Homeschool can be a freeing lifestyle. Your family follows its own rhythm and pace. You decide your own holiday times and pick your own schedules. However, incorporating your daily routines with educational goals and extra curricular activities can become chaotic very quickly.
I’ve used several systems to organize my home, but I currently love Google Calendar. I easily view all of my schedules in one place. My husband and I share our calendars, so I can look at one screen to see my husband’s work plans, my homeschool plans, my writing deadlines, and family extracurricular activities. I even share a calendar with my husband’s extended family, so we can all know when we might have a free weekend to see each other.
However, if I need to focus on our homeschooling schedule, I can easily hide the other calendars from the screen as well.
I’ve also synched my phone with my Google Calendar, so I can access, schedule, or edit events on the go.
Daily Tasks and To-Do Lists
In addition to Google Calendar, I use a basic spiral notebook along with an organizing tool adapted from Tsh Oxenreider at SimpleMom.net.
Before going to bed, I make a list of everything I need to accomplish the next day from laundry to paying bills to school assignments. I assign each task a certain time in the day to get those things accomplished. No, I don’t always get everything on my list completed. However, this quick assessment of my day’s expectations keeps life in perspective. Tsh calls this her Daily Docket, and she has a printable version available for free download.
Rhythm to Our Days
My children gravitate toward routine not schedule. They know to make their beds and change their clothes after breakfast. They know school starts around 9:00. None of this is written down anywhere, and I’m not diligent enough for a chore chart. We tend to do the same things every day, and because we fill our days with the same activities, my kids have an internal alarm clock governing their time. I would recommend starting a morning routine and practice it consistently.
One of the most common questions I receive from my non-homeschooling friends is, “How do you know when you need to teach something?”
For the most part, your curriculum will decide this for you. My family uses a free online curriculum called Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. The curriculum conveniently organizes what I need to cover in all subjects with each of my boys. Even when I decide to supplement with a different reading book or a different math activity, I can use the curriculum model to keep it all organized. If you use more of a “living books” approach, I would recommend Ambleside Online and Simply Charlotte Mason Curriculum Guides.
I Need Paper and Pencil
For those who need paper and pencil, I would recommend Jessica Fisher’s Organizing Life as Mom eBook. For $9.00 you get every form you could possibly need to organize your home. She also sells additional forms for homeschooling and blogging.