Being organized is about making the process work for you efficiently, not about maintaining a neat and tidy row at all times. Here are some ways I’ve tried to make the processes work more conveniently so I can spend more mind-space on the children and less on the stuff.
How I Use Google Calendar for Homeschooling
Keeping a current calendar is vital to being organized. The advantage of keeping that calendar in a web-based form like Google calendar rather than a wall calendar is not only that you have an up-to-date synced copy on all your systems, but also that you can add repeating events with a few extra clicks instead of writing it out repeatedly. Moreover, you can change the date or time of an event by dragging it over instead of erasing and rewriting. This is particularly handy if you keep your menu plan on your calendar, but also useful for school events.
I have tried both not adding school times to the calendar and made multiple attempts at doing so. Currently I am keeping an hour-long “Circle Time” appointment, math, Latin, phonics, and our lesson swap times, plus appointments like our speech class, writing class, piano lessons, kids’ book club, and nature study with friends. Having our everyday school activities taking up the day’s space helps me see the day as booked, and have to consciously move things around or delete them when things like doctor’s appointments or other get-together opportunities arise.
In Paperless Home Organization I wrote:
Your calendar is only going to be helpful if you can trust it. That means not only leaving out the wishful thinking but also including all your actual commitments. You should be able to look at your calendar and see what you have going on without also tracking or worrying about events not there.
Homeschooling days often are a weird combination of obligation and wishful thinking. Right now, though, seeing my time as committed to homeschooling has helped me move from the everything-is-gravy early years into the now-we-might-need-to-get-serious years.
Play around with different set-ups, and don’t be afraid to jettison a practice if it doesn’t serve you. And, don’t hesitate to try again when circumstances are different.
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