Category Archives: Organization

Getting Organized with Schedules – Part 2

After I made my 12 week schedule for our Middle Ages unit study (see this post – Keeping Organized with Schedules – Part 1), I then did another spreadsheet that shows me what we should be doing at what time.  I put the times in to help keep me on track.  You could also do a schedule that showed general blocks of time, for instance:  8:30-12:00a.m. Unit Study, 1:00-3:00p.m. Independent Study.

As I said, I did mine with specific times for each part of our unit study to help me to be able to just move from one thing to another without having to put any thought into what is next on the agenda.

On my spreadsheet I made 5 columns across the top.  The first column heading says Time and the other four columns have the days of the week.  Our school week is only 4 days a week at this point.  It seems that if I schedule 5 days there is no breathing room if our days do not go as planned.  Sometimes my husband needs their help or we’ll have visitors or other distractions.  It’s also nice to have a day to focus on other things.  

Are you like me?  Do you get frustrated if your days do not go as planned or do you take it all in stride?  I have determined this time to not make an overambitous schedule (which I am wont to do) and to trim things down to where it’s manageable for the children.   I really like the four day week and of course, the children do, too, although this does make the 4 days longer since it’s not spread over 5 days.

The other day when I was reading aloud to them, Black Fox of Leorn,  I went over time.  Seeing this, I was able to realize, because of my schedule, where the problem lay.  I now have moved that to the evening (before bed) for our ROL time.

At this point, I only have Monday times filled in.  I wanted to be sure that it would work okay.  It seems to be going well so next I will fill in the other days.  Some days will be different because we’ll have Artist Appreciation, Rummy Roots & Nature Study. 

A schedule is never perfect.  Someone once told me that everything seem to work for awhile and then it becomes no longer effective (chore charts, rewards, etc.).  This has been completely true in my family.  I do not have kids begging to go to the schoolroom.  This is normal, I think.  Although they enjoy learning and I do, too, there are days when you just want to do something else.  My schedule may be fine for us at this season but in a year (or less 🙂 ) it may need to be reworked.

I often lose sight of the fact that we are unique individuals – what works for one may not work for another.  For instance, when I see the amount of subjects Lindafay of Higher Up and Futher In covers with her children, I’m amazed.  Are we doing something wrong that we’re not able to do the same?  Sometimes I feel like we are but then I try (Oh, Lord, help me to do more than try!) to remember that other peoples lives may be on a different track than ours, we’re unique from each other,  BOYS are different than girls (highlight and underscore that!).  I must never forget that God is directing our family. 

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD

Psalm 37:23 

So, if these ideas on schedules can be a help, I would be so happy.  But do not feel that you are failing or are a terrible mom/teacher if you do something completely different. 

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Keeping Organized with Schedules – Part 1

I cannot function very well without a schedule.  Oh, I manage to squeak by but inside I feel like I have nothing together.  I do whatever task or distraction is at hand rather than doing what may be a higher priority.  By the end of the day when I look back on what I have accomplished it amounts to very little. 

Did I do a load of  laundry?  Yes, but somehow I never did find the time to put it in the dryer, never-mind it being folded.  The baskets start to overflow and the ironing piles up.  The family eats well (most days) but what about the dishes that need to be hand-washed?  “Oh, I am too tired to face them.  I’ll get them tomorrow.”  Schoolwork needs to be checked and on and on. 

Homemaking is a full-time job besidestrying to homeschool.  And if you have a family business (which we do) that takes even more time.  Time is irretrievable; when it’s gone it cannot be taken back for us to reuse in a different way.  As I read somewhere, we all have 24 hours in our day.  No one is given any more and no one is given any less.  We have to decide what we will do with it.  

For me this means a schedule, especially if I’m homeschooling.  For cleaning your home  I love Flylady .  She has done a wonderful job of splitting up the areas of your home into Zones and giving you lists of what needs to be cleaned in that area.  I’m still trying to understand if she thinks you should do everything on the list once a month or little by little through the year.  Here’s a link to her lists.  For me, it’s little by little and sometimes not at all – depending on what’s happening at our home.  Be sure to check out Flylady’s Kelly’s Mission for the Day, too. 

I spent a good portion of my Saturday a few weeks ago figuring out schedules for the upcoming school term. I’m always on the look-out for new and improved methods so trying to find better ways to organize my kids’ school schedule’s fits right in there.  Besides I’m a lover of charts and lists so it’s of fun for me, too.  Mostly. 🙂

My new schedule for school was inspired by my dear sister of 7 children who was inspired by Lindafay of Higher Up and Further In.  Lindafay has been a great scource of inspiration to me and so many others – a lady who seems to have wisdom in how she implements a Charlotte Mason education.  I highly recommend her blog.  View Lindafay’s 12 week schedule for one of her daughters.

The beauty of this schedule is that everything is planned for 12 weeks.  You don’t have to think about what your kids assignments are for 3 months.  There is also a daily checklist you can give your child with the 12 weeks broken down as to what they do each day.

I’m a total novice when it comes to working with Microsoft Excel but I’ve learned a few things and that is where I typed up my own 12 week schedule.  We’re currently doing a unit study on the Middle Ages and so I’m finding it quite helpful to have everything laid out for me.  I can see at a glance everything that I’ll need to do with the children for our unit study.  There are some areas I still need to fill in but this is pretty well completed. 

I don’t know of a better way to show an example of how I did our schedule; hopefully, you will be able to get the general idea.

What do you use to organize your children’s schoolwork?   

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Filed under Organization, Unit Studies