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How Do You Do It All?

How Do You Do It All?

how-do-you-do-it-allHomeschool moms juggle so many tasks and responsibilities every day, effective time management is absolutely critical.

I don’t get everything done, but I do a lot. I have been homeschooling for twenty-nine years so I have had a lot of practice and with age comes wisdom. Below I give you what works for me.

God’s Grace

Anything I accomplish is by the grace of God. Commit your ways to Him and He will direct your paths. Nothing works out properly unless you put God first.

Begin each day by praying before you open your eyes. Give the day to God and ask Him to lead and guide you. I have to let my dog out every morning, so I use it as my prompt to look up in the heavens and give my day to God. It makes a huge difference to start the day with your priorities in focus.

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Get Organized

I am fairly organized. I was not born organized. I learned to be by necessity and I am growing to be more organized a little each day. It’s an ongoing process. I spend time each week learning how to be better organized in home and business. Not being organized leads to stress, frustration and anxiety. I read a few books on organization every year.

Homemaking/ Organization Resources

well Planned Day Planner

Make Lists

I make a list every day.  I have ongoing list, homeschool lists, grocery lists, etc. My second daughter Rebecca Keliher has published The Well Planned Day Planners. Check them out.

Scheduling

How you keep track of your schedule is a very personal decision based on your family demands, but everyone needs to start each day devoting the day to God. Purpose to put the Bible first daily. If I don’t, I end up walking in the flesh and everything goes downhill.

I have a basic housework and school work schedule and adapt as the day goes on. I work hard for six days and make it a top priority to rest on the Sabbath.

See How Would Jesus Schedule

Homeschool

My homeschool goals are dictated by God. I don’t worry about what the state thinks. The time I spend homeschooling has changed drastically over the years. I used to be rigid and scheduled, but now we focus on the Bible first, then math, phonics and reading aloud. I don’t sweat it when we miss a few days. Farm life and play time are learning adventures.

I  use the Workbox System. This organized, structured system helps me save time and we get more done in our day. I tweaked it quite a bit for our family but I love the planning methods. Follow the links below to learn more.

Housework

Getting rid of clutter and keeping an organized home is critical to getting other things done. This is a message I feel passionate about and the reason I started Heart at Home homemaking blog. Blogging about housework helps me stay organized and passes on useful hints.

When my oldest children were toddlers I used to say “God should give us an extra pair of hands for each child.” Later I realized He did. We just have to train them.

I delegate housework. I worked my way up from laborer to manager. I did all the housework when the children were young. When they were old enough I assigned chores. Then my girls married and abandoned me ;). I had to do all the housework again. When we could afford it, I hired someone to come and clean once a week for several years. It was very nice. Since we moved, I’m on my own again. Once I get my new home organized to run smoothly I will look into getting weekly help again (at least to help with the barn mucking).

See Homeschooling Develops Perseverance.

Eat Healthy

You can’t get much done if your tired all the time. God made our bodies to be nourshed with fruits and vegetables. Fast food and sugar are never going to keep you on top of your to do list. See Bought: The Hidden Story Vaccines, GMOs, Big Pharma

I recently gave up sugar, white flour, and most processed foods. I drink Green Smoothies every day. Make a world of difference!

Cooking Ahead

I cook ahead a lot!  I firmly believe if you want to feed your family healthy it has to be convenient, so I make meals ahead and prepare once a week salad I can dip into every day to make it convenient.  At least three meals a week have been pre-made and frozen. I buy in bulk because it saves money; then I cook in bulk to save time. See:

2f303e0c192458d401a9416fe950614eBusiness

I delegate business responsibilities. It has taken MANY years to reach this goal, but I can now run Heart of Wisdom by overseeing all projects in a few hours a day (by the grace of God). Hubby helps with administrative duties and I have great assistants for bookkeeping, ordering, emails, phone calls, proofreading, etc. A fulfillment company handles all shipping. I oversee book layout and printing with a designer and printing company. I use freelancers for web design, development, etc.

