I enjoyed homeschooling my 3 children for 13 years. Every year was different, but each year was a blessing. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life and I treasure the time that we captured together as a family. I learned from others, learned from books, and learned from life experiences.
One lesson that I learned early is that it is worth the effort to be organized! You have a limited amount of time and energy each day. You have many roles—wife, mom, teacher, cook, driver, banker, cleaner, friend, and daughter. During every 24 hours, you will sleep, eat, groom, work, teach, play, read, call, exercise, help, and maybe even relax! Consider using these habits, routines, and products as tools to organize your day:
- ONE CALENDAR—Establish a command center for family information. Record all family activities on one prominently displayed calendar. Everyone needs to know what is going on. Color coding works great to identify each family member’s activities. Set limits that work for you.
- ONE BINDER NOTEBOOK—Designate a one-inch binder per child for the papers you decide to keep. You will not keep it all. Let your child choose the favorite ones at the end of each month. Include a photo. At the end of the year, you have a completed memory book! You will not want to use 5-inch notebooks every year for each child—I started out this way and quickly switched! And no one will look at all of these, except you, at the high school graduation open house. 😊
- ONE SPIRAL NOTEBOOK PER SUBJECT—Make sure to stock up during the summer sales! No more lost papers. Easy size to handle. All papers stay in a logical order. Quick and easy.
- ONE CART OF FILE DRAWERS—The carts with 10 drawers are a great way to organize the books and supplies for each subject. Label the outside of the drawer. It keeps everything together for each student. You can place assignment notes in each drawer if necessary. This helps your child to concentrate on just one subject at a time—and to actually finish the work and put it away! These carts are available at different prices; I found mine at Aldi for $20. Great for teachers too.
- SCHEDULE REAL LIFE ACTIVITIES—Consider scheduling your week to have 1 day of real life experiences and informal field trips. It really helps to have a change of pace and offers motivation to finish other work. Let the children help plan these activities. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY—Such a great resource! Schedule this every week! Tap into the network of libraries in your area. Visit different ones. Encourage curiosity and life-long learning.
- SIMPLE MEALS—Decide your main meals at the beginning of the week. Utilize your pantry, freezer and crock pot. Assign each night a certain theme. Let the children fix easy lunches. Wash and put away dishes every day. Keep the kitchen clean. Let everyone help!
- SIMPLE LAUNDRY—Everyone brings dirty clothes to the laundry room every morning and sorts them into designated baskets which equal about one load. Then you can quickly determine which loads need to be done that day. Do at least one load every day. Fold, hang up, and put away every day. Let everyone help! Reducing the amount of clothes makes this even easier. Or if your children are older, assign laundry days for each one and let them handle this. Another necessary life skill!
- SIMPLE HOUSEKEEPING—Once again, everyone gets to help! Create a rotating chore chart. Do a little bit each day and you won’t have to give up an entire Saturday to get the house in order. Fly-Lady routines will help you get started if you need some ideas.
- PRAY-LOVE-SMILE—Seek wisdom every day, show love every day, enjoy time with your children every day! Keep up the great work!