FLYing with Homeschoolers

FLYing with Homeschooling Families!

  1. When I created my Basic Weekly Plan I took homeschool prep. and grading into consideration. So- instead of letting all the papers pile up, I have dedicated Fridays as Homeschool Prep. Day. I write up the next weeks lesson plan and upload them onto the kids planners, grade all papers and file them away in the appropriate notebook, I get all the next weeks materials together (do all cutting, photocopying, gathering of books etc.) and put them in the kids in boxes, and last I make a supply list for any of the missing items to get on Saturday (which is my Grocery and Errand Day). I now enjoy the weekend, look forward to free time on Sunday and a stress free week.
  2. Greetings! I have a second grader and a kindergartner and have homeschooled them now for these three years. This has undoubtably been the most productive year, in part due to the routines we finally established. I cannot tell you what a difference it made.

    First of all, each girl has a flight plan. Morning routine on one side and after school and evening chores on the other. They decorated their own with stickers and pictures, so they are quite festive. They have a definite time to be out of bed, seven o’clock, and what needs to be done before school. Sometime after 7:30 I set the timer to go off at eight, which is the time each child needs to be practicing their musical instrument. That helps them to see what needs to still be done. Then school starts at 8:30, and any undone chores need to be finished on break. There are hardly ever undone chores. The little one has pictures along with words, and each flight plan is in a report cover, so they have a place to put their pen, and is in a page protecter. They cross off each chore as they do it, adding greatly to their ability to see their progress. This has really alleviated any stress in the morning, and I hardly get any complaints. It is now second nature to just grab their flight plans and start in on doing them. Clothes laid out the night before really helps morning fly smoothly also. If it sounds rigid, it is exactly the opposite. They are relaxed, with plenty of time to get things done, even with the traditional ‘snuggle by the fire when they get up’ time. Mornings are peaceful now.

    Also helpful, I do my home blessing on Sundays, and everyone helps. This starts our school week with a clean home, and leaves me able to concentrate on school. It takes us all about an hour with everyone pitching in, not much time away from our weekend.

    The school room, one huge hotspot, is blessed seperately, on Friday. Our schedule allows Friday afternoon to be a fun day, with all of our work behind us. We choose what to do early in the week, provided all of our school work is done, and this is extra motivation to work hard. But before our fun starts, and after Friday morning school, us three girls bless the school room. All papers are sorted, filed or thrown out. Desks are cleaned out and windexed off. I am the greatest culprit, stacking teachers manuals and assessments here and there. So I clear my own work space down to a bare surface at least once a week, and am ready for a fresh start on Monday. I have noticed that I am much better about putting things away as I go now, and the Friday blessing is a breeze now.

    Thanks to the flycrew. Flying has really made me a more effective teacher, and along with math and reading I am teaching my girls skills that I never knew. How to keep a home in order, plan meals, and not be stressed about company are skills they will use their whole life. – Casper, Wyoming

  3. I assign a child to each day–ie Monday is the oldest, Tues is the next oldest etc… The person whose day it is gets to:
    ~plan and help make the meals for that day (when we plan the menu for next week)
    ~sit up front with me when we are driving anywhere (that helps solve conflicts about who sits where on our many homeschool trips).
    ~ sit next to me on the sofa when we read a loud or watch TV

    We all go to our bedrooms and do a two or three minute pick-up. I set the timer and just doing 2 or 3 minutes daily does wonders! It is just part of our morning routine before school.

    The timer has been key with our homeschooling. We typically do any workbook type for 20 minutes at a time. This has really cut down on dawdling. They are amazed at how much they get done in twenty minutes if they put their mind to it and concentrate. – in PA

  4. We are homeschoolers (8, 6.5 and 5 yo) but this can work even with non-HSers. I print out a calendar at the beginning of each month from a computer calendar program. On it, I put each kid’s initial every 3rd day (so that they rotate in the same order) for the entire month. On that day, that child has to dust bust the stairs, under the table and around the dog crate, as well as set the table for each meal, help clear the table and help with dishes. That child also gets to be the one to do the more ‘fun’ chores for that day such as distribute vitamins, pour milk, feed the dog and fish, etc..

    This way, there is no arguing about who gets to (or has to) do what. It’s on the calendar on the fridge and that’s that.

    Not earth shattering, but it works for us. I also use a check-list each day for school that lists their morning duties which they can’t check off until they have done them (make bed, clean up room, put clothes away, practice piano, etc.).

