Could a slight schedule-switch work wonders for you?

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The following is a post by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

One simple schedule-switch worked wonders for us.

One of the main reasons we homeschool is to have the freedom and flexibility to “go with” what life brings and what needs and situations present themselves, so we’re far from rigid. But though it’s fluid, we definitely have our daily routine, and I love it.

Except when I don’t love it because I hate it.

I mean this: For me there was this particular time of day I hated. Almost always. The time when we transitioned from our morning routine (chores, breakfast, etc. ) into formal learning, namely MATH.  It seemed that every book I read said, “Do math first thing in the morning, when children’s minds are fresh.”

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, right?
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A one-room schoolhouse philosophy

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The following is a guest post by Cara Thompson of Write Season.

There are so many amazing home school moms online.

So many, that my first year of active educating in our home, my heart was given over to finding out how the majority of those moms set up their homes for school.

I zeroed in on the moms who have personalities that I idealize, and I read all their posts and watched all their vlogs. I wanted to join the ranks and provide my family with the best homeschool set-up possible.

I researched and added many voices to my philosophies. Every day I pushed myself to add more good stuff to the list of things to do, to buy, to organize.

And that good stuff began to pile up: Desks. Bulletin boards. Alphabet signs. Hanging card holders. Chore charts. Calendars. Lists. Planners. Oh, office stores. How I over-spent…

One problem: our home has less than a thousand square feet.

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4 spring cleaning and organizing tips for homeschoolers

4 spring cleaning and organizing tips for homeschoolersJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Something seems to happen to me every spring – as the snow melts and the sun emerges, I have an urge to throw everything in our house away. (I never actually follow through with this internal nudge, don’t worry.)

But after the winter I long to shed what we don’t really need or love, to focus on the essentials. To me, spring decluttering is even more important than spring cleaning.

Cleaning doesn’t take nearly as long (especially if you have growing little helpers) when our homes aren’t overflowing with stuff we’re hanging on to “just in case.”

Use the following four tips to help unshackle a few extra burdens you’ve been lugging around:
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How I plan our homeschool days

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How I plan our homeschool days

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It all feels so official sometimes: I’m homeschooling three children.

Surely I need a teacher’s lesson planning book, the kind I used to see in the classroom, right? They look so professional, after all.

Yet the longer I’m at this gig, the less I seem to plan and the more our days seem to flow. Maybe it’s because our daily rhythm has evolved until it’s simply a part of us, and we don’t have to think about the basics anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve loosened up a little (Okay, a lot!).

But whatever the reason, this is how I plan our days now. Perhaps some of the principles will nudge you in the right direction as well if you’re in need of a bit more flow to your daily routine.
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Starting a real-life fitness regimen as a homeschooler (and how to keep it up)

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The following is a guest post written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

Prep lesson work for three children. Draw a topographical map of North America on the chalkboard.  Plan a felting craft for a 4-year-old. Bake a loaf of bread. Gather materials for a project on government and democracy. Research the answer to my 6-year-old’s burning question: “How do jellyfish eat?”

… and it’s not even 6 a.m. yet.

I began my homeschooling journey with my five children three years ago. I was consumed with choosing a curriculum, planning their year and participating in a homeschooling group for support that would preserve my sanity.

As we entered into this new chapter in our lives, I was psychologically ready to educate my kids at home.

However, I sorely underestimated the physical demands of homeschooling. I was on my feet doing lessons, cooking, clearing tables, resolving conflict and engaging in constant activity.

I found myself hitting the proverbial wall by 2 p.m. and instituted mandatory “quiet time” because one more question about the internal anatomy of a jellyfish would send me over the edge.

It was a Catch-22.

I had to find the time to take care of myself in order to increase my energy so I would be able to present a feast of wonder to my children. Time and energy are precious commodities — finding any extra amount is akin to finding the holy grail.

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