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The Importance of Organization
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Have you ever felt like there is so much to do and so little time? That can easily happen to us, homeschool moms and dads. We try to school our children while we still run the household, and it can feel very chaotic at times. One of the best ways to combat this is through planning and organization. A productive homeschool day takes planning. I'm going to share with you some tips and tools I use to plan and organize, and maybe they will be helpful to you.

We usually take a couple of months off during the summer to relax, regroup, and refresh. During this time, I evaluate our past year (what worked and what didn't) and plan out our new school year. We use BJU Press Homeschool curriculum, so most of our subjects are set up for 160-180 days. I take my calendar and work backward. We like to be done around the first of May, so we have a few weeks before the public schools let out and before it gets so hot (we live in FL).

That means we start earlier. 180 days end up being 36 weeks, but we plan a few weeks for holidays and vacations, so I usually figure a total of 40 weeks. That gives us plenty of time for vacation days throughout the year. From there, I begin to pencil in my calendar with what lessons will be done each week. On the Sunday block, I will write "Lessons 1-5", then the next Sunday block "Lessons 6-10".

It is very simple, and I just make sure to break for any vacations, holidays, or other days we want to take off. This schedule will always change as we go through the year, but it gives me an idea of how far I want to be in the curriculum at a given time. So, that is my first step – my school year calendar.

Next, I move on to our weekly schedule. I do this each week, or possibly two weeks at a time, but usually not more than that because things change. We may go quicker or slower than I thought, or we may need to take time off here or there for appointments, so if I get too far ahead it can get way off track.

This schedule has exactly what we are covering during the week, and I write it in a way that my children can follow and know just what they need to do in each subject. If you are using the BJU Press Homeschool video courses, you can use the video lesson guide to help you make a schedule.

In their textbooks and workbooks, I use bookmarks to keep their pages marked so they can easily find the next lesson. That way, they can work more independently.

The last thing I do is our school day schedule. This shows my children what subjects they will have at what time. I also include breaks and snacks in there. This is useful to me to make sure I have set aside individual time for each of them.

I use the BJU Press Homeschool DVDs for two subjects, so while one child is being taught by the teacher on the video, the other sits with me and has my complete, undivided attention for the other subjects. Then we switch. This has made learning much easier for both of them because they have different learning styles and needs.

I can explain concepts to them in whatever way works best for them individually. The schedule doesn't always get followed to a T every day, but it gives us a guideline. Our day typically starts at 8:30. If we start the morning on time, then the rest of the day falls into place so much easier. If not, it seems like it takes longer for my children to get focused on school.

Once your days are organized, your homeschool journey will be much smoother. You can even begin to foster independence and help your children feel a little more in charge of their school day. Even though it takes some time, the reduction in chaos and stress makes it well worth it.

Meet the Author

Heather Spencer - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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