|We all know that there is more in a mother’s week than homeschool. The house must get clean. The family must get fed. The children need to be kept clean and healthy. You might even hold a part-time job for your family. That’s right! You are home manager, chef, teacher, janitor, and primary care for your family. So, how in the world is a mother supposed to balance all of these hats? Though we all have a different style and a different flow to our week, there are 4 basics that we all apply if we are successful:
Though we all have a different style and a different flow to our week, there are 4 basics that we all apply if we are successful:
~ Have a Cleaning Schedule
~Have a School Schedule
~ Have a Meal Plan
~ Back-up Meals
Instituting the above 4 basics makes a huge difference in any home manager’s life. Here are what my schedules and plans look like:
Cleaning Schedule Idea: The house is divided by main areas, upstairs, main floor, basement, outside, and personal cleanliness. Within each area of the house, a person in the family has a set of tasks. These tasks are allotted by age and ability, so youngest members of the family get the easiest jobs and fewer jobs. With jobs like weeding, there is an end goal, so it does not feel like a never-ending, monumental task. During “Chore Time” each day, the same chores are done by the same persons. As children get older, the jobs shift.
Idea: The School Schedule represents the flow of events. There are no specific times given, since school activities can vary greatly in how long they last, depending on attitudes, personalities, sickness, length of the activity itself, and so on. The only set time is the start time 9:00 am for Religion. This means that all chores are finished by 9am! Though there are no scheduled times, the events happen in the same order, creating routine and dependability for the kids.
Accountability to stick to the schedule? In addition to myself having a copy of the schedule, each child (Kindergarten up) has a copy on his or her folder. This gives each child a share in the accountability for sticking to the schedule. What does that mean? Ok, confession. I am a very organized person, BUT….I get derailed very easily with other projects or inspirations. Having my children keep the schedule, know the schedule, and help enforce the schedule gives me accountability toward them. It keeps ME on task!
Moving through the Schedule? With so many little ones in the room, you might wonder how we get everything done without interruption. Well, there is quite a bit of virtue training the first couple of weeks before everyone settles down. Most subjects are done together, so they are easy enough to manage. The quiet activities like Language Arts, Science Journaling, and History reading I save for the afternoon when the younger 3 are napping. This makes reading, writing, math, and phonics the most difficult to manage because ALL the kids are awake. Here is what I do:
Step 1 ~ I first make sure my infant and toddler are busy with Montessori activities and that my oldest two are working on what they are able to do without my help.
Step 2 ~ Then, I move to my Preschooler to do his Letter Book activity, Math, and Alphabet training. My Kindergartener and 1st Grader listen in to the Alphabet drill, since they need the review. Preschooler gets some Montessori activity time now, too.
Step 3 ~ Next, the Kindergartener. He and I do the work for which he needs my assistance and then I assign him the rest of his work to finish and bring to me later.
Step 4 ~ By this time, the older two are finished with their independent work and ready to check in. After checking their work, I give them their new phonics, reading, and math lessons and instruct them to finish.
Step 5 ~ Put Preschooler to work placing already-prepped snacks on a plate, check Kindergartener’s work and give him some free play time.
Step 6 ~ Check older students’ work and give them free play time.
Ready for Snack!
FREE PRINTABLE SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Idea: I keep 40 Recipe cards in an envelope. These recipes represent “hits” that everyone in the family loves. Sunday night I sit down and pick out 6 cards for the week, making sure that types of meat and veggies are varied during the week. In other words, chicken is not served every night. Monday, when I run to the grocery store, I pick up any items I do not already have in the fridge or pantry. Why only 6 cards? Saturday is “Left-Overs” day, which is great because it is our Home Project day.
Freezer or Canned Meals
Whenever I cook soup, I go ahead and triple the amount we need for that meal. The left-over soup is divided into two. One pot for lunch during the week, and the other is canned with a pressure canner for sick days. Whenever I do a casserole, I go ahead and double or triple the recipe, putting the extra casseroles in the freezer for a crazy day or for a friend if she gets ill. We bake our own bread, so I always bake 4 loaves at a time, freeze 2, and eat 2 during the week. This allows me some wiggle-room when weeks are crazy or when we are all sick.
|With all those hats, one could get easily overwhelmed. Thanks to a little organization, there is still time at the end of the day simply to enjoy family, live, and God’s gifts. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48