One of the biggest struggles we deal with in homeschooling our children, is time management. Time will ALWAYS be at a premium for homeschooling moms, so it is vital that we learn to be good stewards of the time that God has given us. These time management secrets every homeschooling mom should know will help you to be more productive and successful in your homeschooling.
10 Time Management Secrets Every Homeschooling Mom Should Know
1. Focus on your priorities.
We can’t do it ALL, so we must discern what our priorities and goals are, then focus on those. This may mean letting “good” things go for things that are better.
Sit down with your spouse and look at your priorities and your schedule. Ask these questions:
- Does our current schedule include our priorities, and keep them in first place?
- Do the things that are on our schedule now help to accomplish our priorities and goals?
Sometimes we say yes to things that won’t get us where we want to go. These may be GOOD things, but they aren’t BEST if they keep you from accomplishing your goals.
Be sure and always look at the bigger picture , and prioritize the things that matter.
2. Write it down
When we are busy and being pulled in many directions, as all moms are, we can’t really expect to remember everything. Not to mention, the more you have on your mind, the harder it is to focus.
Write out daily to-do lists to keep you focused, and write out a daily routine as well. The routine will guide you and your kids, giving you a rut to run in. If things are a little crazy, there will be the stability of the routine to keep everyone on track.
3. Teach as many subjects jointly as you can.
Obviously, you can’t do this with phonics and beginning math. However, you can have Bible, Character, Science, and History together. Adjust the requirements from each child based on their age and ability.
I might have my younger kids fill in blanks as I teach, while the older ones take notes. Or I might assign younger ones to answer multiple choice questions showing they have learned what was taught, while the older ones will have to write a paper about it, or take a test.
There are several different ways to teach subjects jointly, and you can (and should!) choose what works best for you and your family. It depends on the ages of your children, and what methods work best for them and you.
4. Make use of the time you spend grading papers.
Sit down with your child’s math and grade it with him beside you. When you find an error, go over it right then and there.
Teaching from their mistakes is the best way to teach. This is much more effective than grading their work and handing it back to them the next day.
5. Simplify as much as you can.
- Plan easier meals
- Eliminate unnecessary busy work
- Focus on the Three R’s
- Redefine what it is to have a “clean” house
Do only the things that you can’t delegate. Much of our work as homeschooling moms can be done by the kids, and a willing spouse.
To get more free time, you need to assign regular daily chores to your kids. Not only does this help lighten your load, but it’s good for them, and helps them to develop character.
They are part of a family – let them share in the responsibilities as well as the benefits. Cooking and cleaning should be shared responsibilities within a family.
7. Realize that you have to GIVE something up to GET time.
We all have the same amount of time in our days! Though it may seem that your friends have more time than you do, they don’t. It’s just that they have learned the secret of giving something up to get more free time.
Often we ask “How Do I Get It All Done?!” Remember, you can’t do it all, so you must seek God for wisdom as you make choices.
7. Get organized.
This is a Biblical concept! I Corinthinas 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
Take time weekly to plan, prepare, and organize things for the week of homeschool. Make sure you have what you need ready, so that you can be productive, rather than having to waste time looking for something that isn’t where it belongs, or to makes copies of needed pages, etc.
8. Make self-care a priority.
You can’t take care of those God has entrusted to your care, if you aren’t well! Make sure you get enough rest, and take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Those three areas are connected, so if one gets out of balance you struggle in all three areas.
When you aren’t in a good place physically, emotionally, or spiritually you will struggle to manage the day to day duties that come with homeschooling your family. Fatigue makes everything harder and more overwhelming.
Making time to care yourself will pay off in more energy and productivity.
9. Limit electronics.
One of the biggest time wasters we deal with today as moms is electronics.
There is always the pull of social media, whether it be Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook. They literally suck you in and before you know it, unless you are intentional, you have wasted an hour or two just scrolling.
I’m not saying that you should totally eliminate electronics, but if they have a grip on you it’s time to make some changes.
Maybe take them off of your phone, so you aren’t tempted to keep “checking in”. Instead have a set time once or twice a day when you get on your computer for X amount of minutes to check all those things you like to check. Set a timer, and when it goes off, it’s time to get off.
Most of us put time limits on our kids like this, so it only makes sense that we are willing to show by example how to exercise self-control with our own online usage.
10. Use a timer.
I mentioned in the last point that you should set a timer to control how long you spend on electronics. However, setting a timer for lots of things will really help you to be productive and make better use of your time.
For example, set the timer for 15 minutes and see how much of the kitchen (or any area) you can get cleaned in that amount of time. Because you know your time is limited you will tend to work faster, and more efficiently. I really like the challenge of trying to “beat the clock”.
By the way, this works well with your kids too. Have 10 minute power pick-up sessions, or 15 minutes to clean up your room, etc.
What can you do to manage your time better as a homeschooling mom? Ask God to give you wisdom and direct your thoughts, and give you the discipline you need to be a good steward of the time you have been given each day.