Tips To Keep
• Allow extra time for interruptions and emergencies.
• Find a workable solution for avoidable interruptions.
• Do not answer the phone during school time:
• Let your friends and family know the best time to call you.
• Turn the ringer off and use an answering machine.
• Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry to block sales calls.
• Accept uncontrollable or unavoidable interruptions and use them for learning opportunities.
• Devise a "Plan B" for accomplishing the most important things on days when your time is limited by unexpected developments, emergencies, late starts, etc. For example, use audio or video resources, etc., such as those from Sing 'n Learn.
• Remember that your family is more important than your schedule.
• List all chores to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally (see the FlyLady's daily and weekly routine examples).
• Have a daily cleanup schedule and routine.
• Assign chores to each family member, considering age, abilities, time commitments, and training needs.
• Apprentice your older children in life skills by gradually turning over areas of responsibility such as laundry, family meals (menus, shopping, cooking), lawn maintenance, or cleaning certain rooms.
• Make a chore chart and be sure everyone knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
"Service Opportunities Chart" from Doorposts will help you simplify chore assignments and teach your children biblical principles of work.
Read "7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through Chores" in Newsletter #45.
• Establish a place for everything (label shelves if necessary; use pictures for non-readers) and make sure everyone returns each item to its place after each use.
See more suggestions in Newsletter #249.
• Once a week, plan seven menus and shop for ingredients. You can then arrange the order of your menus within the week, one day at a time. See suggestions at organizedhome.com.
• With experience, you may be able to plan your seven meals on the spot as you're shopping the sales to save money.
• Start dinner early, use a crockpot, and/or precook your meats on shopping day (or the next day), or try once-a-month or freezer cooking, or some modification of that system.
Rely on the Lord and do not become discouraged as you seek to bring organization and peace to your home.
Let us therefore come boldly
unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help
in time of need.
• Do you read everything you can find about "organization," but nothing ever seems to change at your house?
• Does everyone at your address function as though household tasks are "mom's" job?
Learn how to:
• Use "minimum maintenance" to streamline the chores in your home
• Control the "dread factor" that saps emotional energy
• Keep accurate and up-to-date records
• Eliminate busywork and concentrate on tasks that make a difference
• Make teamwork a reality.
Tackle one area each week, and your household will be organized in just three months.
This checklist would make a great "home management" curriculum for your children!
Finally Organized! is a MP3 seminar by Inge Cannon. It is 180 minutes long and is accompanied by a 23-page syllabus.
Preview the introduction and order for only $7 at Education Plus.
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First Things First
At the grocery store, I picked up a frozen pizza. Our daughter Julia, 2, held it and said, "Pizza cold."
I replied, "Yes, the pizza is cold and hard. What do we need to do before we can eat the pizza?"
Julia set the pizza down in the basket, folded her little hands and said, "Pray, Mama! Pray first!"
Submitted by Marcia A., Colorado.
Send your humorous anecdote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. God loves you.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
2. Man was separated from God by sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
3. The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.
He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
4. We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.
See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at TeachingHome.com.
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Back-to-Homeschool Series, Part 6
Managing Your Time
1. Set Your School-Year Schedule
2. Plan Your Studies
3. Create Daily and Weekly Schedules
• Tips To Keep Your Schedule Moving Smoothly
• Logos Language: Foreign Language with a Purpose
• Living Books: Charlotte Mason Curriculum
• Basic Christian Education: Bible-Based Curriculum
Planning and scheduling for your new school year will get you off to a good start.
Developing a time budget (schedule) will assure that urgent demands don't steal time from the important things you want and need to do.
As the habit of following your schedule become a routine, it will allow you to handle repeated tasks and decisions without considering them over and over again.
Remember: Less is More!
• Limit your out-of-home activities.
• Limit the scheduled activities within your home.
This will enable you to do what you do better and have a more relaxed and enjoyable time doing it.
We hope that our suggestions in this newsletter will give you practical direction and encouragement as you start this school year.
May the Lord bless your family and the coming school year for His glory.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a homeschool, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
This year teach your children a foreign language with the purpose and ability to share the Gospel!
