Another Idea for Homeschool Planning: Loop Scheduling!

Some homeschool days flow just like clockwork and other days unexpected things happen: someone gets hurt, the baby is fussy, a friend calls needing prayer and encouragement. And we end up feeling frustrated and discouraged at the end of the day because we didn’t get all we had planned done. We wonder how other homeschool moms fit everything in. How do they handle the unexpected interruptions? Some homeschool moms are turning to loop scheduling to help them feel less frustrated by the inevitable interruptions in their homeschool day.

 What is Loop Scheduling?

Loop Scheduling has become more popular among homeschoolers over the last few years. It’s a variation of scheduling and planning that helps the homeschool parent feel less ‘behind’ or frustrated when life interrupts school and they miss doing a subject that they had planned to teach on a given day. 

A loop schedule is basically a schedule that doesn’t list specific days in which each subject will be taught. Instead, the subjects are listed in the order they will be done and the subjects listed in the loop schedule are taught over the whole week, following the order as listed each day until it’s time to end the school day. Each subject in the loop will likely take 15-60 minutes of the day, depending on the ages of your children and how long you want to work on them. You don’t have to feel pressured to finish the list in one day. (In fact, you shouldn’t finish the list in one day!) The next day, you begin with the subject on the list that follows the one you finished the day before. When the last subject on the list is completed, you start back at the top again and repeat the cycle.

You decide how often you want to teach each subject. (Every day, three times a week, etc.) Subjects that you want to cover daily are not included in the loop schedule, only subjects that you don’t need to do every day go into a loop schedule.

For example, you may wish to teach Bible, Language arts and Math every day. These subjects would be first in your day each school day. Then you would have all other subjects listed in your loop schedule and you would begin the loop subjects once the daily subjects were completed, working through the list until you need to be done for the day. If you wish to have one subject taught a bit more frequently, you’ll list it in the loop more often so that it comes up more often. 

You’ll want to make lesson plans for each subject so as you come to them in the loop you’ll be prepared for what you’re going to teach that day. There’s a sample loop schedule lesson plan and a free loop scheduling lesson planning document to download below.

Different Types of Loop Schedules

You can also make loop schedules for specific subjects. For example, language art has many facets to it, and some of those aspects of language arts don’t need to be taught every day. So you might have your child read every day, but for spelling, writing, literature study, etc. you might create a loop schedule so that you are doing all these other aspects of language arts, but you aren’t specifying which day you’ll be doing them.  You plan for 45 minutes of language arts in a day, and your child does their reading, then they start the loop schedule and get through whatever they can that day. The next day they pick up where they left off on the loop schedule list of studies.

You can do a loop schedule for any subject you wish. For example, for Science, you could loop reading the text, doing an experiment, notebooking, a nature walk, watching a DVD, etc. For History, loop the following: read the text, read a historical fiction book, watch a DVD, work on a timeline, etc.

You can even create a loop for your housecleaning or meal planning! You can really loop almost anything!!

Here are some documents showing how you organize a loop schedule for school:           

Subjects included in the loop schedule Frequency
Science 2 times
History 3 times
Art 1 time
Geography 3 times
Phy-ed 3 times
Loop (List subjects in order you want to do them)
History
Science
Phy-ed
Geography
Art
History
Phy-ed
Science
Geography (go back to top of loop)

Example of lesson plans for loop schedule:

SUBJECT LESSON PLAN
 History Read chapter 1, add events to timeline
 Science Read about pyramids, learn how they were built,
design
 Phy- Ed Biking
 Geography  Map of Middle East
 Art  Mosaic
 History Read chapter 2, timeline, make pyramid
 Phy-Ed Calisthenics
 Science Read about aqueducts and build one with clay
 Geography Middle east cultural geography
 History  Read chapter 3, timeline, watch DVD on Pharaohs
 Science Learn about rivers, lakes how they are formed
Phy-Ed Trampoline time
 Geography Middle east physical geography

There are pros and cons to this type of scheduling.

Pros Cons
Reduces stress when life is busy Could still lead to not getting subjects done if you’re not diligent to work through the loop
Gives some flexibility to your week The uncertainty of what will be covered each day may cause some anxiety
If your family is really enjoying studying something, you don’t have to rush to the next subject to be sure you finish all Lesson planning could be more challenging when you aren’t sure what day you’ll be doing each plan
The spontaneous child would enjoy this method much more than a rigid schedule Children who like to know the plan for the day would be frust-rated by this

If you’re having trouble with getting everything done each day and are always feeling behind, this approach might be the one for you!

