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Free Step-by-Step Guide from Well Planned Gal

3 SIMPLE STEPS TO HOMESCHOOL ORGANIZED

Homeschool organization often feels so overwhelming. But what if there was a way to get organized by taking simple, systematic steps?

I have good news — there is a way! In 3 Simple Steps to Homeschool Organized, you’ll discover a tangible, manageable method that walks you step by step through not only preparing for your homeschool year and planning lessons but also engaging in regular evaluation that helps you stay organized. Grab your free copy today, and move from overwhelmed to organized in 3 simple steps!

FROM 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO HOMESCHOOL ORGANIZED E-BOOK

Step #2: Planning Your Homeschool Year

Tackling Tips from Homeschool Moms

Rebecca, Well Planned Gal

As a personality profiler in training, I’m learning more and more about my unique style of doing life! My strength is what we’d call in the South “get ‘er done.” I love the challenge of a large task, knowing I can break it down into manageable pieces, planning accordingly. I’m a perpetual optimist which makes it really easy to forget the previous day and start where ever I am.

I have a confession: I make work a game. When I clean the kitchen, I allow that time to think about different recipes and future get-togethers, always asking the question “What if?” as I scrub down each surface. I love ideas and thinking, so it makes any task go quickly. It also helps me avoid procrastination, knowing it’s not really a task, it’s time to explore new ideas.

You may think that, because I like cleared surfaces and love to work, I’d have the most pristine desk. Well, that’s the anomaly. My desk is cluttered with pile after pile of books, test projects for new homeschool resources I’m developing, and stacks of different papers representing different departments of work and life. Blank notepads are scattered along with dozens of note pages filled out with “must keep” earmarks.

But, this isn’t because I like clutter. It’s because I get so focused on my work, I don’t see my desk. But my subconscious is definitely picking it up, and when it gets to a certain point, it gets completely cleared away. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I know it’s the time to clear my desk!

When the kids were little — and even now with them all grown and gone — I continue the daily ritual of taking an hour to myself in the middle of the day. There are so many bits of information passing through my brain between the hours of 6am and 2pm, that if I don’t stop and either close my eyes for a bit or just allow my mind to focus on one thing, I get burnt out before the day is done.

I’ve learned what motivates me: finishing a job. That makes tackling very easy for me. In fact, I struggle more with taking a break and resting in the moment. But that’s the key to all of these strategies. I first have to learn who I am, what works, and what doesn’t. Otherwise, I could excuse my struggle by focusing on my accomplishments, which isn’t healthy.

Finding balance starts with understanding yourself. We do this with our kids as we help them navigate life. Let’s make sure to do this with ourselves as well, so we can be and give our kids our best selves.

Ann

I am, without a doubt, a strategist. I love to create schedules, lay out a plan complete with checklists, and get everything organized and ready to go. But, I’d much rather then turn the actual implemtation over to someone else and let them put the plan into action! It’s not that I’m lazy because I greatly enjoy the satisfaction of work well done. But, the work I enjoy is taking a big idea and breaking it down into manageable pieces. So, for me, the Tackle stage of the S.P.O.T. Method is definitely the most challeging. I am the queen of procrastination when it comes to implementing a plan!

I’ve learned over the years that the best way to avoid procrastination is to recognize that not every day is the same for me. My struggles will vary depending on what’s been going on that week, how I feel physically or emotionally or mentally, or what tasks are before me. Sometimes I’m struggling because I’m a finisher and nothing before me has an endpoint any time soon. In those weeks, my motivation comes from being able to tangibly see progress. So, I go back to my checklists and make sure that I break down big jobs into small, manageable tasks. Seeing progress helps a lot!

Other times, I have to put the emphasis on prioritization, choosing to put a difficult or distasteful task (often the “big one” that takes the longest amount of time) at the top of the list—with more enjoyable tasks later as motivation—to help me be disciplined to dive in and get it done.

Ultimately, my greatest weapon against procrastination, though, lies in the “Keep Your Head Above Water” step. Thanks to my very patient, very wise husband, I’ve learned that it’s okay to set aside the schedule and the plan to play catch up. Well, I first learned it was “okay.” Then I finally began to grasp that it was more than okay—it was actually even good. I’ve learned to be much more proactive about recognizing when I first start to get behind. That way I can go ahead and look at the upcoming week and plan to set aside the plan, thus also nourishing the strategist in me. Oh, and I often go ahead and plan for this by creating the original schedule and plan to have space for catch-up time!

Ultimately, the key has been to learn “me.” What nourishes and motivates me as well as how I respond to stressors and triggers and what tasks I’m most likely to procrastinate on. As I’ve learned more about myself, I’ve been able to become much better at tackling instead of procrastinating.

Stephenie

Tips for each of the T.A.C.K.L.E. steps.

Tomorrow is Always Fresh

It’s helpful to me to try not to dwell in the past. Thinking about something good that is coming up in future helps me move forward well.

I also start each day with Bible and quiet time or praise and worship music to refocus for the new day.

