Homeschool Life Hacks

homeschool life hacksLet’s Make This The Best Year Ever ~ Homeschool Life Hacks

by Felice Gerwitz

Life is hard enough without making things more difficult and through the years I’ve discovered some amazing ways to make life, especially homeschool life easier with these homeschool life hacks. First, I discovered many of these ideas by accident and second, I’m not a perfectionist. Fair warning for those of you who are, therefore let it be known that I believe perfection is best left for those who do not homeschool!

I once read that successful people make their beds each day. It gives them a sense of accomplishment that carries on throughout the day. Do this yourself and teach your children to do this one chore each day. It will make an immediate difference in your life. Another great tip is to ask children to do simple tasks first. This builds their confidence early in the day and a sense of, “I can do this!”

Here is one audio on homeschool hacks and another is coming soon.

I’ve divided my ideas for homeschool life hacks into various categories. One is the home, the second is the homeschool and the third is traveling and fourth is first aid. So many times we lose track of what needs to be completed in a timely manner and with just a tiny bit of tweaking, we can make great gains in the process. One way is to fine-tune our list making. This is a great boon to any life-hack idea as well as homeschool tips and tricks along the way.

Homeschool Life Hacks: The Home

  1. Reduce clutter – the number one way to stay sane as a homeschool mom is to remember that less is more. All those great nick-nacks from field trips or your great-aunt-Margaret? Give them or store them away! Dusting these items takes precious time.
  2.  Monday is for laundry- folding and putting away, Tuesday dusting and floors, Wednesday food shopping – grill or casserole day, Thursday lessons and Friday for field trips and make-up day. Saturday is mega cooking for the week and events, Sunday a day of rest and worship. Of course, your routine may look different but keep it similar so there is less thinking and accomplishments and more doing.
  3. Work as a team. Enlist the children’s help and you will accomplish much. Or, enlist a friend with kids your children’s age. Take turns watching toddlers while another friend shops, cleans, or works on homeschool lessons.
  4. Bundle and multi-task. There is much to be said about multi-tasking if it is done correctly. Fold clothes while listening to little ones read. Make dinner while the little ones play with blocks nearby.
  5. Errands: plan them to hit different places en route and on one day.
  6. Do not over plan. Often one event per day is enough to avoid burn-out.
  7. Have kids wear socks in the house, or take off their shoes. For years when I had carpet, I never had it cleaned because we had a no-shoe-indoors policy. It cuts down on the wear and tear as well as clean up.
  8. Teach children to clean up after themselves. No towels on the floor, clean up sink in the bathroom after they brush their teeth. Make beds upon rising, etc. Minimize tasks by doing them immediately.
  9. Hang up all your shirts to keep from folding them. Use thin hangers. Use hangers with multi-clips for pants.
  10. Ask your children what chores they want to do — surprisingly my kids all liked jobs that no one else wanted to do, for example, one liked to empty the dishwasher and another sweep and mop floors, another taking out the trash! If your kids like their chores they will do them willingly.

Homeschool LifeHacks for the Homeschool:

  1. Prepare ahead. There is nothing like knowing what you are doing for the year, ahead of time. It helps for those days you are ill or can’t remember where you are after a holiday break.
  2. Stay off of social media. Yes, I mean you mom! The minute you check emails or Facebook, just “real quick” you will lose precious time. This goes for the children as well.
  3. Keep a routine for school and home. Use Monday – Friday as subject days.
  4. Divide your books by the number of days in your school year (approx. 180) to figure out how many pages you must complete daily, or pages you should read to finish a book.
  5. Spread out the subjects every other day. For example Monday – Wednesday for language arts and science and Tuesday, Thursday for history and reading. Monday – Friday for Bible daily and math. In this way, you can accomplish so much more because you are not attempting to complete each subject each day.
  6. Do not, and I stress do not leave your home on a school day. Keep errands for after school. This one tip will guarantee a productive homeschool day.
  7. Everything has a “home” … clean up your school area daily. Be sure to return papers, pencils, and books to the proper place. It makes starting each day so much more pleasant.
  8. Use a check off list for your kids. This is worth its weight in gold! You can see at a glance what has been accomplished daily and see where you need to catch up or makeup work. Show it to dad when he gets home for accountability!
  9. Allow your children to have time off each day. Set aside what I call, “Time to think.” In this way your children can develop hobbies, read or discover a passion. You may need to help little ones by providing some toys for exploration only for this time.
  10. Encourage your older children to teach the younger ones something new each day. It reinforces their knowledge and allows them to remember things better by teaching a sibling. If there is not a younger sibling you can have the child teach a friend or even another parent, aunt, uncle, etc.

Traveling Homeschool Life Hacks: 

  1. When traveling with kids, remember to pre-pack a bag or backpack ahead of time with essentials such as wipes, snacks, first-aid, binoculars, and plastic bags for “treasures” you want to bring home.
  2. For suitcases – tie a ribbon to identify yours quickly.
  3. Take a picture of a business card, or important number so you can find it later in your photos.
  4. Batteries dead? Drop about six inches above a hard surface. If they bounce once they are still good. If they bounce all over the place they are drained or soon will be drained.
  5. Put batters in squeeze bottles to pour without a mess. I use this technique for pancakes and waffles. I also freeze the leftovers for a quick breakfast when needed.
  6. The back of the door is an amazing space saver. I use clear shoe hangers to store cleaning supplies or even clothes for the kids. I also use closet storage systems to free up closet space. With little kids, put one week’s clothing all in one drawer. No thinking, just pull out the pile to dress the child. A sibling can help with this.
  7. Mega cooking. This works if you do it in this way. Every time you make one meal triple the recipe and freeze the rest. I do this for lasagna, cookie dough, pulled pork, ground beef, etc. It makes mealtime planning so easy and I do not need one entire day to cook. Use a pressure cooker (insta-pot) to hurry your meal along! Yes, you can do this with a large family. It works great. The lasagna I made in October was served through January!
  8. Use a pool noodle on the edge of a bed with a fitted sheet to keep little ones from rolling off.
  9. Use clothespins to keep chips, crackers, bread tied shut.
  10. Take a photo of your parking spot so you won’t forget where you park! Or better yet when you shop at regular locations always park in the same place, it will help you remember.

First Aid Life Hacks:

  1. Use meat tenderizer for bug stings. Even works for ant bites. Mix a teaspoon full of meat tenderizer with water and put on the bite. Watch for an allergic reaction.
  2. For ice packs: use frozen vegetables such as peas or mixed vegetables. Place it in a pillowcase. Works great. Refreeze as needed.
  3. Homeopathic remedies such as Belladonna and Aconite for the first sign of a cold.
  4. Vitamin C for colds. Take as needed. 500 mg for adults.
  5. Neem spray. Keep this to ward off mosquitoes and biting insects.
  6. Listen to HomeopathyforMommiesPodcast — great tips on natural remedies.

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