Free Templates to try Loop Scheduling!

Give it a try by downloading these free templates to create your own loop schedule. As always, I encourage you to seek the Lord for wisdom as you plan, He knows what will work best and wants to guide you!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

For more ideas on loop scheduling, check out this You Tube video, “Quick Start to Loop Scheduling” by Sarah MacKenzie and Pam Barnhill.

Do you need a homeschool planner?

Check out The Homeschool Life: All-in-One Planner for more ideas on planning and scheduling and record-keeping. It’s the only planner you’ll ever need because you get the templates for all consumable documents!

Please comment below if you’ve used this approach and have some advice or ideas for others!

Overcoming the Most Common Homeschool Fears

I remember when I first started homeschooling, I had so many fears! In fact, we almost didn’t homeschool because of those fears. I thought I might ruin our children, or they might become awkward or ‘different’. I was concerned that I wouldn’t do a good job, or that I might fail somehow.

 I’m so thankful the Lord helped me to look past my fears and reminded me to fix my eyes on Him instead of my fears!

What is Fear & Why Do We Have It?

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or problems, or is a threat, something difficult to endure.

But many of us have fears that are NOT actually about something that is dangerous, or that will cause pain, problems or a threat. We fear things that are not actually something to fear at all!

F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. There’s no true threat of immediate physical danger, no threat of a loss of someone or something dear to us, actually there’s nothing to fear at all. 

My homeschool fears were certainly not unusual, in fact, I often hear parents share the exact same fears that I had back when I was first homeschooling.  But many of these homeschooling fears are like the second definition, they are false evidence appearing real!

That’s why I wanted to walk through several of the most common fears that homeschool parents tend to have to help you overcome them.

Four of the Most Common Homeschool Fears and How to Overcome Them

#1 – What if I don’t do a good job teaching my kids?

Many of us don’t feel qualified to teach our kids, we don’t have a teaching degree or maybe we weren’t a good student ourselves. Or possibly we feel we aren’t creative enough or that we don’t have enough patience.

The good news is that you’re NOT doing this homeschooling thing on your own! As you seek the Lord for wisdom, He will be walking right beside you, giving you wisdom and insights as you teach your children.  Daily, moment by moment, I encourage you to seek His help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  God wants to help you!

There are also wonderful curricula out there today to help us in teaching our children.

You can explore curriculum options and find good curriculum to help you teach your children – and you don’t even have to be creative – the curriculum does that for you! Here’s a post on choosing curriculum that will help you figure out what you might want to use as tools for teaching your children: Choosing Curriculum to Fit Your Family. A wonderful resource to learn more about all the curriculum options out there is Cathyduffyreviews.com.

If you weren’t a good student yourself, you will be more able to empathize with your student if they struggle, and also more likely to provide a better way for your children to learn because of your experience.

If you feel like your knowledge is weak in certain subjects, you can purchase curriculum that will  do some of the teaching for you. For example, my math skills have never been strong, and so when our children got into upper level math, we bought a video-based curriculum that taught our children math. Plus, my husband is a math-wiz, so he was able to help them in the evening with anything they didn’t understand.  God took care of this weakness for me and our children all became good at math, even though it’s not one of my strengths.

A great resource to help make sure you stay on track with all you need to do each year for homeschooling is my book Homeschooling with Confidence.

#2 – What if my kids fall behind other kids their age academically because of homeschooling?

The National Home Education Research Institute has done studies on homeschool students’ academic success. Their studies show that homeschool students’ average score on academic achievement tests is in the 65th-80th percentile. That’s 15-30% higher than the average score for public school students, which is 50%! Check out their information at nheri.org.

However, these statistics are averages and there may be circumstances when a homeschool student does fall behind.  For instance, homeschooling tends to be one of the best ways to educate a child with learning struggles. You may have chosen to homeschool because your student is struggling to learn, and if that’s the case, they likely are behind other students their age because of this learning issue. But your homeschooled child will be protected from the bullying and teasing that happens to children with learning struggles in the public school. And you can move along at their pace without anyone criticizing them for being behind. I’ve seen struggling learners do so much better academically when their parents take them home to educate them.

Even if your student is behind a bit academically for whatever reason, if you’re homeschooling them, you can work with them one-on-one and help them catch up to the best of their ability.

