Whether you’re new to homeschooling or you’ve been doing it for years, most would agree that there are challenges and obstacles that need to be addressed.
Homeschooling definitely has its advantages, but sometimes the challenges and obstacles seem far bigger than its advantages. If you’re a single parent, that alone can seem like an insurmountable problem.
One of my biggest challenges is time and scheduling. Between work, homeschooling, household chores, and wanting to make sure that everyone has time for some relaxed fun that is not related to school or work, sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time for it all. I’ve considered unschooling, but my kids need more structure than that. We do a bit of something like unschooling, but there’s still so much that requires more scheduling.
So as part of my new year’s changes, I got a new planner to help with that. It’s called the Passion Planner and it’s described as “An all-in-one weekly appointment calendar, journal, goal setting guide, to-do list, and gratitude log integrated in one planner.” I chose this particular planner over many others because it does so much more than just allow me to schedule things on a line next to a time. I can jot notes (for example, what I plan to blog about next week), I can list things that need to be done on a list of priorities (for those things that need to be done but I can’t/don’t want to set a specific date/time for them or that I want to make absolutely certain that I remember to do). I can look at an overall view of the month where I jot down the big things that are happening (appointments, classes that start/end, etc.), and I can look at just the week at hand, or the day I’m on. And there are journaling pages, and questions at the end of each month regarding how the previous month went to help me figure out if I’m on track for my goals, both for homeschooling and my writing. It even has some pages for helping you determine and set your goals and breaking them down into manageable tasks so that you can actually make progress.
But that’s not all I’m using to help organize and schedule our days better. I also made up a lesson planner where I can lay out our plans for the week, broken down by day. And I created a daily planner for each of my kids where I can list not only their assignments for the day, but the activities I’d like them to do online, their reading, any field trips or park days or other out of the house activities, and their chores. I’m hoping that if we all have everything we need to do each day laid out for us clearly, where we can see what all needs to be done and check things off as they get done, not only will we get more accomplished, but we’ll feel more accomplished. Not to mention, listing the chores I hate to do (*cough* laundry *cough*), will force me to do them even when I look for excuses not to, because I won’t want to leave that one thing unchecked when the rest of my day is done.
And as a bonus, this also puts me in a better position to schedule some time for me. I can actually write in time for me to go out with friends, sit back with a cup of tea and read, or watch a movie.
So that’s my biggest challenge. What I’d like to know now is what is your biggest challenge? Or, if you aren’t homeschooling just yet, what is your biggest obstacle that’s stopping you or holding you back? Alternatively, if you feel that you’ve overcome your biggest challenge/obstacle, then share what that challenge/obstacle was and how you managed to overcome it?