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Wednesday December 6th 2017

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Homeschooling: Give Your Schedule a Spring Cleaning!

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Homeschooling: Give Your Schedule a Spring Cleaning!

By Linda Dobson

homeschoolingWhat could be better than finding more room in a closet after a spring cleaning. If you’re like many homeschooling parents, you just might say finding more time in your day! Let’s see how a homeschooling family who went before you learned to stretch the clock and save gas money, too.

Spend a few weeks watching where your time goes. If you’re the kind of person who can keep track of the hours with pencil and paper, so much the better. This exercise usually highlights at least a small portion of time you could put to better use. Consider also your “extracurricular activities,” whether directly related to homeschooling or not, and gauge their relative importance to your goal of helping your child succeed educationally and in life. Many of us today are overextended to the point where we’ve forgotten that “charity begins at home.” Because your child is only young once and ever so briefly (believe me, I know!), perhaps some of your commitments can wait until your child doesn’t require as much of your time and attention.

Taking a Few Hours Can Save Even More for Homeschooling

Homeschooling parent Melissa Conrad began to question how much time she spent cruising her Elizabeth City, North Carolina neighborhood, taking her four children to various activities. When she calculated she was well on the way to putting 75,000 miles on her car that year, she knew something had to change.

┬áSee also Homeschooling Doesn’t Take Time, It Makes Time

“We sat down that night as a family for an interesting homeschooling lesson with everyone’s schedules, one copy of a map of our local area for every day of the week, and pencil and paper,” says Melissa, “and went to work mapping our daily travels. Using this information, we created ‘an ideal schedule’ by grouping activities by geographic location and time. Then I called to change the day or time of every activity on our schedule that could be changed, moving as close to that ideal schedule as possible. We mapped out the new schedules, a wonderfully educational experience in and of itself. Not only did we discover we’d cut the weekly mileage almost in half,” Melissa reports, “the schedule now puts me near the grocery store at a time when I only have the two young children with me, allowing me to give them the same time and attention for ‘grocery store math’ and other learning experiences as the two older children received. I was amazed at how much time this exercise save me.”

Help for Your Homeschooling Schedule

If you’re still unable to find a few more minutes per day or hours per week on your own, scour your library’s shelves for books on time management. Popular titles include Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern and The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now by Rita Emmett.

As the authors of both of these books explain, the point isn’t to turn your home into an army boot camp, but rather to apply time-management principles to your unique life.

Do you have some time management/time saving tips that help you? If so, please share them in the comments area!
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