy of the day, and make homeschooling work for you, whether it’s 8-11 AM or 5-8PM! The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to customize the methods, flex the time, and generally be more efficient and effective one-on-one than the one-to-many model.
When you realize that you don’t have to replicate school at home, you are free to take control of your time. Even with that in place, here’s one more reason that homeschool moms struggle with time management:
Because we haven’t simplified
Some of you are trying to do all the things! You have four kids with four separate history courses, four separate sciences, not to mention all the math and spelling and reading. In my humble opinion, you’re working too hard because you haven’t simplified.
Homeschool moms can manage their time by grouping and looping.
Grouping is teaching multiple ages together, which is my favorite homeschool technique that allowed me to keep my sanity (on most days!) when I had four little boys under the age of five. As they progressed through the elementary years as a group, we were able to do so many subjects together – like history, science, foreign language, Bible, art, music, poetry, read alouds, and more!
If your homeschool schedule is driving you insane, see if you can group multiple kids together for some courses.
Looping is another fabulous tool. It’s a way to regularly hit the content you want to cover without losing track of the order or feeling like a failure if you miss too many days!
Here’s what I mean: If you create an after-lunch loop for your homeschool that includes music appreciation, foreign language, and art, then you know you’ll regularly hit those subjects weekly and you’ll always know which one to do next.
If you start your loop on Monday with music appreciation, but miss your after-lunch loop on Tuesday because you have an appointment, then it doesn’t throw your schedule for a lurch! Just pick up again on Wednesday with the next topic in your loop, which is foreign language.
We regularly used looping to keep our homeschool running smoothly (most days, of course!)
And finally, many homeschool moms are struggling with time management…
Because we’re trying to multitask
I know we’ve been taught to think that multitasking is being like superwoman! But the reality is that very few people can actually multitask and max their productivity. Because you know that when you’re concentrating on one task, you can’t fully concentrate on a second task. The only things you can truly multitask are the jobs that are automatic – like folding laundry while concentrating on a podcast, or making lunch for the kids while quizzing your oldest on their math facts.
But if you think you can homeschool and check email, or help your kids with spelling while scrolling Facebook, then you’ve been duped into thinking you can multitask! Most of us can’t.
Instead, you need to embrace deep work and focused effort on one thing at a time. I know it doesn’t sound as exciting, but it really does work.
If you want to see some quick wins with productivity and time management this new year, then be sure to grab a FREE time blocking schedule and join the tribe at 4onemore.com – because there are some great workshops and bundles coming your way in 2020 that will help you and I don’t want you to miss them!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.