Getting Started, Habits, Homeschool, Organizing & Planning, Parenting

The 3 Things I Do for a Successful Homeschool Day

This year we are taking the traditional school year schedule approach. In short, that means our 2017-2018 school year is late August to mid June. For the last 3 weeks we have been s.l.o.w.l.y. getting into a groove.

But I’ve noticed a few things that help our days to go smoothly. Although waking up early would be helpful and it does work to get your day started on the right foot, it’s not a priority on my list at the moment. {Sigh} You can relax, night owl mommas.

These are not completely new to this year; however, we are diligently working on making these three things habit this year.

1. Nurture Relationships

This is absolutely THE most important. I’m learning that homeschool isn’t about checking off all the little boxes. It’s about cultivating relationships with your little people so that when they grow up to be big people they too understand that what’s most important in life.

Nurturing your relationship with your kids can look different for everybody. My daughter and I keep a notebook or journal where we write back and forth to each other. Sometimes we write often, sometimes not. She loves when I sit in her bed (which is the top bunk, by the way) with her and we talk about the day or about the book she’s reading.

It all boils down to one thing, spending time and being present with your kids. I love this post by Sarah Mackenzie where she talks about taking a day off to do something a little out of the ordinary “just because we can,” and really enjoy our kids.

Each day I try to spend a little one on one time with the kids, outside of homeschooling. It’s not always easy, but I notice a difference.

The kids are more respectful and obedient. They are kinder to one another. They are more helpful. They pay attention to their lessons better. And they are just downright cool kids.

If I fall into a period of time when I’m always thinking about the to do list or worried over the cleanliness of the house I tend to get short with the kids and unreasonably irritable. I take a step back and realize that I don’t want to be that way and I’m missing out on these beautiful babies who are growing up so quickly.

So, when my children want to tell me something I make sure that I turn to them, give them my attention, look into their eyes, and really listen to what they have to say. I relish the snuggles and hugs and cuddles with them because I need them to know how much they truly are loved.

2. Take a Break, Outside

Sunshine. Fresh air. Nature. Beautiful remedies to kids (and moms!) who are frustrated and wound up.

As a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, life outdoors is a given, but often not until the afternoon. We sometimes have activities or errands to run in the afternoon so getting out for pure free time is not always picture perfect.

During the morning lesson time, especially for young kids, a break is needed. Going outside is the perfect reset button.

Last year, in an attempt to not let winter deter us from going outside and in order to give ourselves a recess, if you will, between lessons, I instituted the “10’clock walk.”

My phone has an alarm set for 10:00 am and at 10:40 am. We head outside and usually go across the street and into the park for a stroll. I know I have it pretty good living next to a park (I must take advantage while we’re here, because it won’t be forever), but sometimes we hang out in our little side yard and driveway. Even if it’s a walk around your neighborhood or around your property, getting outside is all goodness.

I decided to go with a 40 minute block because it’s not too much time away from lessons, we can still finish up by lunch. Also during seasons of nice weather we just need to get our feet dressed and it’s enough time to enjoy the break and it actually feel like a break. In super cold weather it takes us much longer to get coats, boots, scarves and all of that on, which is fine because once we are outside we don’t want to stay out for too long.

This has worked wonders for our homeschool day. The days we miss our little break are the days where I find myself trying to get Little Miss Buttercup focused, again.

3. Set Up and Plan the Day Before

We typically do the bulk of our chores during the time after snack and before dinner. Kids are fed and have had time to regroup and feel refreshed, they are (usually) ready to get some work done to help out around the house.

They aren’t responsible for too much right now, and this is the point that needs the most work on becoming habit.

The kids tasks are to tidy up around the living areas from the afternoon projects or play and clean up the table from snack time. They pick out their pajamas for that night and clothes they want to wear the next day and put them on the hooks by their bedroom door.

That trick alone has saved countless precious moments when it comes time to get ready for bed or get dressed for the day. They don’t have to find their clothes and they don’t have to decide what it is they want to wear.

They are also assigned a chore. My daughter helps with the floors, sweeping or vacuuming while my son helps to gather and sort the laundry.

This is a good time for me to look over the next day’s lessons and retrieve whatever supplies I’ll need for math and keep them handy. I’ll make sure the artist picture is changed if needed or I have easy access to listen to the composer. It depends on the day or my mood but I make sure whatever extras we are doing, they are ready for us when it’s time for the lesson.

Going over the calendar at this time is good too because if we have a co-op day or a nature study day where we will need a lunch packed or our nature study backpack ready then I can easily do that.

The late afternoon is perfect for prepping because I’m refreshed; I’ve had time to decompress and spend the afternoon freely, just as the kids have. This time is good also because it’s before I’m too tired in the evening, or I forget, or I am doing other things.

When the new day arrives I can just get started with the lessons and not have to worry about finding something. Or we can go out and about and lunch is made, I don’t have to spend time in my morning to figure out what to put in the lunch bag or time making the lunch.

I like to find ways to be efficient in my day. I enjoy a smooth day as much as the next mom. Right now, focusing on relationships, taking a break outside, and setting up the day before help to keep things running smoothly.

Tell me in the comments below: What do you do to be more efficient in your day? What do you do to have a successful homeschool day?

3 things for successful day pinterest

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