Some kids aren’t ready for formal education until they are between the ages of 8-10, and then they catch up quite quickly to their peers as they begin formal learning. (check out Better Late Than Early by Dr. Raymond & Dorothy Moore) and some kids struggle in certain subjects and just need a little extra help. Homeschooling them is one of the best ways to teach them, because you can focus on their weak areas and help them improve.

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education by [Moore, Raymond S., Moore, Dorothy N.]

#3- What if my kids don’t get enough socialization or are ‘different’ because of homeschooling?

Socialization is often a big fear when parents consider homeschooling, and it’s one of the questions you’ll get asked frequently when you say you homeschool!

The crazy thing is, most homeschool children are well socialized. This is one of those fears based on false evidence.

The dictionary defines socialization as the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. Most parents are more than qualified to teach their children how to behave, and in fact, they are MORE qualified to do so than a classroom full of a child’s peers!

There is a LOT of negative socialization that happens in a big classroom – bullying, disrespect, peer pressure to conform to worldly standards, materialism, self-centered behavior, etc. 

We can focus on building godly character in our children as we spend our days teaching them. This is the best kind of socialization! In fact, I’d say that if our children turn out different, it typically is for the better, because we can help them to be kind and considerate, responsible and respectful.  That kind of ‘different’ is what we want!   

We were motivated to homeschool because of the beautiful example we saw in our neighbor’s girls who were home educated. They were respectful, responsible, well-mannered, and able to converse with adults as well as children!  They were some of our best babysitters when our children were little because we knew we could trust them.

Check out this YouTube video by Israel Wayne on Socialization to learn more about this much misunderstood concern.

#4 – What if I can’t handle teaching my kids plus all the other responsibilities I have already?

Homeschooling is like having a full-time or a part-time job, so we do need to weigh the cost of time as we decide on homeschooling.  We need to determine our priorities and if homeschooling is something God is leading you to do, then He will help you to find the balance you need in your schedule to do it.

We may need to change what we’re currently doing to be able to fit homeschooling into our schedule. Our children’s education is important and if we have too many other responsibilities, we may need to cut out some of those things for a season so we can do a good job teaching our children. 

Our children can be a big help to us in keeping up our home and managing meals, etc.  In fact, having them help with housekeeping and meal preparation are great ways to teach them to manage their own home someday!

In my planner, The Homeschool Life All-in-One Planner, I have information on how to implement a chore system as well as templates to use for that. I also have a section on meal planning to help you streamline planning and making meals each day. There’s a section on organizing and planning out your school days as well, and lots of resources to help you manage your home and homeschool well! Check our The Homeschool Life All-in-One Planner!

The Homeschool Life All-in-One Planner with digital templates for all consumable documents

If you’re sensing that homeschooling is for you, or you’re already homeschooling but having lots of doubts, seek the Lord to give you clear direction and peace. Oftentimes our fears are just lies from the enemy, trying to get us to turn away from what God is leading us to do.

Seek the Lord for wisdom as you wrestle with your homeschooling fears. Are they real or are they based on false evidence?

God has many promises for us as we work through our fears:

 “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28–29

You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
Psalm 32:7–8

Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6b–7

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. 
1 John 4:18a


What are your homeschooling fears? Please share them below and any ways that you’ve found to overcome them.  I’d be happy to pray for you as you wrestle through your fears as well.  

Strategies for Managing Your Home While Homeschooling

When I first started homeschooling, I didn’t really think about how much it would affect the rest of my responsibilities. Maybe you can relate to this?

 

I was so excited to start teaching our children, so I was very focused on how and what to teach. I didn’t think too much about how I would manage all the other things I needed to get done in a day…but that didn’t last long! The messy house, the lack of good meals, the struggle to find things – these all started to cause frustrations and I realized that I needed to do something to help things run more smoothly in our home while homeschooling.

 

You see, homeschooling is like having a part-time or full-time job, depending on how many children you’re teaching. Because of this, it’s helpful to set up systems of organization for the various areas of responsibility you have in managing your home. A meal planning system and a housekeeping system are essential to keep you from going crazy!

 

I personally found it helpful to make a weekly schedule for the various areas I needed to organize in our home. Over the years I developed a weekly system for meal planning and housework/chores. I’ll share what has worked for me in the area of meals and housework, and some resources and links for other ideas as well.

 

Here are some tips for managing meal planning and housekeeping and doing it well, all while homeschooling:

1. Meal Planning

I’m so thankful to my sister-in-law, Donna for her ingenious ideas on how to make meal planning easier!
Donna created a weekly meal system in which she listed seven evening entrees with side dishes, and she included the list of groceries she needed for those meals on the same sheet.

