Homeschooling is so much more than just teaching the 3 R’s…

Heads-up to you incidental homeschoolers – today there’s a LOT in here that you, too, can find helpful. So read on – even if the plan is for the kids to go “back to school” in the fall…

As most homeschoolers can attest, it’s a way of life! Today I’ll be talking less about the “how to homeschool” issue and more about the “how to keep the home running while you school” issue. This is especially challenging for those with little ones underfoot! I vividly remember the days of having both teens and toddlers around, and having to juggle between driving to activities, managing pre-schoolers, actual teaching, and trying to keep up with meals and laundry!

Heck, even with no little ones to blame it on these days, life is just sometimes too busy and rushed and, well, full, to allow me to be the domestic diva I once was dreamed about!

And we all know that when the home fires aren’t being attended to, our home education efforts suffer as well…

Maybe you’re in a similar situation now?

Here are 5 home-related areas to take control over to help you run a successful homeschool!

Along with the tools to do so…

1 – Feeding your crew: meal planning/shopping/preparing

Doesn’t it seem that no matter HOW old your kids are, or how many you have, somebody is always hungry? And, at least for many of us, it’s just pretty stinkin’ hard to plan well enough so that “time to start supper” wasn’t 2 hours ago, or in the middle of a science experiment, or during play practice, or some such other inconvenient time!  And don’t even get me started on keeping the pantry stocked, and what it costs!! Aargh! Last fall I went through a 10-week course offered by Erin Chase of $5 Dollar Dinners that helped me tremendously…and it can help you, too! My big takeaway was this: I can always learn more about saving money on groceries in order to make meals my family will eat! Click To TweetSaving money will enable me to keep the pantry stocked and plan ahead. That same planning is crucial to feeding my crew healthy meals while sticking to a budget. See how it all works together? With those loads off my mind, it’s much easier to focus on the important: my kiddos and the present moment <3! Read my review of the program here.

Bonus tip: How would you like a guide created by a professional dietician (who’s also a mom!) that combines meal planning with nutrition education and is designed to use with kids/teens? Yup, it exists! And, it’s guaranteed to help you get the kids in the kitchen (and I don’t mean in your way…), working and learning together as a family 🙂 

2 – Maintaining your surroundings

Is it just me, or do you have a hard time working amid the clutter, too? I find it a real struggle to get anything productive done – let alone school – when there’s stuff all over the place! Who hasn’t woken up to piles of clothes in your own bedroom (or maybe on the couch or in the kids’ rooms…) and thought “Geez, I have GOT to get to that laundry today!” (And if you haven’t, would you please let me know how you do it?! We’ll be BFFs forever…) Enlisting the help of the kiddos is, of course, important for many reasons, and yet keeping track of who-does-what is sometimes its own chore! I’ve always been a fan of the printed schedule, but since so many of us are plugged-in these days, check out some suggestions I made for using technology to organize household chores here.

Bonus tip: through today only, Build Your Bundle has materials to help you get the kids involved this summer so this doesn’t have to be “an issue” ever again! Check out my YouTube video on the wishlist I created to conquer this lil’ monster…

Read on for manageably-sized solutions to common challenges we all face at home that can sabotage even the most-seasoned homeschooler!

Pin this post for sharing and future reference…

3 – Classes and lessons and activities, oh my!

What a challenge it is to keep all the schedules we have, isn’t it? I mean, even if you have little ones, you may have a co-op class or two, and when you add in the older ones, with lessons, sports, drama, volunteer commitments, online classes, etc well, it can be a little hard to keep it all together sometimes. I’ve finally crossed the line and gone online, syncing my planner with my smartphone and Gmail calendar. Read my review here of Homeschool Planet, and how that tool can help YOU move into the 21st century to stay on top of your schedule!

Bonus tip: The wishlist I created has not one but TWO planners (one is for the “unorganized mom!” lol) to help you stay on top of things. Listen, even if you’re a “temporary homeschooler,” don’t you want to make the best of the time you do have with everyone at home? Check out the wishlist here.

4 – Building and strengthening your relationships

It’s really important to remember that just because we’re doing things together doesn’t mean we’re getting to know each other better. Take any opportunity you can to have a date with your hubby and the kids. Make sure you unplug tech so you can really tune in to each other.When the home fires aren't being attended to, our homeschool suffers, too Click To TweetShare the joy of reading together – cuddle up with the kids and/or read through a good couples devotional together. Exercise together – this can be LOTS of fun if you let it be 😉 Learn what makes each family member open up…and then plan your next move! 

Bonus tip: We may be watching a LOT of cable/Netflix/whatever these days, but how ’bout hosting a good old-fashioned family movie night? The guide I found in the 2020 Edition of the Build Your Bundle curation has a guide with discussion questions for four family-friendly movies. An honest and open discussion – after a great movie that everyone’s enjoyed – is a terrific way to strengthen family relationships. Read more about the discussion guide here.

5 – Handling holidays

I don’t know about you, but holidays have usually been a part of our homeschool learning experience, especially when the kids are younger and are absolute sponges for that kind of thing! So it just naturally follows, then, that anything you can do to take out the stress and strain will help you not only be a better person to be around but also enable you to find and take advantage of those teaching moments! From Christmas to summer vacay to Biblical holidays (just some examples from our own homeschool life), you, too, can make holidays a rich learning time when you create a plan to handle the holidays.

Bonus tip: Yeah, the holidays are a SUPER time to make use of one of those planners… Just sayin’!

If you’re looking for more inspiration…

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Homeschooling high school? You can DO this, momma!

I hope you found this a fun way of getting manageably-sized solutions to pretty big challenges you may be dealing with every day.  Please feel free to leave questions or comments below…

Hopscotch with the iHomeschool Network - January 2016
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s Homeschool Hopscotch. Just click on the hopscotch graphic and find links to a myriad of helpful tips on various other topics contributed by our blogger friends in the iHomeschool Network!

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