    I’m looking forward to the other tips from HSers. In the beginning, I felt like I would never be able to ‘fly’ because I AM a homeschooler and feel the need to hang on to more ‘stuff’ for that reason. Plus, we’re home all day, continuing to mess up what’s been tidied up. Now I know that I have no excuse! Regards, – in Rockville, VA

  5. The timer is invaluable! I set the timer and work on a lesson with my son. He doesn’t feel like it will go on forever because he knows the timer is set (30 minute increments… maybe I should make it 27 minutes to keep with the theme) and we work intensely for that amount of time. Sometimes the timer will go off and we’ll be in the middle of something. We finish and then take a break. I let him work independantly for a while and then we get another timer session. He picks the work and we go from there. – Durham, NC
  6. Hi! We homeschool in TX and one thing that really helps me is that we all get dressed to the shoes and do regular morning chores BEFORE we ever begin any lessons. My children know how to do a room rescue, to put out a hot spot (the dining room table catches on fire frequently!), bless the house with very little supervision from me, and do a 27 fling boogie. Just teaching them the jargon helped more than anything. When school commences, I am free to get just as involved as they are while I tweak lunch along. Also, we have a hard and fast rule in our house: if you don’t work, you don’t eat. Anyone who fails to either help prepare or help clean up after a meal, forfeits their next meal. Trust me… I have only had to use this creative punishment once! It made a believer out of my kids! (As spoiled as we Americans are to three squares a day, we forget that a little bit of hunger does not starvation make… but character can be gained by a bit of discomfort!) Also, I have the children spend 15 minutes every Friday putting all of the homeschool materials and supplies in shipshape order so that we can start fresh on Mondays. These habits are totally worth the effort it took to establish them. This week, the children are doing the bedroom zone right along with me, treating their bedroom as their “master bedroom” while I do my “love nest” that I share with my husband. If everyone is working at the same time, no one feels supremely “put upon.” And we all have abundant time to pursue our own activities if we are disciplined in our chores. Hope this helps! amy
  7. My eldest is 6 and has been reading for two years now. So she reads a book to the baby while I finish the dishes – gets my evening routine done, and it’s good practice for my eldest!

    I get out the Playdough (like modelling clay) for my 3 y.o. to play with while miss 6 is at the same table doing bookwork, and nearly 1 y.o. bub is in the high chair having a snack. They love being together, and I’m right behind them in the kitchen, preparing the next meal or doing dishes from the last one. And when we’ve done that (usually 20 minutes at a time) we have a lesson in how to swiffer the floor.

    Teaching colours – this basket is for whites, this one is for dark colours and this one is for light colours LOL. Even my 3 y.o. has picked up my system of colour coding. And they have also picked up my morning routine – get dressed (although they skip shoes!), do our bathroom routine, make beds, and check the calendar for what we’ve got on today. When we’re in ‘school mode’ we have a routine up on the wall – they can check that to see what they have to do next, and before they’re allowed to play.

    And our bedtime routine is a must – took me three kids to have a bedtime routine for them and now it works like a charm. I make sure that once I’ve put the kids to bed, I do my evening routine, and the rest of the night is for ME (hubby works evenings) – that’s when I chat, check emails, read a book, whatever. I get to sleep easier because I’m not rushed off my feet and I am a much better mummy and ‘teacher’ when I’ve had some down time! – Flybaby in Brisbane, QLD, Australia

  8. I have 4 children ages 10, 8, 6, and 4yrs. I get up, showered, dressed and shoed before them. Reboot laundry, make breakfast and clean up kitchen before homeschool starts at 8:30-9:00am. School finishes around 2pm unless we have a really cool science experiment happening. Then I tidy up downstairs where we do school and play. (We have a 5600sq ft house). Dinner has been unthawing or is in the crockpot. I do 15-20min on treadmill while watching Oprah (multi-tasking right?!) and do 100 sit ups after that. By then dear hubby is home. We eat, tidy up kitchen and get everybody ready for bed. The house is clean and the kids are asleep by 8pm so DH and I go in the hot tub and then hit the sack by 10pm at the latest. This sounds like a hectic schedule but thanks to Flylady it has been a breeze. I had everything done today by 1pm and couldn’t believe I didn’t have anything to do! My biggest tip for other homeschool moms is to TURN OFF THE PHONE!
  9. We have 7 children and homeschool, my oldest is 10 and my youngest is 4 months. I started flying a few months before I became pregnant with our 7th child, I then became nauseated from morning to night and let everything go….Anyway, I’m back and I’m really starting to get organized. Here are some of the things I do or plan on doing.