 

 

She created eight weeks of meal plans with this system. She saved the lists in a plastic covered sheet placed in a binder along with plastic sheets filled with recipes for all the meals listed on all the meal-planning sheets. Each week when it was time to get groceries, she took out one of the weekly meal planning lists and went to the grocery store to purchase what she would need for the week. I started using this system and found it saved me a lot of time and energy. I didn’t have to come up with new meals every day or even every week – once I had the system set up, it was a breeze to plan and make meals for each week.

With this system, I would sometimes change the order of the meals listed on the sheet and make something on a different day than I had originally planned, but I always had all the groceries I needed for each week as long as I stayed with making the meals listed on that sheet. I just looked at the list in the morning and got out anything frozen that needed to thaw and I was ready for the meals for that day.

This meal planning system is available in The Homeschool Life All-in-One Planner (In the planner, you’ll also get the template so you can tweak it and reproduce it as needed.) and it’s also in my Homeschooling with Confidence book -both are available in the store section of the website.

Here are some other meal planning resources and ideas:
E-meals (They plan and shop, you cook!)

Once a Month Cooking (Mimi Wilson and Mari Beth Lagerborg) 
  Once a Month Cooking (kindle version)

• Cook ahead and freeze – this saves a lot of time when it comes time to make a meal on a busy day. You can buy in bulk, then brown hamburger, chicken pieces, onions, and peppers, etc. ahead of time and freeze to use later.

• Crockpot cooking
The Easy 5 Ingredient Crock Pot Book 
Taste of Home Slow Cooker Book 
Fix-it and Forget-it Big Cookbook – 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes 

• Pressure cooker fast cooking Instapots have been growing in popularity, but I also like the Crockpot Multiuse Express Pot because it does both slow cooking and fast pressure cooking. It’s less expensive, has better ratings and does more! 

• Places to find new recipes:
 tasteofhome.com
 Pinterest.com
 delish.com
 allrecipes.com

2. Housekeeping system

It’s crazy how the house still needs to be cleaned when we’re homeschooling! If only it would just stay clean while we all live and learn in it full-time, right?

The good news is, along with having the kids living in and messing up the home all day long, you also have their help to clean it up! That’s what chores are all about! And it’s good for them to learn how to keep up a home anyway. Someday they’ll have a home of their own and will need those skills, so don’t feel guilty. Start delegating and training your kids to do the housework! They need these skills for when they are out on their own.

Chores are also character-building. Having your children doing chores helps make them more responsible. It also helps them learn to serve others and learn to work well with others. It may be challenging at first to teach them all the aspects of cleaning a house, but the benefits will be so very worth it!

I remember when one of our boys came home from college one weekend. He said that he had to teach his roommate how to do his own laundry because he had no idea how to do it! Our kids had been doing their own laundry since they were 9-10 years old! He was amazed that his roommate didn’t know how.

Not sure how to set up a chore system? Here’s a list to get you started:

(Both The Homeschool Life All-in-One Planner and Homeschooling with Confidence have a list of age-appropriate chores to help you determine what your child can do at the age they are at, plus you’ll find several different chore chart templates to choose from.)

• Make a list of all the rooms in your home.
• Write out what needs to be done in each of these rooms to maintain them and keep them clean (dust, vacuum, wipe down the fridge, counters, etc.).
• Separate the list into items that need to be done daily and items that can be done weekly. I would also recommend setting up a regular once-a-week “House Cleaning Day” where you do a deep-cleaning, and everyone helps with those chores that can be done once-a-week.
• For each chore on the two lists, make an index card with the details of what is expected of the person doing this chore. (For preschoolers, keep their chores simple and use pictures.) Include things like putting away clutter, cleaning windows, doorknobs, etc. (If you need guidance on this, go to flylady.net and check out her detailed cleaning lists.)
• Determine how you can separate each of these lists into the appropriate number of individual chore lists based on how many children you have. For example, we have four children: for helping in the kitchen, one helped with breakfast, one with lunch, one with dinner and the last emptied the dishwasher.
• Make a list of personal hygiene skills you want your child to practice every day and include that in their list of chores to be done.
• Make up a chore chart for each child including daily chores and some weekly chores. Each week, or month, make up a new chore chart and rotate which chores your child is doing for that week or month so that they will eventually learn to clean the whole house.

