Some Sanity-saving Tips for Time Management ( especially for “Crisis” Homeschoolers!)

A little backstory:

Three years ago, I registered my oldest son for kindergarten in the local public school in the spring.

Then, everything changed when my husband trained for and made a career change over the late spring/early summer which ended with a new job an hour away. We were going need to move. But it would take a few months to get into our new place in the new city.

I didn’t like the idea of starting my son in full-time kindergarten in two different schools. So, as my husband’s job situation fell into place in July, we made the decision to temporarily homeschool.

We knew it wouldn’t be forever. We would only homeschool for a year until we got established in a new place.

We knew it was “only kindergarten”. But, at 6, our son was at what our state considered “compulsory age” for school and so I had to really “do school.”

What’s more, I was determined to give him a year of transitional home education that I could feel good about when he started 1st  grade in his new school the next year. 

But, my friends, a month’s notice is not much time to get it together to homeschool.

Neither is a weekend’s notice, which is what many of us have been handed if we are mandated to homeschool our children in the wake of this virus!

I chose to temporarily homeschool three years ago. But now, I am ordered to do it by my state governor.

This ain’t easy, y’all.

And it is hard to focus when there are multiple children, a virus raging, businesses closing, lay-offs looming and “shelters in place” being ordered.

Apocalypse Homeschool: Is there a manual for this!?

All I can say, mama, is stay tough. And pray.

There is so much we can’t control right now. And that is hard to accept.

But we still have some control over how we manage our time in the situation in which we find ourselves.

My main tip for time management: Determine the bare necessities for schoolwork that allow you to feel like you were reasonably productive and build a flexible routine around those things.

In the current crisis, these “bare necessities” may be work provided to your child by his or her school. My boys have a binder with work partitioned by sections to complete each day.

Maybe you haven’t been given many resources by your school and have to come up with some or all of it.

Here are the “bare necessities” of schoolwork EACH DAY that worked for us during our last temporary homeschool experience:

  • Hit the 3 classic R’s (reading, writing, ‘rithmetic)
  • Hit one humanities or health/safety subject with some art/music in the mix (or two, but ONLY if it’s a good day!)
  • Go outside and run off as much energy as possible (aka “homeschool gym”) at least once

To break this down into a routine:

Before lunch:

  1.  One math page and/or short math lesson
  2. One handwriting and/or educational activity page
  3. spelling and/or grammar lesson

Eat Lunch. I unload and reload the dishwasher while everyone runs around outside.

After lunch/ “recess”:

  1. Do a reading lesson (and/or have read aloud or private reading time).
  2. End the day with a science, history, safety, health, art or music lesson.  (Rotate subjects)

For that last part, even better is to learn about science, history, safety or health THROUGH art or music.

A little creative project keeps everyone productive without “worksheeting” everyone to death.

It doesn’t have to be hard. You can sketch animals, plants or other biological things as part of a simple science lesson.

Or maybe learn to draw historical figures or events as part of a simple history lesson (tutorials abound online for such things!)

You might be surprised how much you like to draw and/or color too, if you can join in for a few minutes.

 

And that’s it!

3 Classic R’s. One humanities subject. Run around.

Read Together. Mix in some creativity.

Keep it simple. And take deep breaths. One task, one subject, one day at a time is all we can do.

My friends, we may not be trained as teachers, but, we can educate our children—even in a crisis!

Just surround each subject with love so that if our kids see that we are trying, hopefully they will try, too! (Or at least try to drive us a little LESS crazy!)