Writing (Books and Blogging)

I’m no super homeschool mom just because I’ve written a few books. I just write about things I’m passionate about. Most of my books were written while nursing babies and typing one-handed. Later I had a long periods where I had three teenage girls to do all the housework. During those years I produced most of my work. Now I write blog posts in the evening. I love to write. I write to learn, to praise, to share, and to organize my brain. Blogging is cheaper than therapy.

Hobbies

My sewing, quilting and smocking have been replaced with writing and scrapbooking. I miss sewing things but there is only so much time in a day. When I write and scrapbook I am creating a different type of heirloom to pass down.

Update- I’m quilting again, and boy, did I miss it! Piecing by hand is so relaxing.

Bursts

I get a lot done in bursts. I have had a lot of health issues in the last few years so I learned if I have the energy I had better put it to use. Earlier this evening I organized our linen closet and my youngest boys’ dressers (purging clothes). Tonight I’m writing a few blog posts ahead for days when I won’t have time.

Time Management Tips

  • Make lists: If you make a list before bedtime you know what your most important task is the next morning. I can’t function without my to do lists. If I don’t know what I should be doing, how can I manage my time to do it? My lists include: To Do, Honey Do, Urgent, HOW, Homeschool Schedule, Blog Ideas, Educational Links, Read Later, etc.
  • Consider dual screens: If you need to get a lot done on the computer consider using two screens. Survey after survey shows 20 percent to 30 percent productivity boost using two computer screens. I’ve been using two screens for over five years and I love it.
  • Utilize the Internet: I use several online tools to get organized and save time. Check out Trello.
  • Compare lists: I frequently schedule time with hubby to compare lists and make plans for action items.
  • Don’t waste time: Most TV watching is wasted time. I record educational shows with the children  and home organization shows that encourage productivity.
  • Get up early: Jesus got up early, a great while before the day. I get up early, pray, read my list and hit the ground running.
  • Multi-task: I multitask all day, such as listening to Bible studies on MP3 while doing housework, listening to a child practice reading words while peeling potatoes, catching up on personal calls while mopping or cleaning out the fridge (I use the speaker phone for two-handed chores) etc.
  • Limit phone calls: I have had to learn to politely end phone conversations. When a conversation gets exciting and interesting it can go on for an hour or more. I force myself to send a time to go signal like, “I would love to keep talking about this but I’m going to get way off schedule.”
  • Be Prepared: Use waiting time effectively by taking books or writing tablet everywhere. I carry books or my Kindle and a note pad everywhere in case I have a few minutes to read or work on my lists.

Sometimes I Don’t Get it All Done

Many times I don’t get it all done. Some days I get overwhelmed. I fall behind on deadlines, get behind in housework or school work, and we go out for fast food more than I want. As I write this I am way behind on laundry because the dryer broke Friday. Stuff happens.

Sometimes when I’m behind I begin to walk in my flesh (not pretty). When I recognize myself getting into this state (or have it pointed out when I hear our six-year-old saying “Mommy is being crabby.”) I try to get into the Word. Prayer and the Word are the only things that snap me out of walking in the flesh. If it’s a really bad day, I call friends and ask for prayer.

The preventive approach is to begin each day in the Word, surrendering to being led by God’s Spirit. Then, and only then will we produce the fruit of the Spirit: true love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control, no matter what the day brings.

My Favorite Green Smoothie Recipes

Top-Ten-Green-Smoothie-Recipes-200x300

About Robin Sampson

16 comments

  1. You know I am not getting the emails letting me know about updates to the blog anymore? Error in the program perhaps?
    Just thought you may want to know.

  2. (My bloglines haven’t been updating your site, either, so I had a lot of catching up to do. :smile: )

    I have to say this might be my favourite post of yours, so far. It seems to sum up all I have been learning from you, it makes you into a “real-er” person (as if open-heart surgery didn’t do that! :grin: ) and it answered questions that have been lingering in my mind.

    Thsnks for the inspiration to keep on!

    PS – I totally agree, if my day doesn’t start alone with Him, it’s all mess.

    Bobbie-Jo’s last blog post..Average everyday sibling rivalry

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experience, Robin. I am hopeful that I will be able to start my homeschooling journey learning a little more from wisdom and a little less from the school of hard knocks!

