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Time Management For Homeschooling
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Homeschooling your children offers a wonderful opportunity to take control of your life. That control can sometimes seem to be a two-edged sword, however, when it comes to time management. Making the best use of the precious commodity of time in our homeschool environment can make the difference between feeling at ease and on top of things, and feeling stressed and not in control. This article will give you a few tips to get you started along the path to effective time management, so that you can feel relaxed and in control of your time.

Let’s first talk about manageable boundaries. Instead of distributing different locations and times in which you will conduct your homeschooling efforts, even if you have children of different ages, pick a specific time and a specific location for your homeschooling activities. Also, don’t try to manage all of the tasks all at once. Instead of trying to organize every event or aspect of your homeschool game plan, isolate them into a small set of related tasks and put your emphasis on handling these one at a time. For example, with a little thought you can provide one-on-one attention to one child when the other child is engaged in solitary work, and vice versa.

Create a calendar of events and first focus on the tasks that need to be done daily. These items might be the starting and total amount of time that you want your child to spend on each subject. Next, focus on events that are coming up in the immediate future, which might be things like submitting forms required for statutory homeschool requirements, or tasks that arise with the first few weeks of your homeschool “term”. Lastly, address any events that will come up further along in time, such as testing schedules, field trips, or other planned outings.

It’s very important to use a written schedule. I learned long ago that even very smart people refuse to rely on their memory to keep track of the urgent things they needed to do. The written schedule doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact it should be short and simple. Use this list on a daily basis. Getting in the habit of checking and updating it at the same time every day will reap large rewards in staying on top of important tasks, feeling in control, and not letting anything urgent “fall through the cracks”, so to speak.

In the beginning do some research by recording the time it takes to do the tasks on your list. If you find that certain tasks take too long to be completed in the time you initially estimated, then break up these large tasks into smaller manageable chunks. You can then take two or more periods to complete them. That way, even if a task takes longer than you first thought, you can at least be realistic about when it will be completed, and not have the task negatively affect the entire schedule.

Whether a time-saving technique is learned from a book written by an expert in the field, or is one suggested by a friend, if you can not put it into practice easily, then use another technique. Trying to use a technique that’s not right for you will likely result in the defeat of its time saving benefits and wind up costing you a loss of time in the long run. In other words, be dynamic – you don’t have to cast anything in stone until you know for certain that it works for you.

Some people are just naturally good at time management, while others need to work at getting a handle on it. It you are in the latter group, don’t despair. Every learning curve points upward, so whether you get there quickly or it takes a bit more time, with perseverance you will eventually arrive at your destination. When you get to this point, I’d recommend that you then compose a small notebook of all of the techniques that have worked for you. I’d also recommend sharing your successes with others, such as those of us here in the community at Academic Boot camp Tips. As always, we wish you happy homeschooling.

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