Here’s one type of chore chart you could use…

There are other chore systems available if this doesn’t fit your needs:
A mobile app for chores 
Chore chart that includes a schedule 
Chore sticks in a jar

I believe managing your home in these two areas (meals and housekeeping) is super important when you’re homeschooling. It helps your days to be more relaxed and gives you more time to enjoy your children.
Please share ideas in the comments if you have suggestions for others on how to manage meal planning or housekeeping well in your home – I’d love to hear from you!

A New Way to Manage Your Home and Homeschool…

Each homeschooling family is unique, with specific needs and concerns.  But I do see a few common concerns amongst homeschoolers.

Oftentimes homeschool moms seem to feel overwhelmed with managing their homeschool planning and record-keeping as well as managing their home and the many needs at home. I remember this being a struggle for me as well.

There’s a lot to juggle!

We need to keep up with making meals each day…hungry kids mean unhappy kids, right?

We also need to keep the house semi-organized and clean so it’s a healthy and safe environment for the kids.  But with homeschooling, we’re home nearly 24/7, and with our homes being very “lived in”, it can be hard to keep up with the mess, right?!  Most homeschool moms struggle with this!

As kids get older, we have their schedules to keep straight as well as our own… we need a master planning sheet to make sure we don’t miss any appointments or lessons!

And these are just the normal mom things we need to do… add on homeschool planning, teaching, and record-keeping, and we can feel overwhelmed.

I struggled with these things too when I was homeschooling.  Over the years,  I developed some great resources and ideas that worked to make things run more smoothly for me in our home and in our homeschool.

 I started to share these resources with the moms I met with and found that many were greatly encouraged and helped by applying the ideas I shared. 

I realized that this could be helpful to more homeschoolers, and so with God’s help (and the help of several others!) I’ve put together “The Homeschool Life: All-in-One Planner” for homeschool moms!

Introducing The Homeschool Life: All-in-One Planner!

I’m so excited to introduce The Homeschool Life: All-in-One Planner to homeschool families because I believe it will truly help relieve some of the stress and anxiety that comes along with managing a home and homeschool.

The benefit of having a planner like this is that information on all aspects of the home can be found in one place!

This planner has a section for family planning, which includes calendars (both monthly and weekly) and important contact information and health information as well as “to do” lists. There are chore chart samples and suggestions for age-appropriate chores for each age.  There is also a chart and planning sheet for meals, to help you think through your weekly plans for meals on a weekly basis.

The next section is on goal setting and can be used to help you figure out the direction your family wants to go with homeschooling and in the discipleship of your children.  There are several pages of information for developing a missions statement and setting goals for your homeschool, your family,  and each individual child.

The third section is on school planning and record-keeping.  This section is a wealth of information to help make sure you’re keeping the right records for your state. There are several tips on how to keep good records, and also how to do school planning for each week.  There are sheets to record your curriculum used each year, what field trips you went on and what books you read.  There are weekly assignment sheets that can be used for planning your school week and also for keeping a record of what you’ve done each week.

The best part of the school planning & record-keeping section is that there’s an excel spreadsheet that will allow you to input the scores your students are receiving in each subject and it will automatically calculate their grade for you!  (This excel spreadsheet is  also on a flash drive so it can be downloaded to your computer.)

The last section is for your own personal spiritual growth. This is an important section because as homeschool moms we need to be getting our strength and encouragement from the Lord, and if we aren’t spending time with Him, it’s more difficult to persevere through the hard times.   This section includes a devotional for homeschool moms specifically, meant to encourage you in your walk with the Lord and in your role as a homeschool mom.  There are also journaling sheets and prayer request sheets to use for your own personal spiritual growth.

Along with the planner, you receive a flash drive with templates for all the consumable documents in the planner!

You can reprint documents as needed. With this flash drive, you should never need to purchase another planner again!  The only document you might need to reproduce on your own would be the monthly calendars, which you can find in Excel under the template section when you open a new document.

My prayer is that these planners will help you as a homeschool mom to have all the important information at your fingertips! All in one binder, so it’s easy to access.

I’ll be selling these planners at the MACHE conference this year, and after the conference, I’ll be making them available to buy online. Come and check them out if you’re at the conference this year!  And watch for it to become available here on my website soon…

Tips for Managing a Busy Home

 

School has started and life is in full swing.   As a homeschool parent, it’s possible that things are getting a little overwhelming as you add the role of teacher to your already busy life again.

