What To Do When Time Management Is A Homeschool Struggle–Part 4 of blog & Periscope series on Overcoming Homeschool Struggles. For a list of related blog posts, please scroll down. Thanks for reading & I pray these posts help all homeschoolers unite to overcome homeschool struggles.
“Where does the time go?”
“There is never enough time to do everything that I need to do in a day!”
“My wish-for more hours in the day!”
“I don’t know how our homeschool day should run. When should we start? When should we finish? Should we have a strict schedule? How many hours should we do homeschool each day?”
Are you guilty of every uttering these common pleas for help regarding homeschool time management? I know I am! I have cried out with these-and more-many times.
Homeschoolers are often overwhelmed with lengthy to-do lists that are not realistic for the number of hours in one day. Also, not all homeschoolers effectively use their time (waving hand rapidly back and forth over here!). Additionally, some homeschoolers deal with the questions of how to schedule their homeschool.
There are many amazing resources for suggestions on homeschool schedules. Flexibility, a blessing of homeschooling, can turn into an issue for new (and experienced) homeschoolers who have difficulty determining what works best for their family. I encourage you to follow my Pinterest board on Planning-Homeschool for finding many of these resources on homeschool planning.
I also shared my approach to effective time management (and using planners) over at Planner Squad. You can find free printables there for tracking your daily use of your precious time.
This series, however, is dedicated to helping homeschoolers overcome their struggles by taking a closer look at how their thought processes effect their daily functioning. Let’s now look at these thought patterns and what we can do to transform struggle into homeschool serenity.
Homeschool Time Management Woes
Pause for a moment and consider the last homeschool day you conducted. As you think about this day, look at how your day flowed. Did you have a schedule that you wanted to stick to-and did you? Did you have lessons plans or a check list-and was it all accomplished? If no to either of these questions, how did that feel and what was your response?
If you are like many homeschoolers that I know, not accomplishing everything on our to-do lists, lesson plans, or schedules can cause a high level of discomfort. Our blood pressure may rise or tears fill our eyes. We feel like a failure because we weren’t able to do it all.
Does this sound about right? If so, I am right there with you. I love to check off items on a list-that sense of accomplishment feels wonderful! But, when I am unable to get to everything (which happens more and more as the boys get older), I often start to doubt myself and if I am capable of this responsibility of homeschooling.
I even have days where I just feel like nothing that I had hoped for is getting done. On these days filled with struggle, I just want to throw in the towel in disgust. Why bother? No one is listening/working/helping, etc.
The struggle becomes real and I become upset.
Why Is Time Management A Homeschool Struggle?
We put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves as homeschoolers. We want to do everything and we want the best. We want our kids to have the ideal learning environment. We want perfect homes and meals.
When our dreams of a perfect homeschool day in a perfectly run home crumble, we lose it. When our high expectation for ourselves and our kids don’t measure up, we melt down. When our lesson plan or read-aloud backfires into chaos, we deteriorate.
Many factors contribute to why time management can be a homeschool struggle. Primarily, the reason is how we think about our homeschool. The thoughts that appear (and that we maintain) have a powerful impact upon our life. These cognitive reactions can be immediate-and have an intense influence on how we feel and act.
What To Do When Time Management Is a Struggle
If you struggle with time management issues in your homeschool, consider the following:
- Sit down and record your homeschool goals. Consider the number of kids your are homeschooling, as well as their ages and abilities.
- Do you have a mission statement? Or a vision board? If so, reflect upon it.
- Take a close look at your responsibilities-daily, weekly, and yearly.
- Reality check time! What can you honestly accomplish-and what do you need help with? It is okay to ask for help!
- Based on the above, what are your homeschool priorities? What must you accomplish in a homeschool day?Focus on the basics.
- Give yourself grace. As hard as it might be to accept, it is okay to not get everything done. Tomorrow will come and the opportunity to take on an unaccomplished task will present itself.
- Find other homeschoolers to connect with and get support. Be honest and talk about your time management and other homeschool struggles. Opening that conversation will help you and other homeschoolers. (Check out homeschoolscopes.tv for a fabulous Facebook group of homeschoolers on Periscope. Super encouraging and understanding!)
- Track your time! I offer those free time tracker printables over at Planner Squad. Also, Melanie Wilson wrote a helpful book called The Organized Homeschool Life that provides weekly challenges to guide you in managing your homeschool.
- Journal. Write down your time management concerns. Take a closer look at why you may be feeling-and thinking-the way that you are. We will be looking more at how using a journal can be helpful in overcoming homeschool struggles in future posts and in my upcoming ebook.
I will be discussing this homeschool struggle and more on Periscope. Follow @AmyMilcic for scopes on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 3:30pm ET. I would love for you to join me, and other homeschoolers, as we discuss ways to overcome homeschool struggles together.
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I pray that these posts also help as we overcome homeschool struggles together!