How much do you have on your plate? If that took you several minutes to contemplate you’re not alone. As a working mom of a large family, trying to remember and juggle everyone’s schedule (including your own!) can be a daunting task. Do you have colorful post-it notes, miscellaneous papers, and writing pads scattered all over your home? You may have spent a nice amount of money on all kinds of systems to help you stay organized. However, the truth of the matter is it all comes down to “YOU”, which, inspired me to dedicate this topic to scheduling and organization tried and proven tips.
FIRST, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
Being a homemaker AND an educator is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I have ever had, but if there is no nourishment or self-care for Mom, the responsibilities can overtake you. Taking care of yourself will enable you to be a better parent and leader for your family.
Start your morning after prayer, dressed in clean clothes (no pajamas here!), and make sure your personal hygiene and appearance are priority before tending to that “To-Do” list. Also, by getting a little bit of time outdoors each day you’ll be able to refresh and unwind. Plus, this allows you to get some physical exercise which is beneficial for the mind and body.
We may naturally want to please people, especially our loved ones, yet, don’t be afraid to say “No”. If it doesn’t fit your schedule, if you’re too tired, or if it’s not a perfect fit for your family, just say, “No”.
You only have 2 hands and 24 hours in the day.
Teach young ones to help.
Enlisting all to help contribute to the maintenance of the home teaches children that housekeeping responsibilities are for the whole family. They may not do it the way “Mom” usually does it, but the routine is being established, and they’ll learn the skills necessary in order to eventually get the job done right.
If you have a large family/classroom, the “buddy system” can be a tremendous aid. Older kids can help teach younger kids school subjects. Have older/more advanced children practice their reading with the little ones. You may extend this to working on writing letters/numbers on the white/chalk board, phonics and math facts practice, or homework help. While they aid each other, I am freed up to do something that makes me feel fulfilled (prayer, Qur’an reading, journal writing, quiet time) or catch up on a needed task (work one-on-one with another child, or house responsibility).
FIND A ROUTINE
Set hours and create a routine for your homeschooling by establishing a start and finish time that you can stick too. I’m sure not too many of us want to be doing schoolwork into the evening hours. Having that “down-time” after studies have been completed for the day gives the child and home educator a sense of accomplishment and completion.
In my classroom, if I don’t get up and get school going by 9:00 AM, I run the risk of our core subjects not getting done. I don’t run errands, make appointments, or take calls during school hours unless I have a dire need i.e. my child needs to go to the doctor, or family emergency occurs.
Find what works for you and your family! You may need to schedule art, crafts, and more intricate project-based lessons around your little one’s nap/quiet time. Don’t panic if every assignment isn’t checked off because, if Allah wills it, you will have another day to complete the task.
Every parent can agree whether you send your children to a school setting or homeschool, it is like adding another full-time job to your calendar. When our schedules get filled with drop-offs, pick-up’s, meetings, extracurricular activities, classwork, or homework we often struggle to manage the clutter, laundry, and everything else household related. Having a visual somewhere for the whole family to see, like a command post schedule, will allow everyone to understand what is expected of them.
We will be adding a variety of schedule printables in the near future but here’s a treat; visit TJ Homeschooling and grab your FREE super cute morning and evening schedule printables here www.https://bit.ly/2SCHspv! Print it, customize the size to larger dimensions, or slide it into a sheet protector, frame or laminate it so that is makes it easy to use dry erase markers…then you can use it every day, week, or month!
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF or your children TO OTHERS!
Every family dynamic is unique and every household operates in its own special way. Every child has a different learning style and ability. Every individual has different strengths and weaknesses. What works for me may not work for you.
PLAN OUT YOUR MEALS
I am constantly looking to find effective ways to make our lives run smoother and one of my family’s most recent successes has been a weekly meal plan. How frustrating is it to reach breakfast and dinner time, looking into your kitchen cabinets in hopes that you will find ingredients to whip up a healthy home–cooked meal in the shortest amount of time with little ones at your feet (asking you a thousand times) “What’s for dinner?”. Not being prepared allows for overspending and unhealthy food decisions. Having a meal plan means that you have organized your meals, gathered your recipes, and purchased your ingredients for every day of the week. Also, we can add that it’s a “money saver” to the many pros. Purchasing only what you need for your meals that are already planned out, and not being swindled into sales items or bulk special offers, can avoid wasting
food and resources.
Want to spice things up in the kitchen? Meal planning actually encourages variety and allows one to change things around more often, which can be fun and a learning experience! I’ve found it to be a total game-changer!
Picky eaters? Most families won’t always agree on what they all want to eat. Eliminate the arguments and get the family involved by having one evening designated as each person's choice or make a list of their favorite meals which you can include in your plans over time. Need a little inspiration? Check out EatingWell.com or www. https://bit.ly/2RwPKSS where you can access lots of healthy menu plans! Or, check out MyHalalKitchen.com and www.https://bit.ly/2C7p9C3 for amazing halal dishes!
TAKE care of YOUR HOME
Lastly, who doesn’t love having a clean house? And, not just once a week, but every day! I can manage the rest of my life so much better when my house is clean and organized. Designate a certain area or task to be done every day. Setting a timer is helpful for ensuring that you don’t go past an hour. That way progress can be made on a daily basis. It will take you less time overall if you do a little bit every day, instead of saving it up for a single day of the week or the weekend. For more time consuming, deep cleaning tasks i.e. wiping down windows throughout your home, mirrors, or appliances establish a weekly or monthly routine that you can incorporate into your schedule.
Don't forget to download your free editable schedule to help you plan your week! Check out our freebie section.