Today is the 3rd day of the 2016 5 Days of Homeschool 101 Series from the Schoolhouse Review Crew. The theme for today is Home Management. Specifically, I am going to share my past, present and future ideas for how I tackle home management. Or, maybe I should say how I ATTEMPT to manage our home while doing everything we do.
Specifically, I am going to share my past, present and future ideas for how I tackle home management. Or, maybe I should say how I ATTEMPT to manage our home while doing everything we do.
Home Management ~ Scheduling for Older Kids
First off is how to schedule your day.
Yesterday, I shared how I plan out the homeschool subjects the boys will be doing. However, you still need a game plan for how to fit things into the day.
For my older boys, I want to foster independence. Many of their subjects are shown on a calendar grid for them. However, I am not expecting them to do math at 9 am and then switch to history at 10 am. Rather, they can determine how to best approach their work.
Does it work well?
However, I would rather they stumble and fall now than when they leave the nest. And I have to do a weekly meeting with them to make sure they stay on track.
There are some things which are at a fixed time. Academic Decathlon study groups have a set day and time for my 11th-grade son. My 8th grader will most likely continue music lessons, which we schedule for the same time as one of those AcaDeca study groups to minimize drive time.
Home Management ~ Scheduling for Younger Kids
With my youngest son (1st grade), I am trying to get his work done in the mornings. That way he can play or do independent stuff in the afternoons. And, I then find time to get my own work on the blogs done.
Something I am hoping to get set up for all the boys is modified Workboxing.
With my older boys, it means a weekly checklist sheet for each subject. I have a multi-folder unit where each spot can hold a different subject. Assigned worksheets can be placed with the checklist.
For my youngest son, I am thinking about using hanging file folders instead of the shoe boxes used with my third son several years ago. Some of the work would be done with me. But some can be done independently, especially when I am teaching a science lab class.
Home Management ~ Schedule for Mom
Like many homeschool moms I know, my life is not just caring for the house and teaching the kids.
I have 2 resources being used to help me have focus and not miss appointments.
For a family calendar, I am using the free version of Cozi. You can share the calendar with other family members so everyone is on the same page. I usually enter things via the website version, but love having the app when setting up the appointments.
Each appointment is tagged with who is involved. So, if I have to drive a particular son to activities, the son and I are both tagged. If someone is traveling (work or Scouting weekends), then just the individual(s) involved are tagged. Yet, I can see what’s happening anytime I am on the app or on the website.
For a personal work calendar, I am using a combination of a Google Spreadsheet and The 7 Minute Planner.
The Google Spreadsheet helps me to track upcoming blog work. (I also have one that tracks income that is pending so I can follow up if someone is late paying.)
The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is where I can determine the “must do” activities for the day, track personal connections I am making each day, and keep my log of wellness related activities. Since reviewing this product almost 2 years ago, I have not revisited the goal setting aspect which is woven into the introductory pages. I am thinking a long weekend will have that task revisited.
Home Management ~ Chores
This is a bugaboo issue for us.
We do not live in a small home. Yet, the organization in it is still lacking.
Alaskans are known for building over time. This house is no exception. The frame was built and over time they created the separate living spaces. Sadly, they did not create much storage space.
If I didn’t love having kitchen gadgets that help with meal prep, the kitchen might not be overflowing. And, then there’s the book issue. Homeschool moms know exactly what THAT issue is!
All that to say chores are challenging when there is clutter in each room.
I’m working on having more things exit the house so that there is less clutter. Just about every infant, toddler and preschool item that isn’t being kept for future grandkids has made an exit. I’ve been culling the overflowing bookshelves to give away or sell homeschool items we will never use. Throughout the process, things still need to be cleaned and maintained.
I have embraced using Motivated Moms again. I have the app on my phone which has basics already in it and the ability to add my own tasks. When I purchased the year license earlier this year, they gave me the ebook download for free.
To get the boys more involved with chores, I am thinking I’ll print it out for the fall months and color code tasks with a highlighter. (The image below is the 2014 one from the review, but it is quite similar for 2016.)
I might not always get everything done on the list. However, it is quite satisfying to see check marks for those things that I complete.
Home Management ~ Meal Planning
This is the second bugaboo issue for our house.
My ugly overstuffed kitchen does not always compel this tired mama to get cooking. Yet, the boys still want to eat. And, they typically expect ME to fix it for them.
Meal planning is a MUST to make sure there is food on the table for dinner. (Yeah, my husband isn’t keen on cereal or other ‘breakfast’ foods for this meal.)
We have not embraced a “Monday is chicken, Tuesday is Mexican, Friday is pizza” routine like some families do. Instead, I try to use tools like the slow cooker and pressure cooker to make cooking less of a chore. The slow cooker is definitely our friend on Saturdays as we usually attend Mass that evening. Using the slow cooker allows us to have dinner ready and waiting for our return home.
With a few teens in the house now, I am also assigning some meals to them for preparation. It usually means those are the nights where tacos or spaghetti with meatballs/meat sauce make an appearance. But, sometimes they surprise me with something different.
Home Management ~ Just the Beginning
There you have it…my approach to home management. I shared on similar topics in 5 Tips on How to Save Time for the Busy Mom.
Like other parts of life, this is one area that will not go away anytime soon.
Things may change. Boys grow up and will move out. But, I’ll still have home management to handle.
Look down below to find other Schoolhouse Crew members writing on the topic of curriculum today. If you are a curriculum junkie like me, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to pine over!