Homeschooling is a great way to educate your children because you can ensure they get the required education plus have the flexibility to make adjustments where necessary. Homeschooling programs promote the flexibility aspect which is what makes them so attractive. However, without time management and planning in the homeschool program for your children, you are likely not to meet your goals for them and things might just fall apart. Poor time management also results in stress, especially on you the home teacher. Here are some ways that you can implement good time management when running your homeschool and reach your goals for your children plus maintain your sanity.
Before you can make any inroads into successful time management you must get organized. The main reason is so that you know where everything is to include the tasks that must be completed. Too much time is wasted when a person has to find what is needed in order to carry out a task. For example, your children need a designated workspace where he or she can put all books, materials, and other school supplies.
As for the home environment, clutter needs to be put away. This is especially necessary in the designated room in the home to be used as the classroom. At least there should be no superficial clutter. A cluttered environment makes for a cluttered mind which is a time waster as well.
Getting organized also includes making a list of everything that needs to be done and then prioritizing it. This task list may include things that need to be done in preparation for the beginning of the homeschool year.
Making the Plan for the Year
Once you have your home environment and tasks organized, it is time to start making the plan for the entire homeschool year. The yearly plan keeps you on-track for the big picture and allows you to break down what needs to be done in school weekly. If you haven’t done so already, sit down and write down the goals for the upcoming school year for each of your children.
A typical school year spans a part of two calendar years beginning in the fall of one year and ending before the summer of the following year. Thus, you need to get two large block desktop calendars/planners from an office supply store, one for each year. The large open blocks for each day give you plenty of space to write all that you need to.
With the blank calendars, start marking off the days that you won’t have school. These are holidays, family vacations, and planned school breaks. You have total flexibility here however keep in mind that it is good to plan days off when there are no other extracurricular activities. For example, if your child’s piano class has a spring break then it is probably a good idea to schedule your break during that timeframe as well. This way you as the teacher get a break too and you and your children can go somewhere if you would like.
Once you have all of the days off marked, determine how many instructional days your homeschool needs to have. There may be certain requirements by your local educational authority as to how many days are required. For example, a locality may require that children attend 160 instructional days each year.
When you know how many instructional days that you need, divide by two and count backwards (usually beginning in December) and then count forwards into the spring. While counting, skip over the off days. The result is that you know the beginning day of school and the ending day.
The yearly planner provides input to the weekly planner that lists the assignments that your child must complete for each school day of a particular week.
These are some ways that you can practice good homeschool time management. It is important to realize that you can take these suggestions and adapt them to what works best for you and your family. However, you must always have a plan because without it there is no way to guide your children’s learning and gain the most from homeschooling.