Time Management Tips For Homeschoolers
Nov 7, 2009 Tutoring/Home School 1945 Views
How often have you wished for a few extra hours in the day in order to manage your homeschooling lifestyle? The day won't get any longer, but you can get stronger in your ability to deal effectively with each day. I've included some time management tips that can get you back on track in your daily life. In fact, in my opinion the most important question that you can ask yourself everyday in order to manage time is "What do I need (to do) right now?"
To ask yourself this question doesn't make you needy, it makes you aware of what is truly important and reflective of your purposeful goals in a given moment. The "to do" is in parentheses because sometimes the most important need you have is not to take action but to wait, pray, meditate, or simply relax into a state of beingness rather than doingness.
These tips are organized in a DO and DON'T format but please be aware that you will have your own management style that feels best and most empowering to you. So your first step is to become aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies in regards to how you perceive time. The more self aware you are of your perceptions about time, then the more able you are to efficiently use your strengths and to effectively discipline your weaknesses.
1. DO PRIORITIZE YOUR DAY: For those of us who like daily to do lists, I recommend that you create a list of no more than ten important items to accomplish for the day. Any more than that will be cause for frustration when unforseen events happen to make havoc with your sense of accomplishment. On days like these, feel grateful if two of your important items have been accomplished. Real detail folks will have master plans, monthly plans, and weekly plans along with these daily plans but remember to keep the daily list short and important so that you can avoid a sense of guilt and self blame, which are real time wasters!
The visionary types who like the big picture but not the details should make sure that they actually do complete the two most important daily items. Finally, this list is not just about you. It should reflect what is important in your activities in relationship to your partner, your family, and your world. Yet do make sure the list includes one thing you would enjoy doing for rejuvenation, fun, or a sense of peacefulness.
2. Do Strive For Efficient Action: When you consider the important daily items on your list, reflect on how you can do them more efficiently. I am not talking about frenzied multi-tasking. I am suggesting that you think consciously about how you can make the most efficient use of your time. If you are driving into town, take a moment to remember what you need to bring. If you are going to go shopping, look at your shelves and review what staples you need and decide whether you want to shop for a week's food or just today's. Perhaps you can combine a shopping trip with a trip to the library so the books aren't overdue. Or perhaps you should also reach out to a friend or an older person and pick something up for them as well.
3. DO PREPARE FOR HOMESCHOOLING At least one item on your list will be daily homeschooling. Work to be well prepared so that your teaching can really connect with your child in a creative way and so your child understands and can execute the work of the day in a well ordered way. You can also learn to use some newer tools like the internet more effectively in homeschooling. New internet programs like Lesson Pathways.com can be a real help in allowing you to create well ordered and complete daily lesson plans using the internet.
4. DO Learn To Delegate Household Tasks: Your life will be much simpler and more efficient if you learn to create a rhythm with your children and spouse that includes daily house jobs that are age appropriate. A ten year-old can make her own bed and tidy her bedroom and playroom. She can fold and put away her own laundry as well as have a job like sweeping or mopping the kitchen floor daily. These jobs should be part of a daily rhythm and habit pattern that is as regular as brushing teeth. In our house, the bigger house jobs are done before school time and the tidying up is done before bed. In case anyone forgets their routine, we have a posted list of Happy House Jobs that includes the jobs of every member of the family, including the parents. Mom's list of household jobs should NOT be three times as long as the rest of the family combined!
1. DON'T GIVE FROM AN EMPTY WELL: If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, overcommitted, and fatigued, then you are trying to give from a well that is drained of energy. You need to find ways to recharge your batteries. Being an effective time manager means being aware of how you feel at any given moment. If you aren't feeling alert, productive and at least somewhat centered, then you need to change your to do list to include balance time for yourself. It is so important to find time each day to nurture the nurturer.
2. DON'T CONDEMN YOURSELF: In order to effectively manage your time, you must manage to forgive yourself for all your perceived mismanagement! If you were not well prepared for your homeschooling day, forgive yourself and find ways to prepare more efficiently. If your household reflected more chaos than creativity, look at what didn't work and resolve to do it differently or clean it up. Remember that tomorrow is a new day!
3. Don't Lose your Vision and Goals: You may have days that are challenging, but do not let the perceived burdens of a day cloud your sense of vision and goals for the next day. Try to release those burdens at the end of every day so that you can reconnect to your sense of purpose and allow yourself to be guided by that higher purpose. Remember that even in a day that seems difficult to bear, you only really have to identify what you need to do right now.
In order to manage time effectively, it will help if you remember this list of do's and don'ts. You are going to have your own personal management style which you should honor and within that personal style you can learn to use your strengths more efficiently and work with your weaknesses more effectively. Make sure that each day completes two important items yet also contains some time to nurture the nurturer. Don't waste time on guilt and condemnation but learn from your mistakes and correct them in each new day.
Most importantly, learn to live a life that helps you to truly connect with your highest goals and helps identify what you need (to do) right now. As you accomplish this, your efficiency and your joy in each day will grow.