August heralds the start of a new school year for most homeschooling moms. While your focus has necessarily been researching and choosing school books, there are two other practical foundations that play a major role in how successful your school year turns out to be.
Those stabilizing pillars are a solid schedule and chore system. Without these, you both fritter and waste time that is critical to keeping up with school. You bog yourself down in daily household upkeep rather than having big chunks of time for education.
The homeschool mom doesn’t have the luxury of starting through her day one task at a time, hoping it all gets done. She needs to hit the floor, knowing what should happen and when, not only for herself but for her children as well. With a plan, she can be as efficient as possible – with time and chores. She is no longer simply cook, housekeeper, and laundress, but also school teacher. That is a full-time job added on to another full-time job.
Some try to muddle through without a schedule and chore system, but they are usually the first to say that it is truly a muddle. I believe that the schedule and chore system is the undergirding to a powerful and satisfying homeschool year and well worth the investment in them on the front end.
“Schedule” may be an intimidating word and thought to you. It might bring back memories of your experience in public school with bells ringing and tardiness noted. Be assured that the homeschool schedule isn’t as rigid as that, but a written plan that is followed setting aside time for the vital parts of your day.
If you don’t write your plan down but try to keep it in your head, it easily gets lost in all the other things you store in your mind. Paper and pencil or a computer – either works for documenting a schedule.
You could be surprised at how quickly making a schedule goes. Just sit down to the task and begin putting the various pieces in place. You are probably living a schedule already for bedtime, wake-up time, and mealtime. Write that down on your schedule. Next fill in personal Bible time, chores, and the details of school. Then see what time is available to plug in extras. Simple!
The Chore Plan
As a homeschool mom, you won’t have time for as many housekeeping chores as the stay-at-home mom whose children are in school. Plus it is critical that you have as much help as possible from your children. That means being purposeful, efficient, and delegating. A chore plan is your tool toward those goals.
To simplify your chore planning start by documenting what is already happening in your home as far as chore assignments. After that, figure out what other chores your children are capable of doing and assign them. Write it all down so that everyone knows what is expected of them and give chores particular spots in your schedule. Set standards for the chore work. Figure out consequences for not doing the work or not doing it to the standard. Don’t forget to inspect the chores.
Starting with the End in Mind
Finishing a homeschool year having accomplished what you set out to do is extremely satisfying. Reaching summer with books unfinished is disappointing and discouraging. A schedule and chore plan will facilitate your homeschooling success. The effort you put into a schedule and chore system before you begin your school year pays off. You are likely to reach the end of the school year having achieved your academic goals. Make it your priority now!