• Introductory Study Packets in 20+ Languages come with a notebook plus CD or cassette that contain 200+ everyday & witnessing phrases, plan of salvation, and 10 scriptures.
Low cost, $15-$23; Use alone or with another program.
• Complete 6-Level Program in Spanish for those who want to become fluent in Spanish for ministry.
The Logos Method, developed by university professor
Dr. Mike Thomas, is unique in its emphasis on:
• Repetition • A simple, conversational approach
• "Leveled learning" in small pieces
• Reinforced by listening to native speakers
• Integration of spiritual/biblical vocabulary
1. Set Your School Year Schedule
1. Determine Your School Year Schedule
Take into account the number of school days or hours, if any, that you are required to document according to your state law (see www.hslda.org).
Use a traditional schedule or set up your own year-round schedule. These examples all include the usual 180 school days.
• Traditional Schedule: 9-month school year and 3-month summer break. Includes 5 days per week, with 3 weeks of break within the 9-month school year.
• Year-Round, 5-Day School Week: 36 weeks of school, with 16 weeks of breaks interspersed wherever you wish.
• Year-Round, 4-Day School Week: 45 weeks of school, with 7 weeks of breaks interspersed wherever you wish.
2. Create a Master Calendar
Keep a calendar, with large boxes to write in, near the phone where everyone in your family can see it.
Also use a planner to collect all of your organizational information in one place. Include goals, calendar, schedules, lists, telephone directory, plus notes and information your family needs to find easily.
Buy a planner that is all set up for you, or use a large or small loose-leaf notebook and make or buy pages for it.
Organized Home.com offers online articles on how to create your own Household Notebook planner and offers free printable forms for your planner.
Mark both your master calendar and the one in your planner with the following information:
• Your school year schedule (see above) including school days, vacations, dates of major units of study, test days, field trips, and support group activities.
• Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and special days.
• All of your family's appointments, church and social activities, music lessons, etc.
• Anything you need to be reminded of, such as library due dates (and number of books out) and household bills (payment dates and amounts due).
Set family rules and procedures for accepting invitations and scheduling appointments.
Check daily to see that you have transferred necessary information from your master calendar to your planner and vice versa.
These practices will help your family's schedule run smoothly!
3. Make an Ongoing Master To-Do List
• Compile a master to-do list, a single continuous list that replaces small slips of paper. Assign individual's names to items that are delegated to them.
• Add items as you think of them; cross them off when they are done (the fun part!).
• Assign items from this list to your calendar; monthly, weekly, or daily schedules; or daily to-do lists for each person.
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2. Plan Your Studies
1. Set up Your Classes
Decide and list which subjects, units, and/or topics you will cover during which weeks or months to make an overall year's plan.
For example, you could plan a certain number of pages per day in math and language, a chapter every two weeks in history and/or science, etc.
Instead of teaching all of your subjects every day, simplify your preparation and gain from your students' focus by teaching fewer, but longer (see "Length of Classes" below), classes each day.
You can retain the same number of hours of study each day and cover the same amount of material during the year. Examples:
• Teach longer classes in language arts on two days and math on three days; do some practice every day.
• Study history for half the year and science for the other half, or each subject for two days each week with a day for art and music, etc.
Debra Bell says in her book, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling:
"As a rule of thumb, skill areas are mastered through practice. Handwriting, spelling, mathematics, reading, etc., should be on your daily schedule.
"But content areas such as literature, history, science, etc., are better learned through fewer sessions in larger chunks of time."
Length of Classes
• Consider that a child's normal attention span may be three to five times his age, e.g., 27-45 minutes for a 9-year-old, 36-60 minutes for a 12-year-old.
• A child's attention span may be increased by limiting the hours he spends watching TV and playing games on a computer.
• Longer classes can be achieved by dividing the time into sections with breaks to stretch or exercise, get a drink of water, and rest the eyes.
• Younger children in a combined-age class can be given a quiet, non-distracting toy or activity (such as coloring) while they listen.
Combine Classes for Efficiency
Teaching several of your children the same topic at the same time can be the most efficient use of your time and effort.
