Back To School

We start school tomorrow. As in, I begin to school at home my two oldest sons (7&6) while the 4 year old goes to preschool (to help him learn Hebrew) and the 2 1/2 & 1 year old are here. At home. While we do school and prep food and keep house and….OK, I’m tired now.

I get one question frequently. It comes both from moms with fewer children than I have and also from moms who don’t have their kids home during the day.

How do you do it? I can barely manage with my ( fill in appropriate number of children or situation).

Well, I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But, I do have a secret weapon, or rather, two of them.

The first one you may have heard me mention before. It is Flylady.net. Flylady gives lots of very helpful and totally do-able tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your housework and even make it sorta fun.

The second is Managers Of Their Homes.  This book shows you how to make a daily schedule, especially for homeschooling. It has lots of real-life schedules from many families of all different sizes and ages of kids to see for example and is filled with practical advice. It’s the first book I’ve found of its kind and has been extremely helpful.

Some main tips I’ve picked up from these sources include:

  1. Use a timer set for not more than 15 minutes to get a job done. Make it a race and see the progress.
  2. Get kids involved with meal prep. I have an assigned dinner helper for each week day.
  3. Assign play times and play partners in 1/2 hr blocks of time. This helps them build relationships and keeps them busy while you do school one on one or tend to another task.
  4. Have your daily schedule be the same each day. A certain block of time might have a rotating activity but it always happens at the same time each day or on that day each week.
  5. When you get off schedule for any reason, do not try to catch up. Just jump in where you are!
  6. Do not let the schedule or routine ruin the time. It’s there to help you, not to boss you around!

I have my daily schedule for this school year created. Will it work? I have no idea. But we’ll find out soon enough!

Now, off to that lesson planning…