Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And yet more fall planning.

Who knew this was going to be a series? It's just working out that way: I really don't have a "plan," I just post what I've been thinking about that day.

One of the big challenges for me with home education has been managing the rest of the tasks of my day and week while getting our home education done as well. It is a continual struglle to keep up with laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking and getting through the math/history/reading/science and everything else.

When things are going well, this is what works for me. I need to get up at a fairly consistent time. I rarely set an alarm and since my husband works from home, he doesn't either. We tend to be up around 7:30 most days, which seems to work out well. I eat breakfast right away, and I insist that Hannah have her breakfast as well. Then before we do any school, I try to get the basic tidying up done. (Years ago I heard Mary Pride speak at a conference and this was one of her words of wisdom : Chores first; then school.)

I function best with meals when I have a menu plan for the week. The Sandy Richard Life's On Fire cookbooks are great for this. Each one gives you ten or so weeks of menu plans and the grocery lists to accompany them. When I use it regularly, we eat better, we waste less food, and I'm much less stressed at supper time.

Anotehr thing that helps me have a good school year is getting the problem areas in our home cleaned up over the summer. This summer, we have completely cleaned out Hannah's bedroom, emptied one closet that was far too full of craft supplies, given away about five boxes of books, and found places for all the things I brought back from my childhood home last month. I know that this kind of preparation makes a big difference to keeping things clean during the fall.

Finally, I had to learn years ago that I will never have a perfectly tidy home. It's not enough of a priority for me to set aside all the hobbies I enjoy so that I can wash the floor more often. And I think we all need to realize that home education means that we, moms and children, spend far mroe time in our homes than most families do. Every meal and snack, every craft project, every bathroom visit our children have druing a day is at home, each leaving its own mess, big or small, to be wiped up by someone!

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