Moms are busy – that’s the narrative society feeds us. I’m going to have to say, every human is busy, and we all only have 24 hours in a day. Your CHOICES about what you think and feel about your tasks create the overwhelm we so commonly label moms with. These time-saving homeschool hacks will help you use your 24 hours efficiently.
Take control of your week with these time saving homeschool hacks:
Pre-plan your clothes
(and if you have little ones that can’t do this themselves, do theirs too.)
When I was working outside the home, I spent no more than 10 minutes on Sunday reviewing my calendar and planning my outfits. I grouped them to the rightmost position in my closet and – bam, easy mornings. No more standing there in a sea of indecision.
As a work from home mom (yes, running a homeschool is your job 🙂 – you can use this time-saving homeschool hack to save time as well. Decide to spend 10 minutes and prep what you will wear. If your t-shirts are in a drawer, just hang them when you clothes prep. The kids can do this too. Check the calendar for park days, dentist appointments, or field trips so the outfits are aligned with the week!
Begin enforcing “Quiet Time”
Quiet time in our home was from 1:00 pm -3:00 pm each afternoon (weekends too if we were home). During Quiet Time all children (regardless of age) went to their room or designated area to engage in a nap (if age appropriate), reading, or quiet study (middle and high school).
This time-saving homeschool hack gives you 2 hours of uninterrupted time each day to complete tasks, run a business, prep for lessons, start dinner, etc. You should decide exactly what you want to accomplish during this time with the next tip.
Pick 3 Tasks
Each day should always be guided by the top 3 things that need to be completed. We tend to make our to-do lists 365 days long and expect to get it ALL done in one day. By focusing on just 3 tasks, we break things down into a more manageable plan. You can jot them down ahead of time (like after you prep your clothes for the week) or jot them down each morning.
I leave a blank calendar by my work area for my top three. I just write them in the calendar square. Quiet time is the perfect opportunity to get something (or everything) from your top three done.
A variation on this time-saving homeschool hack is to have one morning task, one “quiet time” task, and one evening task.
You are always welcome to complete additional *bonus* tasks as time permits.
Set a timer
My favorite time-saving homeschool hack is using a timer! It’s really easy. First, decide how long you are going to work on a task, set the timer, and stick to the time you agreed upon. You must feel good about the choice. As humans, we are notoriously inept at judging how long tasks take, and, raise your hand, if every squirrel 🐿️ (living and virtual) distracts you! When faced with a deadline, your brain is more inclined to focus and Get-er-done!
If you don’t finish in the time you allotted, add the item to tomorrow’s top 3 and move on to the next item. Finishing isn’t a *goal*, being purposefully productive is. For every task you finish, something is waiting to take its place. When we only focus on the finish line, we set ourselves up for disappointment. When we *kill it* during that 15-minute laundry folding marathon, that’s a celebration.
Take Regular days off
Anyday of the week can be your day off. Use what works best for your family. Now what “off” actually means can vary on so many things, and yes you’ll have to do some *catch-up* the next day – but this is your Oxygen Mask on the airplane. Put it on FIRST – before life spirals out of control.
My husband gets a day off too. (A different day from mine of course) I don’t ask him to fix anything, watch the kids while I shower, or run to the store because I forgot the milk. He gets to choose his activities (or to sit in his chair, lol). Once a month, Is a joint day off and it’s our date day. Many times when the kids were younger this day was the whole family going on a field trip. Other times we did drop them off with a sitter. Taking a day off is life-changing.
Plan with intention
This next time-saving homeschool hack is all about batching. When you sit down to map out lessons, give yourself the biggest chunk of time you can. Keep your momentum going so you don’t lose your place getting up, then returning to the task. This means you have to figure out where you left off, and that’s a big time waster!
Begin with a wide-angle view of everything that is going on next month. This will also help you plan efficiently. Look for days better suited for field trips based on the public school schedule or the other tasks you have. Getting out of the house too many days in a row can impact well-established routines, so putting 3 field trips in one week *might* occur occasionally, but if it has a negative impact overall, spread them out. Be aware of holidays, birthdays, and other events you want to include in your lessons.
After you have your wide-angle view, then narrow it down to weekly. Consider what craft supplies you have on hand and which you’d need to go get (or order). Make sure you have plenty of time or chose a substitute activity.
This works with dinner too. Map out meals on your calendar for a month, looking at when the kids have practice, your day off, and times you’ll be out on a field trip. Make your grocery list based on each meal AFTER evaluating the ingredients you have on hand.
There are tons of resources for batch cooking and meal prepping out there. This version takes your school schedule into consideration. If making dinner is one of your 3 daily tasks, then so it is. Do not overload your schedule with *other* tasks if you need to stick to the basics at first!
Your job as a homeschool teacher and mom do overlap in unique ways. However, it doesn’t have to be double work.
Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling for time-saving homeschool hacks!
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I can’t wait to share my homeschool expertise and mindset-shifting superpowers with you each edition of THE BUZZ. We’ll also chat about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.
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