Four Homeschool Time Management Tips

4 Homeschool Time Managment Tips

The following is a post from contributing writer, Michelle Cannon of The Holistic Homeschooler.

Homeschooling our children can be one of the most joyful and rewarding things we’ll ever do. As with anything else, it helps to have a good balance going on in order to maintain other aspects of our lives. For some this is simple, and for others it isn’t. Even for those of us who find it easy to commit to routine, things can go astray. Laundry can buildup. Dishes pile on the counter. Any number of tasks can go unattended. It happens to the best of us. So what do you do?

Here are some tips for finding that much needed balance in your homeschool life.

Four Homeschool Time Management Tips

Plan Ahead

Having a mental (or physical) list of priorities helps. Each evening, make a list of things that need to be completed the next day.

Prioritize

Once you’ve created your nightly list, prioritize it. What needs to be done first? Second? Is there something that can be left for another day or must it be done that day? Don’t overbook yourself. Save things for another day when possible.

Chunk Your Time

Rather than multi-tasking, try time-chunking. Multi-tasking takes longer than doing tasks individually. If you focus on one task at a time, you’ll finish all tasks in less time.

Set aside time for homeschool, time for lesson planning, time for checking email, time for blogging, etc. During that time frame, don’t do anything else. Just finished the task at hand.

Guard Your Time

It’s very easy to justify our homeschool improvement efforts, isn’t it? Although there is nothing wrong with browsing Pinterest and blogs for homeschool ideas and resources (I encourage you to do so!), we need to include that in our time-chunking schedule so that we don’t spend too much time there each day. Time that could be spent with our children, on our chores and even our personal hobbies can easily be eaten up by the internet. We can all get drawn into that time suck. I know I can.

What time management tips do you have for homeschoolers? I’d love to read them in the comments.

photo credit: Pixelbliss

Michelle is a single mom homeschooling the last two of her five children.  Read more from her at The Holistic Homeschooler where she blogs about Charlotte Mason homeschooling. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Very helpful ideas. Really like the time chunking suggestion – makes a lot of sense.

  2. Some things I know, and I just need to see or hear someone else say them to wake me up and make me believe i can do this. The Internet time suck has been my nemesis. Thank you.

    • It’s a problem for me too. Trust me. It’s good that we can look at ourselves, see what we need to work on and set it as a goal, isn’t it?

  3. Great list! Guard your time – that’s a biggie for me right now. I’m needing to prioritize what needs my attention most, and seeing to the highest priority items first and foremost. Thank you, I needed to read this today.

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful. It’s always a work in progress for me. Do you find that working on habits and flaws requires extra diligence?

      • Oh, yes, habits require constant diligence. And as far as flaws, they tend to show up when we are not diligent with habits! Thank the Lord for His grace, it’s the only reason we’ve made it this far!

  4. I love the tips for “chunking” time. It’s true. Carving out specific time slots and moving on when the time is up (even if we’re not done).

    • That’s a great point you make, Adrienne. Even if we aren’t finished, we need to respect our time. Sometimes “guarding our time” means guarding against our own time-sucking habits, doesn’t it?

  5. Hello Michelle, Very well written article. Time is of the essence for me. I just never get it all done. I feel like I MUST get the laundry, dishes and house straightened before we can start for the day. I am going to try the time chunking idea. My extended family and friends always interrupt our homeschooling days. I think I find that even harder to say “no’ to than the internet. Thank you for the great article.

    • Brandi,
      It’s true that it can be difficult. How can others respect our time if we don’t respect it? It’s not rude to let the phone go to voicemail or tell our friends “this is our school time”. I even have an auto-reply to texts that tells others, “We’re doing lessons right now, I’ll get back to you this afternoon.”

      If we respect our own time, other people will have no choice but to follow our good example.

  6. As I am already planning for school here in a few weeks the “guard your time” speaks SO very loudly to me!…….as I am trying to eat breakfast and type this comment. :)
    Thanks for sharing these tips!!!

    • Tasha, I’m glad you found the article helpful. Do you find that you often multi-task or lose track of time? Those are my challenges.

  7. Samantha says:

    I feel better reading this. I never felt like I could focus on a task as well if I multitask. I think I make more errors and it does take more time. I tried to iron and cook meals and do lesson planning but it got to be much. I just do better focusing on one task. I used to feel bad because I could not multitask well but I am glad to hear that multitasking is not what it seems to be.

    • The 80s and 90s glorified multitasking. Time has proven this wasn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread after all. Isn’t it freeing to know that we can do what works for us?

  8. Rachel Reynolds says:

    Time management tip I have learned- everyone pitch in to clean the house right after breakfast, then it’s pretty if anyone “drops by”. Nice to look around and see some order while doing school & not be worrying about undone housework. My kids have assigned chores. It really helps!

    • OH I agree! We do 20 minutes of cleanup right after breakfast and 15 minutes before dinner. It really makes a difference, doesn’t it?