You can use the same materials for all and adapt explanations and assignments for each, or collect age-appropriate materials on the topic for various levels. (See suggestions in Newsletter #217.)
2. Plan the Use of Your Materials
• Compile a syllabus (a broad course outline, listing books, chapters, topics, other materials, resources, major projects, etc.) for each course or subject at the beginning of the year.
• Add details, rearrange order, and/or set assignment dates monthly or weekly as you go along.
Read article by Joy Marie Dunlap on how to design and document your own courses.
For Texts or Other Books
Decide approximately how many pages of a textbook or other resource must be covered each day or week in order to finish it in the time you have allowed for it. You can rough out a plan by dividing the number of pages in a book you want to use by the number of days or weeks you plan to study it.
• Allow for vacations, tests, and catch-up days.
• Textbook units can be shifted to coincide with other planned units, related events, or seasons.
• Record target dates in your lesson plan book for starting and ending each educational project (i.e. subject, skill, textbook, chapter, or unit) you plan to complete this year. You may want to adjust your plan so that chapters begin and/or end with calendar weeks.
• Write out details of activities, assignments, or projects you want to include, along with the estimated time they will take. Link these to the subjects, units, or textbook pages they go with.
Lesson Plan Book
• Record your plans in a lesson plan book or notebook. This can double as a record-keeping system by simply entering your completion dates and adding or deleting items. See "The Homeschooler's Journal" at www.fergnusservices.com.
• Older students can become independent learners in some subjects by reading and checking off their assignments in their lesson plan books.
3. Prepare in Advance
for Each Week and Each Day
Set aside a regular time (a couple of hours) each week to plan in advance for the next week.
• Plan your daily school lessons. Consult your overall academic plans and lesson planner.
• Check your master calendar and to-do list. Note and plan errands, phone calls, etc.
• Coordinate your week with your husband. Evaluate and discuss anything that is bothering you and consider how you can fix it.
Plan Your Day
Spend a few minutes the night before, or early in the morning, looking over your plans for the day and gathering materials for the day's lessons.
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3. Create Daily and Weekly Schedules
Work out a time budget that reflects your priorities. Follow the steps below to create your regular daily and weekly schedules.
Step 1: List All Activities
List all the things your family needs or wants to do, along with how often they are done and how much time they take each week. Include:
• Family and personal devotions. Schedule your own personal time with God in His Word and prayer to prepare for your day before your children get up.
• Maintenance: grooming, chores, meals, exercise, and shopping.
• School work: each school class or regular educational activity, reading aloud, and individual studies.
• Calls, errands, meetings, projects, mail, paying bills, and planning sessions.
• Social activities or entertainment.
• Free, unscheduled time for you and your children to relax and follow your own interests.
• Family relationships: time alone with each child and with your husband, plus family time together, e.g., a family night.
• Sleep, including naps. Many children suffer from sleep deprivation. The recommended amount of sleep for various age groups is as follows:
Toddlers (1-3 years): 12-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years): 11-13 hours
School-age children (5-12): 10-11 hours
Adolescents: 9.5 hours
Adults: 7-9 hours
Read "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" by the National Sleep Foundation.
• Reserve Sundays for church, rest, family, and friends.
• Limit the time your family spends on the computer. This time can eat up your schedule very quickly otherwise. Also keep your computer in a family area in order to monitor its use.
Step 2: Budget Your Time
• Add up the total time per week for all the activities on your list.
• If your total is more than (or even close to) the hours in a week, start re-evaluating, prioritizing, trimming, or cutting out some activities until you have a comfortable fit and good balance.
• Allow extra time for slow-downs and transition time to move from one activity to another.
Step 3: Make Daily and Weekly Schedules
Now you can plan your family's daily and weekly schedules to incorporate your plans and goals.
Your time budget assures that urgent demands don't steal time from the important things you want and need to do.
• Establish regular times for family meals, going to bed, and getting up.
• Schedule a normal week's activities (see list above).
• Don't schedule so tightly that a few minutes here and there will throw everything hopelessly off schedule.
• Leave time for unexpected events and opportunities.
• Post a copy of your schedule where all can see it. This is different from, and in addition to, your master calendar and stays the same every week, all year, or until you decide to change it.