Avoid the Pitfall of Procrastination

Whenever possible, I try to do things immediately. If it can’t be done immediately, I write it down in my to-do list and then prioritize the list according to when things need to be done. For things that happen routinely, like paying bills or making appointments, I try to set aside a specific day and time and put those into my schedule.

Clear the Way to Accomplish

My calendar has been SO helpful in this area. I try very hard not to say yes to anything without checking my calendar. When someone asks me to do something, I say I’ll have to look at my calendar. This gives me the time to think it over.

By nature I am a people-pleaser, but getting to the point that I am not as concerned with pleasing everyone as much as I used to be has helped with setting boundaries. What is right for my immediate family has to come first.

Keep Your Head Above Water

I like to set a timer for fifteen minutes and do as much as I can in fifteen minutes, then take a break.

It’s also important for me to let go of perfection. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

If things threaten to get to backed up, it’s time for me to rethink activities, prioritize, and let the least important things go.

Learn What Motivates You

While I love ice cream and chocolate, one of my favorite ways to reward myself is with a good book and staying up a little late to read it.

Exercise Self Discipline

I find that it helps if I keep tasks in front of me. For instance, I will write what I am working on or find a picture or drawing that applies and put it somewhere that I can see it regularly to help me stay motivated, focused, and disciplined.

Teisha

I love checklists! Making a plan and making a list is the easy part for me. The problem comes when I’m trying to implement them. I can quickly become overwhelmed, and I tend to be easily distracted by interruptions that pop up that were not on the checklist.

Prioritizing is the solution. Unfortunately, if you asked me which items on my list were a top priority, I’d say, “All of them!” It’s pinning down why something is important that helps me determine what is a true priority. Life still happens, and I still have my plans and checklists upended far more often than I’d like. But having a good grasp on what is truly a priority and what isn’t helps me to get back on track after I’ve dealt with the interruption.

Learning how to say, “This isn’t my problem or project to deal with,” to some interruptions has also been helpful! I can schedule all I want, but without good boundaries, that schedule can be quickly overrun to the point where I can’t get my real priorities done.

When I get “too behind” in one area, sometimes I just tell the rest of my family that I need time to work on and finish a particular project. This lets them know that interruptions need to be kept to an absolute minimum and that dinner is likely going to be whatever they make on their own. Earbuds and my favorite playlists help keep me focused and minimize the distractions when I just have to get something done.

Finishing a project or marking off my checklist gives me a sense of accomplishment and also helps me to relax better at the end of the day. Sometimes I do need to move something to tomorrow’s list, and I’m still learning how to not let that bother me. Knowing that at the end of the day I’m going to sit down with a hot cup of tea and unwind for a few minutes gives me an end goal to work towards and keeps me from putting off tasks that must be done today because I want to make sure I have time to chill out before bedtime!

Tiffany

Tomorrow is Always Fresh

I find that the easiest way to start fresh is by not being afraid to move things from one day to the next. I might not have the energy or time today, but I might tomorrow.

I’ve also learned to accept interruptions as God’s redirecting me to where He wants me in that moment in time.

Avoid the Pitfall of Procrastination

I have used many methods over the years. Sometimes, I choose the thing I don’t want to do and get it over with first. Sometimes I choose the top 20% of things on my to do list. Sometimes I focus on weekly and daily top three items.

Lately, I have let go of long-term goals and focused on being 1% better in cleaning, fitness, finances, etc. If I feel particularly energetic, I strike while the iron’s hot and get some cleaning and laundry done.

Clear the way to Accomplish

Recognizing seasons of life has helped me set boundaries like quitting the library board after 8 years of faithful service or choosing not to teach children’s Sunday School after spending nearly half my life doing it.

When I had little ones, I chose to be a homebody. Now that my kids are bigger, I can say yes to more social engagements. I also choose to volunteer at school in a few areas that I enjoy while saying no to the ones I don’t enjoy.

Keep Your Head Above Water

If I am behind on work or know that I will miss work time later in the week, I lock myself in my bedroom and only come out once an hour to check on things. I also clearly communicate that I need to focus on work so that the family will pick up the slack.

If I have a large project like deep cleaning, painting, or catching up on laundry, I make that my only goal for the day. Once it is done, I consider my work for the day to be done.

Learn What Motivates You

I enjoy setting aside time for reading or napping to recharge. Sometimes I use family movie night or holiday celebrations to motivate all of us to get chores done.

Exercise Self Discipline

I like to reframe things I don’t like to do. I remind myself that it is my calling to fulfill certain roles and that other people rely on me to do those things. I also try to view them as acts of love and service to my family, friends, and coworkers so that I can feel more like a blessing.

Rate Yourself Tackling Worksheet

Evaluate Your Tackle Week Worksheet

Track Yourself Tackling Worksheet

Tackle Printable

Success in any career requires the right tools. Homeschooling is no exception! You need resources that equip you to lay out lesson plans, teach time management, and keep good records while also managing home and life with ease. Well Planned Day Planners cover these needs and more!
Rebecca, the Well Planned Gal

HOMESCHOOL PLANNERS FROM WELL PLANNED GAL

The Original Homeschool Planner

Large Family Homeschool Planner

Day by Day Homeschool Recorder