Time is something that homeschoolers seldom seem to have enough of. Between raising children and delivering lessons, completing housework and school work, plus the additional challenges of normal daily life, the days often end much too quickly.
But there is a way to find more hours in the day. By eliminating meaningless and time-consuming activities that chip away at their time, homeschool parents can recover those lost hours and reclaim the day.
Recognizing time-wasters isn’t always easy at first. Spending 20 minutes on social networking sites, for example, may not seem like much. But add to this writing a blog post, responding to email, plus a telephone call or two, and it’s easy to see how technology can quickly gobble up several hours.
Surprisingly, household activities are also major contributors to hectic days. Streamlining these tasks, by reorganizing cleaning supplies into one area or de-cluttering kitchen cabinets and making everything more visible for instance, can save much time in the long run. So can starting in one place and moving in a more efficient pattern, rather than randomly performing chores throughout the house. There are many other ways to reduce time spent on these activities, too.
Homeschooling, too, may take longer than needed. Establishing a block scheduling system or carefully examining how time will be spent each day is an integral part of planning the school year, yet one that not all families remember to do. Avoiding scheduling too much down time and finding places where family members idle needlessly can significantly increase productivity and help recover lost time.
Sometimes, time-wasters can take us by surprise. Telephone calls during school hours aren’t merely interruptions, but severely cut into our time if not kept short or postponed until school is done. Unexpected visitors can also cost valuable hours, and though it may not seem right to turn them away, families must vigilantly protect their time or run the risk of an unproductive or hectic day.
When recovering lost hours, a difficult part of the process may be deciding whether something that brings joy or satisfaction is really worth someone’s time. While there is great value in chatting with a supportive friend, for instance, this activity must be necessarily be weighed against spending time with a child pouring over a math book. And though allowing oneself some down-time or an occasional indulgence is certainly desirable, the reality is that curbing these impulses and limiting them in lieu of everything else that needs to be accomplished simply must be done.
See if you can identify how your time is really spent throughout the day and eliminate those that do not contribute to family, homeschooling, or overall quality of life. Don’t stop there, either. Evaluating your time every so often will insure the problem never creeps up on you again.
[Reprint, links added. Image : Flickr]