I’m not saying that we ever stop teaching, but I’m referring to the “official” start school in the fall!!

As a mom, you have a lot of roles to play: caregiver, nurse, counselor, peacekeeper, chief cook and dish washer, housekeeper, taxi driver, schedule organizer, etc.… and this doesn’t even include being a godly wife and also any responsibilities you might have outside your home!

When you become a homeschooler, you also have the role of teacher and guidance counselor.

Now you know why it seems a little overwhelming sometimes!  You have a lot of responsibilities!

This isn’t meant to discourage you, but rather to show you that you really need to have some sort of organizational plan in place so you can juggle all these roles and responsibilities. When God led you to homeschool, He didn’t intend for you to feel overwhelmed.

How can you make life more organized as a homeschooler? 

There are basically have two areas that need some planning:  managing your home life and managing your school schedule. 

In this post, I’m going to focus on managing your home.

Next post I’ll focus on the managing your homeschool schedule!

It’s easier to only focus on one at a time! And if your home life is a mess, you’ll find it will really affect your homeschool days.  So I think this is the place to start!

As a mom, you typically have to plan the meals, keep the house clean and manage everyone’s busy schedules, right?  It really helps to keep all that information for the home in one place.

I recommend creating a home organization binder… this is just a simple binder like your kids might use for school, with sectional dividers to separate information.

Items for the home organization binder:

 

  1. List of important contacts: doctor, dentist, tutor, etc.

 

  1. List of meals and groceries needed to make the meals. My husband helped me set up a system where I had 7 weeks of meals planned with a grocery list for each one! Yes, this took a little foot work in the beginning, but it was well worth it because of the time it saved me each week. Here’s one of my weekly grocery lists with the meals that it would cover above it:

weekly-meal-planning-sheet

The best way to get this system set up is to do one week at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed!  With your husband, or the whole family, sit down and list every meal that you like to make.  Then each week, choose seven of those meals that will work well together for that week (sometimes you can use the leftovers from one meal to make another).  Then make your grocery list – you can even set it up so it follows the organization of the grocery store if you’d like. Since my husband did a lot of the grocery shopping back in those days, he liked it all organized! I kept the lists in plastic report covers and stored coupons in there with the list. You could store your recipes for each list in the plastic sleeve as well.

 

 

  1. List of chores that need to be done daily and weekly (see flylady.com for some ideas on how to divide out your housecleaning chores). We had one day a week where we did a thorough cleaning of the house, and then the other days were just the daily chores to keep the house up and manage meals and clean-up.

 

  1. Chore chart for each child (we had four weeks of chore charts made out with rotating chores for each week so that I could just pull out the next week’s chore lists for the family and post it on the wall). Go to my post called “12 Ideas for Raising Responsible Children” from August 5, 2016 to see age appropriate chores for children.     You can create your own chore system with a simple spreadsheet (check out http://www.homegrownlearners.com/) or there are several great chore management systems out there. Here are couple to consider if you don’t want to create your own:
    1. The Everyday Family Chore System, by Vicky Bentley
    2. Neatlings Chore Chartneatlings-chore-system

 

 

  1. Bill pay section: it helps to have a pocket file here to hold the bills awaiting payment. A clear plastic report cover works well. Then you can see the bills and you won’t forget them!

 

  1. Calendar with everyone’s schedule included:  I recommend color coding your children so you can see with a glance where each child needs to be each day (and they can too). Pick up some colored markers so you can color code the information you write in your calendar for each child (Everything that relates to child #1 is blue, child #2- red, etc.)

 

  1. To do list (short term and longer term). We have too much to remember as moms

to store our “to do” list in our heads!  Keep a list of what you have to do today and also the longer term list of things to get done in the future.

 

All this takes time to set up, so work on one thing at a time!

 

What is most urgent?  That’s what you should focus on first.  And you can let your older children help you with getting this organizational system set up.  It’s a great way to teach them to be organized, and you might find out that one or more of your children have a gift for organizing!

 

Some people will prefer using their IPad or phone to contain all this information, and that works great too!  There are several really good organizational apps out there.

 

My personal favorites are Google calendar and Evernote, but if you search your apps, you’ll find there is a plethora of apps for organizing out there!

 

IMPORTANT: God wants to help you get your life organized!

 

Spend time with Him each day, seeking wisdom and guidance on what you need to do to make life run more smoothly.  Pray for strength for each day as well, and for His help in managing your home life.

 

Next post: organizing your homeschool life!

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