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Monday we featured the homeschool rooms of the Hip Homeschool Moms team members. Friday we plan to share some of the homeschool rooms that you, our Hip Homeschool Friends, sent in to us. Today, I’d like to share a bit of information about getting yourself organized and ready to go! After all, no matter how organized your school room and school materials are, you still have to be organized enough to teach! Don’t worry, though. I’m not generally a very organized person, and I can still manage to get nearly everything done. If I can do it, you can too! So let’s talk for a few minutes about 5 Steps to Getting Organized for the New School Year!
The first thing I do (or at least the first thing I should do) when starting a new school year and trying to get myself, my room, my materials, and my children organized and ready to go is pray! I’ve found that not only does that help me not to worry and feel stressed, but it also gives me assurance that everything will work out! God knows much better than I do exactly what needs to be done this school year. He knows what my children need to learn. He knows the best way to teach them. If I fail to pray and allow God to lead me as I get ready for the school year, I always regret it.
#2 Make a “To Do Today” List:
Think about what really needs to be done today, and add only those things to your list! Sure, you need to keep up with things that need to be done tomorrow or next week. Just put those things on your calendar or planner so you won’t forget them. But don’t put them on today’s list unless they need to be done today AND you will be able to get them done today. If you make yourself a long list of things to do, you’ll start out the day feeling overwhelmed and defeated. You’ll be less likely to get even the necessary things done! If, however, you keep your list reasonable and manageable, you’ll get everything (or at least nearly everything) done, and you’ll be encouraged to do the same thing tomorrow!
After you’ve got today’s list made out, take a close look at each item. Then put those items in order of priority. If there’s something that absolutely positively has to be completed today, put that at the top of your list. Then put the rest of your items in order. And if everything on your list is top priority, you still need to whittle down your list because you know there are only so many things you can possibly get done! By having too many top priority things on your list, you will only cause yourself to feel discouraged and defeated.
#4 Make a General Plan for Each Week:
Create a general plan for each week. Think about the things that need to be done each day and on certain days of each week. Then put those things on your calendar or planner. Some things might be flexible, but other things (like piano lessons) might not be. It’s great to know that most things can be flexible, though, because we homeschooling moms know that, more often than not, real life interrupts our plans! It still helps, though, to have that general plan.
On my planner, I like to list things that the children need to do each day–like practice their math facts. If I don’t have it on my planner, I’ll forget! Then I list things that have to be done on certain days and at certain times. This includes piano lessons, tennis lessons, online classes, and so on. Finally, I list things that can be done on one of several days. That would include things like returning library books (Just be sure to get them returned or rechecked before you have to pay overdue fines!) or getting allergy shots.
#5 Learn to Say No!
If your to-do list is always a mile long, the only thing you can do about it is to learn to say no! There will always be housework to do. There will always be errands to run, ballgames to attend, and grocery shopping to do. Many of these things are essential. Others are not. It is absolutely ok to say no! Yes, that good cause does need an advocate. And you might be just the right person to handle it. But perhaps the time is not right now. And you must remember that you won’t be homeschooling forever. It won’t be too long until those days are over and you’ll have more time for other things. Right now, though, take the time to teach and enjoy your children. During this season of your life, that’s what’s most important.
Of course there’s no magic formula that will help you get everything done. With a bit of planning, though, you can get to the most important things!
Do you have any favorite organizational tips, strategies, products, or information you can share with us? We would love to hear from you!
NOTE: The image above is from Free Digital Photos.net. “Notebook and Pen” by artur84.