Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Planning

Being a homeschooling mom has forced me to become more organized in many ways. Each day and week starts with at least a general plan of what I (and the kids) have to accomplish. Every year it becomes a bit harder too. The academics get more challenging as the grade levels go up, we're involved in more outside activities, and now that D-boy is kindergarten age, I'm officially homeschooling all three of my children. On top of that, I have all of the regular jobs of just being a mom and running a household.

One thing that helps me is meal planning. I like to allow flexibility, because I don't always know what the week will bring, and just how draining a particular day might be. Still, I feel better just knowing that I've got a plan for each dinner, and the time and ingredients to make it. I try to plan the easiest meals for the most grueling days, so I'm not in such a rush. This week for instance, I made a nice chicken casserole for Sunday dinner tonight. I know that on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'll barely be getting home in time to cook dinner so for those days I'm planning pork chops in the slow cooker, and a last minute beef casserole. The remaining days can be filled with homemade Macaroni and Cheese, homemade pizza, Pasta Primavera and one leftover night.

As far as academic planning, I know that we need to make the most of Monday, Tuesday, and Friday this week. Those are days that we'll be home all day, and we'll work as long as it takes to get every subject in. K-boy and M-girl have drama all afternoon on Wednesday (which gives me one on one time with D-boy). Thursday afternoons are taken up with our homeschooling group. On days when we have to be out for the afternoon, we focus on the core subjects in the morning (math, grammar, spelling, reading) and get as much done as we can.

Household chores tend to get done on those days when we're here all day too. I'm usually running between the schoolroom and the laundry room or kitchen. The kids all have cleaning responsibilities. I usually have to double-check, and sometimes re-do, but at least they're learning!

I've learned over the past four years to build flexibility into our schedule. Someone gets sick, an activity gets changed, or certain subjects are taking longer than predicted. As long as we still have the goal in sight, we're able to bounce back again.

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