7 Steps to Improve Time-Management Skills for Homeschoolers
This is a guest blog post written by Julie Petersen
The daily schedules of homeschoolers can be difficult to organize and overwhelming to maintain. No one can do it all by themselves. Between school lessons, running a household, parenting and being a spouse, family member or friend, life gets hectic. And when you remove public or private outside schooling, it only adds to your daily scheduled tasks.
Having a routine is step one. And making it a visual plan for everyone in your family to see is imperative for success. Managing time does not have to be such a daunting task. There are plenty of ways to enhance your overall organizational skills and increase your productivity.
- Set a basic family schedule.
The first thing you need to put in place is a daily schedule and list for the entire family. A basic routine is an essential part of time management, and in regards to homeschooling it can make or break the experience and results. Pick one day out of the week for laundry, one for bathroom duty and one for dusting. Assign roles and chores to family members, and stop trying to do it all by yourself.
- Set your priorities.
Make a list and take a few minutes to think about what you need to accomplish. Start each morning and jot down your goals. This can help overwhelmed and busy individuals better identify what’s most important, and to know what can be left until the next day. Do not push yourself to have everything done in a snap. Instead focus on what needs your full attention and learn how to set your own standards. No matter what order, decide what has to get done, and what you can schedule in at a more convenient time.
- Start with the big picture and work backwards.
When scheduling for a homeschool student, you want to begin with the full year. Take a look at the courses, lessons, books and service activities you might need or want to include, and what your overall goal is for the school year. For each bullet point on your yearly list, begin to break it down into months. Go into more detail and describe how many hours spent on each subject or area of study you need. Then break down you months into weeks. This process of scheduling curriculum will help you to better review goals with your student, and prevents over-scheduling.
- Learn what you teach.
You have to comprehend and understand the material you are teaching. This can be a daunting thought for some parents, however it’s a wonderful way to maintain your own education and intelligence. If you need to brush up on a subject, do so on your own time before you begin the lesson with students. This means having a personal planner, as well as a daily school planner, and being able to find time for you, as well as for your homeschoolers and family.
- Get feedback from the student.
Regardless of how you feel you are struggling with time management, it’s always beneficial to listen to what your students and children are going through. Ask them if they would rather do math first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon. This is one of the great benefits of homeschooling, and allows a more specific learning environment catered to a child’s needs. So ask students to open up about how their brains work and how they learn best.
- Be realistic.
You will want to reference take a structured schooling planner before attempting to schedule your own homeschooling lessons. You may often forget to include spaces of time for things like bathroom breaks, recreational activities or lunch breaks. These small activities add up and by the end of a day you may have neglected to allow the time necessary to achieve your goals. Don’t fall behind in your lessons or get overwhelmed with your schedule.
- Be flexible.
No matter how well you plan ahead, or how structured your days may be, it’s important to remember we are all human. Students will make mistakes, get sick and bring with them the unexpected. They are learning about life and all its wonder, which is bound to come with a few natural bumps in the road. Don’t get discouraged or stressed out, remember to remain flexible even when organized. And allow yourself some down time so you can reflect on your own life and maintain the demands of homeschooling.
These techniques and tips should be used as your constant guide. When you are feeling stressed out, remember a good plan can make any schedule work. And if you feel that you may be falling behind, take the time to implement some new methods.
Use a planner, online resources and any material you can find, and work with the other individuals of your home to be sure you can give your homeschoolers the education they deserve.
Julie Petersen is an English language tutor and a content marketing specialist. She is the author of AskPetersen blog where she shares essay writing guides, articles and samples with students. Contact Julie on Linkedin.