Thursday, September 27, 2012

To Help Homeschooling, I Changed Some of My Routines This Fall

In order to give myself more time working 1:1 with each of my kids I have changed some of my daily habits and routines. Some of these are things that may distract me and derail me from getting to the actual homeschooling. Perhaps some of these ideas will help you free up your time during the day to focus on 1:1 lessons with your kids.

1. I quit drinking coffee in May. I used to check Facebook and Twitter while drinking my coffee before doing anything else, while I woke up. This fall I still am not drinking coffee and I stopped checking Facebook and Twitter in the morning. Actually I have much less time for Facebook and Twitter and mainly peek in on them via the iPhone or iPad in downtimes during the day instead of sitting down at the PC for longer scans.

2. I stopped checking email on my PC first thing in the morning. That would lead me to clicking off to other sites to read articles or blog posts or other things. Using my iPhone or iPad in small downtime slots during the day I skim and delete emails. For example if my son is doing grammar and I just helped him and have a few minutes free until he asks me something else I will look at email on the iPhone or iPad.

3. I download previously non-deleted email onto the PC in the evening and respond to emails that need longer responses (which I loathe doing on the iPhone). Also in this time I have started to unsubscribe to more company's emails such as sales promotions, so less email finds it way to my phone.

4. The snail mail is picked up in the evening before or after dinner. Mail is gone through at night not during the day.

5. Phone calls and appointment making calls that I have to make are made after the kids are at sports practice when I am home alone, they are not during the homeschool day. The same goes for me phoning my relatives back East to say hello.

6. Since the kids are so busy with homeschool lessons and since their sports practice time has increased I have started helping by doing the laundry. I do this in the evening or on weekends mainly. If I sneak loads in during the school day I never let the folding and putting away part of the task interfere with homeschool lessons.

7. I screen calls and do not answer most calls during the school day time. Since moving we are getting a ton of new telemarketing calls. All my homeschool mom friends are busy also so I rarely call them to chat in our busy times unless I'm desperate to talk about something and then I ask them if they can spare the time.

8. I have stopped house cleaning during the day except for little things here and there such as emptying the dishwasher while something is being heated on the stove. I clean the kitchen while working in the kitchen as I am doing other tasks, mainly at dinner prep time when the kids are at sports practice. My husband usually picks the kids up from practice on his way home from work leaving me to have some free time for the gym or dinner prep or both at that time of the day.

9. I am trying to go to bed earlier and unwinding by reading in bed and watching some light entertainment on TV in the bedroom. Our old routine of watching a TV show as a family before bed has ended this year. The kids are busy doing independent school work at night and their new longer sport practice time has shortened their evening. They also need a lot of sleep due to being tired from sports and due to puberty so I am trying to get them to bed earlier. I am trying to have both my kids and myself not be exhausted when the alarm goes off to wake us for the morning outside classes. On days when we are home doing lessons I set an alarm for 8 o'clock so we don't oversleep. I usually am up before that. I will probably get up earlier once my anemia problem is resolved but right now per doctor's orders I need to try to sleep 8-9 hours ever night.

10. As of next week, I hired a housecleaner for twice a month house cleanings. We will see if that works out. I have already tried two services but they both were terrible and were expensive to boot, so I fired them. I hope this company works out, they swear they will not do the shortcut things the other companies did and they are half the price as well. I have not been able to handle doing the big stuff, I'm too tired from the anemia which is not yet resolved. Formerly my kids helped do house cleaning but honestly they have no time this year due to academics and sports.

11. I have stopped blogging or doing anything blog related in the morning before homeschooling starts. (Except today which was a mistake.) I let myself skip a day of blogging here and there if I'm too busy or stressed out. I try to set my blog to publish ahead of time but I have not always had time or have beeen too tired to sit and pre-write the posts.

12. Both of my kids now do homeschooling work in evenings and on weekends as they just cannot finish up during the day or they procrastinate. This means I am doing some homeschooling in evenings or on weekends which robs time from doing the things I listed above that I said I planned to do in those times. We are not in a more ideal groove yet. I would like to protect some of my time as sacred not-homeschooling time in order to not be exhausted and to not burn out of homeschooling.


nwunderlich said...

I really understand your rules. As we have been inserting more and more stuff into our day, I've had to change my routine too. It is really hard to make the changes, but you seem to have a good list of changes.

I'm going to take your approach and make a list of changes I want to make too.

Mary said...

I have been giving "Saturday School" warnings. I figure if the time allotted for school is getting wasted, then they will have to "lose" some of their allotted playtime.

Bethany Ferret said...

It's amazing how much time Facebook and coffee really eat up and people don't even notice. I've found that if I avoid the computer first thing in the morning, I tend to be more alert, have an easier time waking up, and am more attentive to my kids.