For the next three weeks, I will be blogging about going back to homeschool. Research indicates that writing goals down dramatically increases your chance of reaching them, so all of us need to spend some time planning for success. If you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, you go right ahead. We will not judge. However, the rest of us must organize our chaos at least a little bit.
In this first post, we will focus on looking back at this past year. First, what has worked for you? Secondly, what has not worked? Thirdly, how could you improve? Above all, did you experience burnout? Do you know how that happened? We all know our strengths and growth areas. If we do not, this is the time to sit down and spend five minutes writing down what comes to mind, under two columns called Strengths and Growth Areas.
Please note that we do not call the second column “Weaknesses.” The name you give something gives you a certain frame of reference. If you see your lack of organization skills, for instance, as a weakness, you will always embrace it as your “humanity” and shrug it off. But if you see it as your “growth area,” you will force yourself to improve and grow in that particular field.
What Do We Organize?
What do we need to get organized? Curriculum, meals, other commitments, lessons outside the home, everything. Get a planner and start plugging dates you already know for the next year: doctor’s appointments, spelling bees, science olympiad, field trips, family outings and vacations, national holidays etc. Or use Google Calendar, like I do.
Here’s my post on using Trello to plan your homeschool and menu. With it, you can start planning a menu with Week A and Week B. If you have it in writing, you will know how much time you need to prepare certain dishes and you will see if it will clash with certain activities on your calendar. Always have ingredients for a quick meal available, in case of an emergency. For instance, one can prepare grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup in 30 minutes – even from scratch. A crockpot helps, too.
Similarly, write down your curriculum choices. For example, some states will require you to turn that information in, while others will not. Just write it down for your own sake. When something does not work, six weeks in, you can go back to the drawing board, but at least you have a drawing board.
In conclusion, avoiding chaos helps you prevent burnout. Trust me, you do not want to experience burnout as a homeschooling mom. Nobody likes it.