Welcome!

I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

7 Homeschool Mom Hacks to Start Today

7 Homeschool Mom Hack to Start Today

Written by Krista Smith.

As a homeschool mom, life can get away from me in an instant. A sane morning can turn into a three-ring circus faster than you can say “two and a half cups of fruit smoothie dropped from a height of three feet." So, consider this little diatribe an ode to small bits of sanity. Here are seven small mom hacks that have rescued my homeschool time and time again.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Double-up on crib sheets

If you’re homeschooling with a baby or toddler, this one is for you. Blow out? No problem. Pee through?? Let ‘er flow. Vomitus mass? Weellll. These things are manageable, even at 2:30am, when you double up on sheets. Hopefully you have a crib mattress that is already water proof and wipe-able. Layer a crib sheet on top of it, followed by a water-proof mattress protector, followed by another crib sheet. When a messy event happens in the middle of the night or during nap time, simply strip off the top sheet and mattress protector revealing a fresh dry sheet below. You're welcome.

KonMarie kids' dressers

I loathe laundry. But do you know what I loathe even more? Opening my daughter’s dresser drawer to find a jumble of half unfolded shirts and pajamas bunched precariously in the drawer. Enter the KonMarie method of rolling clothes and storing them vertically. To be clear, I don’t go “full KonMarie” and thank my kid’s clothes out loud for being their clothes. I have enough real live people to thank. But, this method has made it possible for my kids to find that beloved shirt at the bottom of the drawer without taking out all of the clothes stacked on top of said shirt and then cramming them all back in hoping I won’t notice all of my hours of laundry-labored-love have just been undone in a hot minute. (This method can be used for other things too like game closets and toy rooms. But, Rome wasn't built in a day. Take baby steps and just start with a dresser or two.)

Create PJ packets 

This one is easy peasy. Just put your kiddo’s PJ top face down when folding. Then lay PJ bottoms in the center of the shirt and fold in the sides to line up with the sides of the pants (about two inches in on left and right.) Fold in the arms. Then KonMarie roll it or fold in half, and you’ll never have to field questions about where the matching bottoms to the Spiderman jammies have mysteriously gotten off to. (I blame dryer gremlins.)

7 Homeschool Mom Hack to Start Today

Establish Family laundry bins

This one has saved us a lot of time and effort in the laundry business. Instead of having separate bins and baskets in the bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and in everyone's bedrooms, have one communal laundry bin cart that holds three sturdy bags.

In our home, when clothes, towels, and bedding get dirty, they all get put into these three bins. NO exceptions. Granted these bins get full every day or day and a half, but that’s okay with me, because the bins ensure that there aren’t smelly socks somewhere at the bottom of a hamper waiting 7 days before being laundered. Ditto for smelly dishcloths.

Prep breakfast the night before 

Put all the stuff you need for a morning smoothie in the blender, stick it in the fridge, and whip it up the next morning. VOILA! Breakfast in 30 seconds. Or use your InstantPot time delay option for oatmeal, rice porridge, etc. Set it to start 45 min. before your kids get up and BAM. Warm breakfast. If you’re cold cereal folks, set the table with spoons, bowls and juice glasses the night before and line up your cereal boxes. It is amazing how much better your day starts off when you don’t have to use any precious brain cells on breakfast and can instead use them to wipe that bit of drool off your left cheek.

Revamp the bedtime routine

We’ve all heard about setting out kids' clothes for the next day. But as homeschoolers, this isn’t really an issue. At least not around here. My kids get dressed at an easy-going pace in the morning and that’s A-OK with me. But, busy evenings when we have Bible study going on at our house, or my husband and I are getting out on one of those rare-as-a-unicorn-riding-a-unicycle date nights and we need to have the kids situated and ready for the sitter or in bed at BANG on the DOT bedtime, it is SO helpful to have everything they need to accomplish the bedtime routine already laid out. And because I know that two of my children are Acts of Service Love Language kids, I like to do it for them.

Typically, I’ll run their bath for them and set out a new pair of jammies, paste their tooth brush, set out a flosser, and turn down their beds. While they’re in the bath, I’ll lay out the books for bedtime, grab their water bottles, and fill them with fresh water and set them by their beds along with anything else that might help shave off minutes to our bedtime routine, or will make it easier for a sitter to follow our well-worn plan. My kids get all sweet on me when I do it for them, and to be honest, I am a sucker for, “You’re the best mom EVER, Mom!”

Plan month-by-month

I've tried many methods for homeschool planning, from weekly plans to monthly plans and everything in between. After all that trial and error, I've found that the efficiency of planning monthly (in tandem with planning out your whole homeschool year) is indispensable.

At the end of every month, write out what unit study books you’ll need from the library for the coming month and tear out or photocopy enough math, handwriting, etc. worksheets for 30 days and store them in folders. That way you aren’t panicked on Sunday night when you realize you don’t have that book on Christopher Columbus for co-op you were supposed to pick up last Friday.

It’s the little things, really, that can make or break your homeschool day. These are just a few simple tricks that have helped me curb the chaos. What about you? What are your favorite homeschool mom hacks?
___________________________________________



Krista Smith is the adoring wife to an amazing man and together they have three beautiful children (two biological, one adopted from Japan). Krista is privileged to homeschool them using an eclectic variety of methods. She has a deep and abiding love for Coke, tan-colored coffee, Star Wars and all things Lord of the Rings (the family minivan’s license plate may even be in elvish. Nerd. Just sayin’). But above all of these things, Krista is, first and foremost, a lover and follower of Jesus Christ! So, may the Lord and His Gospel get every ounce of honor and glory and credit for anything she writes, says or does.


2 comments:

  1. Love these tips!! I can use them all.. One of my own... Plan your dinners ahead. OMG, it is so hectic here. I make lists and do my meal planning by the week. I like knowing what we are having for dinner each night. AND, I can start cooking while the kiddos do busy-work in the mornings. It may involve putting roasts on to cook, or simple prep work. But it is a HUGE lifesaver for my family!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I would absolutely agree! A weekly or monthly meal plan is a MUST. Having meals already in place gives you one less thing to think about in the business of the school day.

      Delete