    I do my morning and bedtime routine and an afternoon clean-up. I am still in the process of decluttering, but it feels wonderful to finally get rid of some of this stuff that has been setting around for who knows how long. I make breakfast while I’m doing my morning routine, and then we school until lunch, take a lunch break and then school a little more. I have a menu set up for our evening meals, but still have to work on the lunch and breakfast a little. I have made up 4 weeks of meals that we rotate through. I had kind of done this before, but had gotten away from it. We have many allergies, wheat, milk and soy being a few of the main ones, so it is important that we rotate our foods anyway. I make bread three times a week or as needed, which is done in the morning before school.

    The other thing that I did is set up a schedule for the kids chores based on the zone we were in. When we are in the kitchen, they all have jobs in the kitchen based on their ablility, and so on. Friday is our day to straighten the yard, garage, and van. Saturday is our day to handle little hot spots that still need work, like cleaning up all the shoes in the laundry room, helping fold laundry, clean by patio door, etc. I hope to start next week having the oldest three do their own laundry on a specified day. My boys tend to put their clean clothes in the dirty laundry quite often and I’m hoping this will help that problem and help me keep up with the laundry. All of the children(except the baby of course) have a day that they help me in the kitchen, making the meals, setting the table, etc. We have been doing this for a long time and they really enjoy it. When the zone is the master bedroom, the children work on the upstairs bathroom and hallway, fold laundry, and have a free day on Thursday if their room is clean. I haven’t gotten to the point that I clean their rooms. I help them but expect them to keep them clean, some of them still need a litttle/alot of help!!! Anyway, I was doing a room inspection every day for a few weeks and that seemed to work really well, I guess I need to get back to that.

    I’m still working on decluttering our bedroom which is downstairs.. The rest of our main living space is pretty much always presentable. I ‘m also still working on the laundry room which is off of the kitchen. It feels so wonderful to be able to welcome someone into our home at a moments notice. It wasn’t that it was really dirty before, it just seemed like it would get cluttered faster than I could keep up with it. I now realize that part of it was my attitude, you know the one…Why do I have to clean up after them, why can’t they clean up their own things….I do have them clean up, but just my change in attitude made a big difference. The addition of my bedtime routine really made a big difference also. I like waking up to a clean house. – Flybaby in Michigan

  10. Hey FLY crew, I am a mom of 5–ages 12, 10, 7, 3, 2. The three older ones are homeschooled and here are a couple things we do. I have the older ones scheduled for kitchen duty–on Mon and Thurs, it is #1′s (12yoaDS) day to clear the table and sweep, #2′s (10yoaDD) day to set the table and clear out the dishwasher, #3′s (7yoaDD) day to fill the dishwasher and wash anything left over. Tues and Fri is #3′s day to clear, #1′s day to set, #2′s day to wash. Wed and Sat is #2′s day to clear, #3′s day to set, #1′s day to wash. On Sun it is Mom and Dad’s day to take care of all the jobs. We mark this schedule on the calendar so there is no confusion or arguments.

    I also have them clean their bathroom–we put the jobs(sink, toilet, tub, mirrors, sweep, mop) in a hat and they choose 2 jobs each. Sometimes my #3 will clean the half bath downstairs so she is not required to clean in her bathroom. In that case, the other 2 choose 3 jobs. This works well for us and they feel good about a nice clean bathroom!(and I do too!!!!)

    We are working on other scheduled jobs but these are the ones that are working well for us right now. – Starting to FLY in Nashville,TN

  11. have the children fly for 10 minutes in their rooms daily. My Ds puts up his clothes, picks up the toys and has even started vaccuming with his own personal dust buster. Since keeping his room de cluttered, he has been able to add some new friends. A fish tank, tow frogs and a Tarantula. I would never have allowed a menagerie before flylady, But my flyguy has proven how responsible he is. BTW, he is not Born Organized and needs those 10 minutes. We will be adding some hissings cockroaches next after the Super fling when we decluttter under his bed.
  12. I have found FlyLady a HUGE help for me. I started homeschooling this year, about 2 months before I found FlyLady. The big difference was in how much we got done in a day. Our typical day is as follows: Wake up, shower, dress, brush, pick up clothes. Explain math to each child. Answer questions. I make the bed then while they are working on their math problems. I will start a load of laundry. By this time, my dd is done with math. I then spend some time explaining what I want done for spelling. When done with dd it is time to help ds in spelling. Kids are 2nd and 4th grades. While they do their spelling work, I will load the dishwasher and start it. After spelling we move on to reading. This doesn’t take much of my time. I tell them what pages to read and they go read while I start dinner. Thank you! I love my crockpot now!! When I have dinner started we then discuss what they read. Afterward we work on geography. While they do that I take a break and read emails or make a phone call. After we are done with school its time for lunch. After lunch the kids have a list that they have to complete for me prior to playing. They will unload the dishwaser, fold and put away their laundry, make their beds, and sometimes change the kitty litter.

