I enjoy being organized. I love a clean and neat house. I like to find something when I need it. With those characteristics, you would think that I would easily have my homeschool organized to the hilt. NOT SO! With one student in high school, and 5 in elementary school even with my good intentions our homeschool can fall into chaos quick. I have found that I do need to have a plan in place, the room organized (so we can find our books when we need them), goals, objectives, and a calendar. We tend to get back on task and back to work easier when we know what we are supposed to be doing throughout the day. Here are a few of my basic “go to” organizational tactics.
Make Long Range Plans
Review your child’s achievement. Determine if there are any weaknesses, then make objectives that include addressing these weakness with solutions. Write down your objectives, and then at the end of the year go back and revisit them and make comments on how you have met or not met each particular objective. Make a specific list of your high school objectives and revisit them frequently throughout the year.
Make a Weekly Plan
I did this for the first time this year. Every other year, I had made daily plans and then just applied my one daily plan to each day of the week. This year, we have switched it up, we don’t do the same thing each day, and each of our days are a different schedule. It has been different, but so far it is working well for us.
Establish Homeschool Rules
Every home – – and therefore every homeschool – – has set rules that it operates by. What time do you start? When do you eat lunch? Do you school in the same place? Do you answer the phone? A huge time saver for me is to NOT answer the phone. As a pastor’s wife and part of a big family I would never get any schooling accomplished if I answered the phone. I do keep my cell phone with me, and look at the texts, voicemails, or emails during the day without interrupting our flow.
Allow Students To Establish Their Own Schedule and Goals
Language arts is one of those subjects that you can allow your child to determine which portion they would like to do and when. I give preferences such as “I want you to do spelling everyday.” They then can put it into their schedule when they see fit. We started this as well this year, and with each child having their own schedule of what must be done for each day it has given them all efficient goals to keep them on task. You can even have them check off their accomplishments as they go. I have found that I have to follow up on them with this. Even with my high school student, I need to check to make sure that assignments are completed on time.
This is a must for the busy mom. Truly I would be lost without my organizer. I keep my calendar, important addresses, phone numbers, and even our school schedule in my organizer . I also have places for lists like grocery lists and even to do lists. Which brings me to another thought, make a to do list for each day. Just like I mentioned giving your children a schedule or list of what they need to do each day makes them more efficient – it also makes mom more efficient. Use your organizer to keep track of meals and even cleaning schedules, but don’t get one of those organizers that take a Ph.D. to understand. A simple small notebook will work wonders. My favorites are the ones you find in back-to-school sales. They are typically calendars set up around school terms from August to May, have address sections and even a blank notes section.(I must admit, I have recently switched to using an ipad, though – and I love it!)
Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been an education professor for over 17 years. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 9-15) in a sweet tea sippin’, wrap around porch sittin’, sweet southern Georgia town. Jamie is also a contributing author at Online Education for Kids and MomSCHOOL