Updated: Jan 7
Do you ever just have one of those days? You know the ones, where the time wasters seem to consume you and eat up your whole day? With today's modern technology it's easy for them to sneak into your life and slowly take over. The question is, do you know how to spot them?
Ways You May Be Wasting Time In Your Homeschool Day
Holy time waster, Batman! Did I really get sucked into Facebook for an hour? Yes, yes I did. Let’s not forget the Pinterest recipe debacle of October. You know, where I spent hours pinning recipes, only to order a pizza for dinner almost every night because I totally wasted time on Pinterest. I hope I’m not the only one this happens to. Social media can easily draw you into a maelstrom of news, recipes, and cute cat videos. I have found that scheduling social media time for myself and then turning off my phone or laptop helps tremendously. Plus, I can be more present with my children if I’m not checking every notification that dings my way.
Trying To Do It All On Your Own
Chores and Errands are a part of adult life not the most fun part but essential anyways. When you homeschool you are adding more to an often overflowing plate. There just aren't enough hours in the day and things are going to slip. Deciding which chores are essential to do each day will help ease some stress. Your children, even toddlers are old enough to help, be sure to delegate some of the responsibilities to them. They live in the house and are often the reason it needs cleaned there is no reason for them not to pitch in. Don't feel guilty about this, you are teaching them life skills. A bonus to that is it counts towards homeschool hours. As a parent and as a homeschool teacher, I have had to let go of my high expectations of perfection. You will not be able to do it all, and that's okay. It’s just not gonna happen. You have plenty of time for your house to look like a magazine ad once the kids grow up and leave the house.
Not Planning Your Day
While spontaneity is fun and has its place, a schedule is key when it comes to teaching little people. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Preparing for your day needs to include at least a general idea of what needs to be accomplished, if not a full schedule. This also includes having all the needed items on hand when the projects are supposed to start. For our homeschool, that means having extra books to go along with the interests of the children and with the unit studies so we have a broader scope of all that happened. It also means having STEM and art projects to do that inspire them and get those critical thinking skills flowing. I always plan critical thinking games both independent and ones they can complete together for quick brain breaks from the books and when I need to get a few chores done. Without at least a basic plan we will often jump around sporadically not always having things when we need them, not finishing items because of time constraints or forgetting items all together
Saying YES to Too Much
If you’re like me, then you want to do All The Things. I mean that is one of the reasons we chose to homeschool right, all of these amazing opportunities. We often feel like we need to say yes to everything that comes our way. We suffer from the fear of missing out. Guess what? When you say yes all the time, you don’t leave space in your life for the really important things. Things like having a meaningful conversation with your kiddo about stuff that is important to them or taking a moment just to breathe and enjoy the moment, these are far more important than taking on yet another task. It’s okay to say no.
Ways You Definitely Don't Waste Time in Your Homeschool Day
I have found that quality time with my children is always time well spent. That’s because one component of homeschooling is all about building relationships with our children. Don’t just take my word for it. I've talked with many veteran homeschooling moms and asked them to name something that they never regretted doing, and here are their responses.
Letting Your Child’s Interests Take the Lead
Exploring your child’s interests is a beautiful and rewarding way for them to learn. You may choose to weave them into your regular homeschool days or pick a specific day for exploring interests such as your Fun Friday lesson. You might even let their interests guide your homeschooling completely. When children want to learn something, they will absorb every bit of knowledge they can on the subject like a sponge. Whichever you choose, you will come to realize your child’s interests will be as vast as they are diverse, and following their interests is never a waste of time. You will even be surprised what you can learn along the way.
Outdoor play is a great way to get kids moving and make them think. It can also reduce stress and improve moods. There are a variety of adventures that can only take place outside. Taking nature walks and hikes or just going to the playground are wonderful ways to spend time with your children. Another option is to take the classroom outside. On nice days invest in some clipboards or a nice lap desk and spend the day doing school work outside. The fresh air will do all of you good and is a fun treat to look forward to.
Family Read Aloud Time
Snuggling with your children on the couch and reading a fabulous book is a fantastic way to strengthen relationships and make connections with your children. Older kids and teens still benefit from being read too. Sometimes it may seem like they aren’t listening, but you should read aloud to them anyway. They are absorbing much more than it seems. It is a fabulous way to start or end your day. A chance to relax and enjoy something all together without screens.
Do What Works For You And Your Family
I don’t know about you, but it took me a while to realize that my children are going to learn in their own time and in their own unique ways. You can spend weeks struggling to teach your child their ABC’s, or you can take five minutes and teach them when they are ready using a method that works for them. Children learn in very different ways. Finding what works for your kids and building around it is the key to far fewer headaches. There will always be headaches lol. You will not regret taking the time to learn the type of learners your kids are and creating their curriculum around them.
Time management is a tough skill to master in your homeschool no matter your plans, methods or philosophies. At the end of the day, you must choose how to spend your time. Will you wish you had spent an extra hour on Social Media or cleaning your house until it looks as if it isn't lived in? Or will you wish that you had read one more page, pursuing your child’s interests or outside letting the world be your classroom? How can you work towards not wasting time in your homeschool day?
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