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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time Management

Time Management and parenting have got to be oxymorons.  Whoever thought that a mom can wash dishes, do laundry, bathe children, cook meals, pay bills, teach children, bake for hubby's boss, make beds, clean toilets, wash the dogs, and still look pretty - was right!

Time management is not taught any more.  It is not something you just learn.  I have been using a 15 min-at-a-time schedule for my three home schooled students.  Every Monday after co-op we come straight home and print off 4 pages of this schedule.  In pen, Mom writes the things we HAVE to do that cannot be changed.  This would consist of doctor appointments, church, scouts....  Then in pencil, the children go through their syllabi and schedule out their work for the week.

For instance, if my youngest (10yo) knows that it will take her at least 30 minutes to do page 45 of her math book, she schedules 30 minutes to do one math page.  Later in the week, she schedules 15 minutes for us to grade and go over her math assignments.  We also take this time to correct anything that is wrong.  Then we enter all of the zoology, history, literature, reading, vocabulary, awana study time, banjo practice, piano practice and even leave an hour or so open every day (usually late afternoon) for make up work.  This is set aside for finishing anything that was not completed in the allotted time earlier in the day.

On this schedule we also include time for chores, fun time, going to grandmas, leaving grandmas, birthday parties, field trips, and anything else that may need to get done.

The great thing about these paper schedules (I have tried a lot in the past!) is that the children do it themselves, so they are held accountable for their own time and work.  Also, if something comes up - emergency dr appt, some one is sick, surprise trip.... we can erase and reschedule.

At the end of every 15 minute period, I check what is done (not so much for my high schooler, but more for my 4th grader), initial it was completed.

After an assignment is completed by the kids, they simply highlight that time segment, whether it was 15 minutes or an entire hour, to show that it was done.  This gives the kids pride to see how much they finished in their day and where they need to schedule more time for certain subjects.

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