    Our routines have helped with CHAOS! We can have people over with no problems and the kids know what to expect. I know when to make my bed and what to do with out thinking of it. Best of all, we are less stressed, dinner is done on time, and the kids are happier. Thank you to everyone! I would still be lost with out FlyLady. Hope this helps/encourages others who homeschool. I love reading what other people do and take what will help me and use it. – Alaskan Flybaby

  13. Homeschooling without a set curriculum, ages 9, 7, 5, 2. Flybaby for one year. Letting the kids explore and inquire as per THEIR needs as opposed to what I think they should be learning, for the most part. Very bright, self-directed kids. Took me two years (until yesterday) to realize that paying for music lessons means that I, the MOM, have committed MYSELF to sitting down and practicing with them REGULARLY or else the money and time go to waste. SO instead of letting them diddle at the piano unguided, I am setting my timer for 15 minutes and rotating through one kid after the other. Even the toddler wanted his turn! In two afternoons they did a month’s worth of learning. Geez, maybe I should have been teaching them Latin after all….

    They all (Including DH) have committed to joining me for the Basic 6 Babysteps from now through Easter. You know,
    1) Shine Sink
    2) Lay out clothes
    3) Bed at decent hour
    4) Make beds
    5) Dress to shoes
    6) Declutter 15 mins./day

    Well, I’m working on my control journal, I’m swishing and swiping, I’m exercising 15 minutes a day (today I decided to climb the maple tree in the backyard for 15 minutes non-stop!), and guess what. Of course we’re not following our babysteps. But we’re doing some of them and working towards doing all of them. Seems pretty obvious I need to be focusing on just the babysteps. They all have bedtime routines and do them pretty well. SO I’m proud I figured out to set the timer and practice with them, and I’m proud I’m putting a little pink heart in my calendar every day I exercise: “I’m taking care of me. Heart smart. Pink heart=I love me. Finally Loving Myself. Modelling for my kids.” Babysteps, babysteps, babysteps. – Fluttering in Illinois

  14. I homeschool one son who is twelve. He loves to do the boogies with me, especially if we’re “competing.” We weigh trash to see who can throw out the most, and count items to donate. We both enjoy thinking of how our “still-good” things are a blessing to someone else when we donate them.

    My son loves to read, and he goes through books very quickly. We appreciate others donating used books to second-hand stores so we can buy them for usually around 50 cents. Our city library is so small, we go to the second-hand store for books more often than we go to the library! :^) When we’re done with the books, we donate them back again. It’s a win-win situation, where we have books available to read all the time without the expense of new books, and the charity running the second-hand store can make a few cents off of each book twice.

    We try to make sure we bless someone each day, and having a new way of thinking about my belongings has made it an easy thing to do. Now I can share what I have without having my packrat mentality kick in (“But *I* might need that!”) and can let things go more easily when I realise I don’t love them, need them, or if they bring up a sad memory. My son can see how things he no longer uses can be put to use by someone else, too. He’s much more willing to let go of things when he realises he truly doesn’t need them and someone else might.

    “I can do anything for 15 minutes!” has become a way of life for us and stopping just a second to *let it sink in* how quickly those dreaded jobs can actually get done have revolutionised everything from swishing toilets to doing homework. Thanks!

  15. I have been home schooling my two children for the past six years (ages 12 and 15 now) and discovered Flylady about 4-1/2 months ago. The differences for me have been in planning things a little better. I have a morning, afternoon and evening routine in place that makes all of the difference… It isn’t perfect and we don’t follow it as closely as I would like ALL of the time, but certainly often enough we are getting so much more accomplished in a lesser amount of time. Some things that are on my routine list that might not be on a non homeschooler list are as follows.

