SummaryBeing organized often seems impossible, & moms ask “Why try again?” Here are 3 simple themes broken into 13 easy tips to give you fresh hope and order!
When we talk about organization as a key for successful homeschooling, many moms become upset or despair or throw up their hands! With a growing young family, organization seems impossible.
Being organized has proved to be impossible in the past, so some moms ask “Why try again?”
1. Don’t Give Up!
Many working moms in our neighborhoods who have young children are forced to be organized, and manage their home and family in spite of the difficulties. We homeschooling parents need to realize that our goals are more important and more valuable to our children than any job outside the home!
If we are convinced of the eternal rewards of our apostolate of homeschooling for our children, we need to be determined to be successful, and thus organized in our home and in our homeschooling.
In daily prayer, let’s remind ourselves of the importance of homeschooling to our children so that they may have the eternal happiness that comes from living the Catholic Faith. We need only to look around to see the despair of so many young people who live without the faith!
To accomplish our goal, however, we must consider a long-term program of teaching our children how to be organized in their daily lives and daily studies.
We must help our children come to recognize that an organized life style will bring success to everything important that we must accomplish in our earthly lives to attain eternal happiness.
Here is an important first step if this is the umpteenth time you have tried to get organized: Find someone in your homeschooling group who is organized and offer to pay $50 (or whatever it takes) if she, or he, would come and spend a day to help you get organized.
You want to be a professional organized homeschooling mom, so like other professionals, you want to have help and advice from someone who is already successful in the job of being an organized homeschooling parent.
Moms, keep an open mind about your organizational coach: some of the best organized homeschooling parents are dads!
Try to follow the advice you are given and, if later, you need to make some adjustments for your particular situation, that is fine, but try to discover what ideas can work for you and your family.
2. Have a Plan
You can purchase a plan book from Seton, like the ones sent for the children’s lessons. This can help you to record daily and weekly what you want to do at what time each day. This can help you to record what home or schooling responsibilities you want your children to accomplish each day.
Purchase a monthly calendar to keep on the refrigerator or some other easy to see location so you can record appointments and outside activities. This would include trips, vacations, visits from relatives, and anything which affects the family.
Design your own Chore Chart, although some free sample ones are available on the internet. Take a look at a few and print out the ones you like. You might want a master copy on your bedroom door, but put a copy for each child on his own bedroom door or on a kitchen cork board. You should include the time of day for each chore. This should include baby-sitting time if you need older children to help out at certain times of the day while you are teaching younger children.
Try to get up before the rest of the family, at least a half-hour or even an hour earlier. Start with a prayer or a reading from the New Testament or from a spiritual direction book. You are more in control of your day if you start earlier than the rest of the family. Getting up when children are already involved in things—sometimes things that you don’t want them to do, such as cooking up an oatmeal or pancake mess in the kitchen—can disrupt your entire schedule.
Have a weekly meeting with your spouse, perhaps on Sunday evening before the week begins, or perhaps on Friday evening so you can plan on what needs to be done on the weekend to “catch up” because of unexpected events.
3. The Bare Necessities
Eat regularly and eat nutritious food. We always talk about the importance for our children to eat properly, but often parents neglect their own health by not eating at a regular time, on a regular schedule. Food is expensive, no doubt about it. Read articles on nutrition tips and buy foods on sale. If you are not healthy, your days will not go well as you become tired or weary or quickly frustrated or lose your patience.
Get enough sleep. Set a schedule and do your very best to stick with it. With young and growing children, or babies, this is difficult, but keep trying. You cannot keep going if you are sick.
Get rid of anything that causes clutter and needs frequent cleaning. As a mom with a large family, my children heard me repeat and repeat: If in doubt, throw it out! Too many people are keeping too much. It is charitable to give things away to a local second-hand store, or to your local church to help others in need. Consider giving away not only toys and clothes, but even furniture. Most of us have too much furniture.
Use those big plastic bins or book shelves for each child to keep the books and other items needed for the homeschooling. Before dinner, toys and supplies should be back in their place. A neat home after dinner sets a tone of everything being under control. One book can be pulled out after dinner for reading or a last minute assignment or working out a math problem with Dad.
Schedule only one trip a week to the grocery store. If you run out of something, everyone needs to learn to do without it. It is a waste of time and money to shop more than once a week.
Also, it is a good practice for children to learn to do without some food item. Too many children do not eat what is on their plate at mealtime, but eat what they like after a meal. Not only is that unhealthy, and not only does that mean a child is disobedient, but it is also training a child to have his own way in other more important matters.
Such situations predict trouble for spoiled children and their parents.
These are just a few ideas that we hope can be helpful for you to be successful in your homeschooling. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Remember St. Monica!