    By the way, I also stopped getting the email updates from FeedBlitz. I am going to try to subscribe to the RSS feed.

    Michelle’s last blog post..End of Day

  4. So sorry about the lack of email notices. It’s been a nightmare.

    Feedburner and Feedblitz work together so if one is broke you won’t get anything. Feedburner was bought by Google. The customer support is WORTHLESS! I pay for pro and they don’t answer email or on e the forum and they are sooo big there is no real alternative. Please pray.

    I finally had to hire someone to help me with it. Maybe fixed soon. Thanks for your patience.

  5. I think you have an Excellent blog! I know you already got this award, but…I think you deserve it again!
    Have a great day!!
    Love, Prayers, and Blessings,
    Miss Amanda
    http://superangelsblog.com

    Miss Amanda’s last blog post..What An Honor!

  6. Great post! You can get worn out just by reading it. LOL

    Kysha’s last blog post..Carnival of Homeschooling

  7. what a great blog. thank you for taking the time to write all that.

  8. Okay, so now I know why you get so much done and I don’t! well, at least now I know eh? :lol:

    Honestly, some people ask me that question but it isn’t true really. I ‘appear’ as though I might achieve a lot but that’s because a lot of what I do is online.

    I either do a lot online and not much else or I am very busy IRL and nothing happens much online, for me.

    I just do not have that balance that you do. I really admire that about you, and I am content with who I am. But I’m also so very thankful that people like you share their wisdom and knowledge.

    Bless you,
    Susan <

    Susan’s last blog post..Your Turn! Where do you do most of your homeschooling?

  9. It sounds so very complicated to live like this. I am thinking about homeschooling and surf the web to see if this is something that can be suitable for me.
    I’m still not sure but I start to understand what it means to be a mom that chooses homeschooling.

  10. I think you and I are very much alike. I ALWAYS used to say that God should give us an extra pair of hands for each child. In fact, I used to say “I have two children and two hands. Unless I miraculously sprout another set of hands, two is enough!” Then one day I came home from the grocery store and put several bags of groceries on the kitchen table. My husband and two children, ages 6 and 8 at the time, were home. I turned from the kitchen and began to talk to my husband. I saw him looking behind me and then he smiled. When I asked him what he was smiling about he said, “You are always saying that if you ever got extra hands you would have more children. Well, we could have four more. Look.” I turned around to find that my two wonderful children had begun putting away groceries WITHOUT BEING ASKED TO DO SO. Ten months later Tabitha Grace, our youngest little wonder, made her grand entrance. She is two now and keeps ALL of our hands busy.

  11. thanks for the encouragement today! I needed it :grin:

  12. Thanks for your inspirational sign about “God’s purpose.” I sure needed those words. Best to you!

    Viqi French’s last blog post..Make Money Online with John Chow dot com

  13. Oh my! I miss my scrapbooking and sewing! I had 5 kids all 2 years apart and when my youngest was 14, God blessed us with a baby! I had all 5 under the age of 30. I had our little one when I was 44! What a difference! When I had all 5; I homeschooled and ran a real estate business and Tae Kwon Do schools! I made ALL their clothes from suits to play clothes.I ran the house like a drill sergeant. I kept a spotless home, they all did chores at young ages. I home made all their meals including bread and cakes,etc.

    NOW!!!???? With the 5 all grown and gone, I don’t care where my 6 year old puts his toys or what he even eats:) I have a housekeeper who cleans my house. I still run my real estate business with staff and help from my husband, I coach and write, blog and tweet, etc! But I look back and wonder how did I ever do all that I did? I have no time to sew, blogging took over that time slot. I have no time to scrapbook as an active 6 yr old boy is a handful! Subjects that should take about 10 minutes to teach, take 30 minutes because of his creative mind and curious inquiry. I choose my battles very carefully. Having raised a whole 5 kids the second time around is much more relaxed and you discover, its the little things that matter. I spend a lot of time hugging and cuddling, reading to him and playing games. The time goes by so fast and this time I want it to slow down.

  14. Thank you for sharing some things that make it easier on your journey.
    @juliebavi
    .-= Julie Bavington´s last blog ..Simplify the Season – Baking :) =-.

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