    15 mins of grading-childs name (I can do anything for 15 mins even grade papers!)
    15 mins of grading-other childs name
    Check/update your lesson plan (like flylady’s check your calendar)
    5 min table rescue (we school at our dining room table)
    Get kids started on Language Arts (math, reading ect. Just keeps me more aware of time)

    We also use timers for all sorts of things… We each have our own and when we do a paper for school that is something the kids can do without a great deal of help (like writing spelling words 3x each) we set the timer for a doable amount of time and if they beat the timer they get the amount of time left as “free time”.

    I run our family business from home as well and juggling homeschool and work was a massive challenge bf (before flylady) It is still interesting at times but the better we get at following our routines the smoother things go. – Ca Flyer

  16. My biggest struggle as a homeschooling mom of a large family has always been trying to find time to fit it all in!! Our children’s ages range from 2-12, with our youngest being 2 year old twins. But I have started printing out assignment sheets for each of the older children every week which includes their daily school assignments, chores to be done for each day (which includes one fling boogie of their bedrooms, closet, etc. each week!), and also what activities they may have going on (piano lessons, Awana, softball practice, etc.) It helps them to know what’s coming and is expected of them during the week, and has freed up a tremendous amount of my time because I am no longer constantly being asked “what’s next?”. They are free to do most everything on their list in whatever order they choose, as long as it gets done, with the exception of some of their more challenging subjects (math, raeding, etc.). We work on those subjects during what we call “twin time”. This is when each of the older children has an hour in the morning that they are to play with and entertain the twins. We have a twin time box with fun things like crayola magic markers, bubbles, color and shape flashcards, puzzles, and lots of other fun and learning activities, and that box only comes out during twin time. This frees me up to have the one on one time that I need to teach the older children, while I am able to hear the twins and one older sibling playing happily in the next room. Most days we are finished with our schooling by lunchtime, so once the twins are down for their nap and the older children are having their free time, I can do my declutter, zone mission, and still have about an hour left to hug myself!! Yippee!! *Flybaby in Georgia*
  17. I have three children, ages 12, 9 and 5. For years our morning routines have helped start the day off right. As soon as they are out of bed, they get dressed, make the bed, brush their teeth and have a quiet time with God, THEN come down to breakfast. (The 12yo also showers in the morning, and walks the dog after breakfast). In the pre-reading years, I made a chart with magazine pictures on it (the one of the gorilla brushing his teeth always brought a smile). Later, I typed up each child’s routine (using a different font for each personality!), printed it, laminated it, and hung it where they would see it first thing. Habits can be so helpful!
  18. Along with working on a morning and evening routine, I am developing a school routine…after my morning routine and breakfast I take a break and then start my school routine (working on getting better at it every day). My children are actually better at their school routines than I am. They know in which order to do their work and are pretty good at getting right on it and working through everything they can do on their own. Even my 5yo gets a few things done without mom. I bought timers for all of us. (Trying to share the timer on the microwave and the one on the stove plus using a stopwatch didn’t work quite as well.) I have given them times to try to beat for each subject. If they use less time than allowed, the extra time can be used as a break or to finish a subject that was not accomplished in the assigned time. – flybaby in sunny so cal
  19. Although my children are gone now I remember very clearly homeschooling and wanted to share a thought or two. First of all I homeschooled one son (we have 5 kids and now 5 grandkids) and did it from 7th grade to graduation. The most important thing in homeschooling is ROUTINES!! We got up each morning knowing what had to be accomplished for the day and how we were going to accomplish it. Very important to make your child feel that his education is his job, something to be taken seriously, so we treated it seriously! Incorporate everyday things into their lessons so they make the connection that, for example, baking is math, fractions. Shopping and budgeting is also a chance for teaching everyday jobs through real life experiences. My son visited a planning and zoning meeting when we studied government and he even called our city and state leaders, those people were glad to take time out of their busy schedules to talk with him. It gave him insight and confidence, he can talk to anyone! We had fun, it was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. Working from home awarded me this privileged time with my son. I hope all homeschoolers have a similarly rewarding experience. The final touch…a graduation and party for my class of ONE. Flybaby in Idaho
  20. Hey Flylady, You’ve saved our house and homeschool experience. By Flying my kids get a 15 minute break after each subject they work on and I get 15 minutes to FLY! It has taken the stress off of me to ‘keep’ the house. Now I always have time. It has taken the stress off my kids because they get scheduled breaks where they know I will ask nothing of them because I’m flying. They have their own routines.That means everyone is dressed, brushed and beds made before breakfast, and it doesn’t matter if we sleep in, we still follow the same routines. Does everything run smoothly all the time? Are you kidding?LOL BUT when thing do get out of wack it only takes a SINGLE day to get back on track! HURRAY FLYLADY! You are my family’s best friend. Flying in the Experimental Flying Capital, Oshkosh Wisconsin
  21. My one fear about homeschooling was our mountain on the table. My idyllic image of homeschooling was a big welcoming table ready for any project. I thought this would never happen and considered homeschooling impossible. WELL, guess what it’s not. Fortunately I found Flylady in Aug. before kindergarten, and the table is open and we have done lots of projects every day. How it happened? We use every tool that Flylady offers: “clear table” is on my morning routine and my evening routine, it is a hotspot to squelch, and a room rescue, during zone work we put on a new vinal table cloth or a deep cleaning of the light above. And a major rule is that nothing LIVES on the table, it is just there to visit. I may clean the table 7-10 times a day (it is also our kitchen and dining room table), but it only takes a minute or two. That table gives the sink a run for her money!!! Building wings in CT
  22. I’m still just fluttering, but as a homeschooler I need my routines very much! My kids are nearly 4, 5 and 8. The homeschooling itself for us NEEDS to be on a routine! I used to have planned what I wanted to get done each day, and we’d go til we were done. But being a SHE, my idyllic lists weren’t always realistic, and I’d get everybody grumpy making them work so long, or make myself feel guilty for not finishing everything. No one was winning this way!

