How To Fit Assigned Home Management Days into your Homeschool Life
As we all know, everyday home management tasks can be a challenge. One of my favorite strategies to make these tasks manageable is to divide work into assigned days.
When you divide home management work into days, it makes that positive difference in getting the work accomplished- and avoiding living in a mess with the work piled around us. (Read about my Days of the Week Home Management Plan here.) Implementing this idea can be a challenge though! As a homeschooling family with children home all day every day, it can be hard to know when and how to start fitting home management work into your homeschool day.
Learning to manage the time needed for tasks you intend to do on a certain day, can be puzzling. As a busy mom, multi-tasking and being interrupted by distractions can be frustrating to our plans.
Distractions caused by the children can disrupt our plans of what we thought we were going to do on a certain day. This upheaval is unavoidable, so you must learn to anticipate and plan for the variables that come with each day.
Prepare yourself by thinking ahead to times of the day when your children are settled into play or school. Then, plan what you will do during that time. Likewise, consider the times of day when the children are most busy, loud, and energetic. Plan how to manage that time; perhaps this is when they should play outside, have a nerf war, or do a kid’s exercise video. Depending on the child or time of day, it may be a time to put on some calming music and get out a quiet activity for a set time.
Multitasking is something that busy women all over find themselves doing on the regular. However- multitasking only works effectively if one of the things that we are trying to do is an automatically happening circuit in a groove in our brain (to use a bunch of unscientific language on how that happens).
For example, when you’re brushing your teeth you do it without thinking about the specific actions you’re taking. You were likely thinking of something completely unrelated to the task of brushing teeth. You might not even remember that you brushed your teeth because it’s such an ingrained habit.
Tasks like these that you can do by muscle memory are great to have, but it takes a lot of repetition for them to become automatic. Make a quick list of your automatic habits, these are things that may be done while multitasking.
Many things in our lives require focus. Tasks that require focus do not work well while multitasking. It can be done, but tasks will not be done well- or may even be left incomplete.
Manage your work with time. Look at your to-do list and write down beside each task the amount of time it will take to complete. This will give you perspective on how and when to fit tasks into your day.
When you look at your list of things to do, decide how much focus the task requires and schedule that task for when your children are in a quiet time of the day. Assign special activities that they can only do for a certain time, while they are occupied during this time is when you should do your focused work.
When assessing your to-do list, ask yourself: can this task be delegated? Save your time by giving the task to someone else. Your children will need to know life skills in order to function as adults and they should learn these things from you. Teach them how to do a skill that is age appropriate and let them be helpful for the family. Hint: preschoolers love to be helpful!
Fitting Assigned Home Management Days into Your Homeschool Day
Many variables affect our life and how we live it at certain times and places. Maybe Laundry Day is difficult for a season of life or in a certain house, or Kitchen Day might be the difficult one. Perhaps you start a home-based business and it takes a while to learn how to fit that into your schedule. New variables enter life and shake things up so you have to learn how to do things in a new way. This is just the way life works and it can be frustrating. Learn to roll with it, keep your chin up, and pray for wisdom. Put on some happy music and write down the challenge, then write the possible solutions.
To make the most of your assigned days, make a list of the top three things that you want to accomplish on those days. Your top 3 things might change from week to week. To be prepared, make your list ahead of time as often as possible. If you want, make a long list but be sure to prioritize your Top 3. Make a timeframe to fit the Top 3 around your homeschooling time. Your best work will go to what you focus on, so try to arrange your day in a way so you’ll be able to focus on the Top 3 at some designated time of day.
- If your children are old enough to be helpful, delegate some of the tasks to them. Don’t overload them though, perhaps give each child one big task and one small task. Keep the tasks age appropriate.
- Once a month, lighten your homeschooling schedule on a Kitchen Day and spend the majority of your time cooking ahead and putting meals in the freezer or deep cleaning the kitchen. Again, delegate some tasks.
- Make a list of the Office Day work that you have to do, and another list of things that are lower priority. Or make a list of tasks that you can do while in your homeschool time and another list for when the children are napping or having a Quiet Time. Use these lists every week on your Office Day.
- Attach your tasks to certain days or times or other events so that they become routine, a habit. Doing so will help the children know what to expect and that builds security in their life. If you involve them in the work, they will learn life skills.
Building Your Home Management Life
Learning life skills, home skills, how to care for children, homeschooling- it’s like building a house. Each new skill is a brick that turns into a wall that bears up the next story, then you add on a room, and another. You are an architect for your life and the life of your family.
Fitting assigned home management days into your homeschooling life is just one more skill you’re adding to your house. As you practice and put these tips into action, you will get better and better at it until it becomes second nature. You’ve got this!
For more home management solutions, check out the book “Home Management: Plain and Simple.”