In approximately 33 days, I start my homeschool. Which, as my pastor’s wife puts it, “is like a full-time job on top of another full time job”. ( I don’t know what she was complaining about. She only has six.)
Now, I’m a little nervous this year. And I’ve got three good reasons for nervousness.
1) This year we’re adding the Penguin to the “School Kids”. He gets a kindergarteny type school day. (My son, who is four, refers to himself in the third person, as “Peep the Penguin” and waddles around the house.) The Penguin, besides being quite imaginative, is also bright and taught himself to read this spring. I told him to wait until September, but he didn’t listen to me. As usual.
2) I’m also using three brand new curricula that I’ve never used before.
3) I also plan, after teaching all morning, to keep up the house, cook, fold my 2 loads of laundry, run on the treadmill and blog, write more curriculum and sculpt a novel.
My strategic plan of attack for this endeavor, is very technical and two fold. It is to “walk in grace” and “go slowly”.
So you can see why I’m a little nervous.
I think it can be done. My plan now, weeks before D-Day, is to think about where pockets of time can be salvaged. I’m calling it the “Latte Factor” of time management.
So, this is what I’m asking myself:
1. What areas of my household can be decluttered, reorganized or purged now, so that life is easier in the future? (Like Susanne’s laundry room.)
2. What daily (or weekly) events are so structured, that I can multi-task during them? (Like putting myself on the treadmill during my children’s favorite TV show.)
3. Do I have any “projects” that are lingering around waiting to be dealt with? Can I do them now? Can I discard them and do without the guilt?
4. Could I encourage my family to develop any productive habits that they could begin now, and have in place by the time school starts? (Like adding another chore to the list or getting up at the same time daily?)
5. Can I do my back to school shopping, appointments, registrations or whatever now, instead of the last week of August?
6. Do I need to assemble any paperwork or documentation for school? Can it be done now, instead of the last week of August?
7. Can I objectively evaluate my weaknesses from last year? Can I pinpoint what went not-so-smoothly? Are there practical changes that I can make now that will give me advantage later? (Like getting up a half hour before your family, planning meals, or assigning daily cleaning tasks?)
8. Am I prepared for any changes that might happen to my family this year? (Small ones, like dropping a nap? Or big ones, like Gramma moving in?)
Believe me, I am not an expert in this. I’m plodding through like everybody else.
What I do know is that a well-run household takes forethought. I must work hard to do all of my jobs well.
I’d like to encourage you to think through these questions and tell me if you stumble across something that works, or if you have more questions to add.
There is no reason to be nervous.
Walk in Grace. Go Slowly.
You can do it.