Heart Of The Matter Online is having an eight week blog carnival – Eight Weeks to a More Organized Homeschool. Wow. I could certainly be more organized around here!!! I used to pride myself on my organizational skills. Then life happened. When I left the workplace, I found that I no longer had an assistant to keep track of the details, and that children are far more needy than patients. Top that off with chronic pain and unpredictable flare-ups and you have a recipe for disaster!
But, being naturally rather organized has helped me manage with a little more grace. One of the big things that we do is keep some routines, particularly for our mornings. Now, if you were to visit one morning, you might have a hard time discerning the routine, but it is there. We don’t have a specified time to awaken each day (although this may change next fall if the children take classes at the public school). Mr. Math Tutor is an early riser, usually followed by Wild Man, then me, then Ga’hoole Girl (typical teenager).
Each child has a list of chores that they have to do each morning before they can have breakfast. Wild Man has to shovel or sweep the back walkway, sweep the kitchen and dining room, clean his room, and get dressed as well as do his weekly chore. Ga’hoole Girl’s list includes shoveling or sweeping the front steps, vacuuming the living room, cleaning her room, and getting dressed along with her weekly chore. After breakfast, they are expected to put away their dishes then brush their teeth. Each day they have a “weekly chore” that varies by day of the week. In this way, almost the whole house gets vacuumed and dusted and the bathroom gets cleaned in the course of the week. Their lists are posted in plastic page protectors and taped to a bookshelf in the dining room. Wild Man likes to mark off his chores every day with a dry-erase marker.
Since I don’t have a time frame on our morning routines, the kids can take a few minutes if they need to wake up in the morning. They have an incentive, though, to get their work done quickly since they can’t have breakfast until their chores are done. I try to have their school lists printed the night before so they can start their schoolwork as soon as they are done with breakfast, even if I don’t feel well.
So, that’s it. It’s pretty simple. There are some kinks in the system at times. I’ve been known to have to re-teach sweeping skills or find that a child has “forgotten” to do something – for several days running. But, usually a small reminder fixes the problem. We may not have the most productive days possible, but this routine gets us up and moving most days. It’s a few minutes of organizational light in a day of chaos!