    So now, school starts at 8am, we take a break around 10am (15min) and we stop at lunch. I am prepared to give afternoon “homework” if, due to laziness or dawdling, a reasonable amount of work doesn’t get done in the morning, but so far that hasn’t happened. My oldest (who does the most schoolwork) really likes knowing he’s got the afternoon off, and it seems to have helped his motivation. Each child helps me do my morning routine (and therefore it gets done a little better and more consistently than my evening routine!).

    My littlest son unloads the dishwasher (run the previous night) and hands me the dishes to put away (he sorts the cutlery).
    My daughter swiffers the hardwood floors (schoolroom, living room, dining room). She isn’t perfect, but I make her do it for five minutes.
    My oldest son is now on automatic with his morning chore of spraying both bathrooms with vinegar water and wiping them. He doesn’t pick up, but he cleans the sink and toilet! He often sings while he does it, too. I am in the process of teaching him to do his own laundry (thanks to the encouraging laundry testimonies a month or so ago!) It’s a lot better than it was, and I know it can get even better! Slowly progressing in BC

  23. I am a definite FLYbaby, but am so thankful. I am a homeschooling mom of 3, ages 12, 10, and 1 (yes, one!!). I absolutely love being at home with my children, but have often felt guilty about never being able to care for my children, care for my DH, homeschool two DD’s, care for myself, and still keep it “all together” around the house. One of the side effects of feeling that I wasn’t as “good” as I should be, was that I was irritated and frustrated a lot. In my efforts to create perfection out of chaos, I was irritable with my daughters for not doing things right either: do this, do that, no not that way, this way, etc…… I am so sorry for all of those times. I feel now so different and I am diligently working to undo damage I have done in their little selves to let them know that they don’t have to be perfect either. I have overburdened my DD’s with my own expectations and in the process have left them with feelings of not being good enough. Good enough for what!!!!!!! After becoming a Flybaby 4 months ago, my heart has changed. I struggled with saying it was o.k. to love myself, but then I realized how could I not love something that God loved so much?? (I am in puddles all around me….) Then God took me even further and showed me that He entrusted me to teach and train 3 precious children and what He wants me to teach them most is that they are so worth loving because God loves them enough to die for. This has transformed my way of relating to my dear, dear children. I must slow down and let their voices come out and let their heart soar with love for themselves as creations of God. With routines and less chaos, I have time for what matters the most. Not to worry so much if they did their papers perfectly, or if they made their beds perfectly, while mine remained unmade, you get the picture. I learned that if the simple things become habits that create peace and order, then I can truly love them without irritation and frustration. We also are working hands on together with decluttering their rooms, our school supplies and books, our laundry room, our office, our basement and it is wonderful, they just love it. In the past, I always had lists of things for them to do, but never got busy working beside them, now I have had to ask them to help me and they are so willing to dig in and help because it feels so good to them too.

    Some specific things we did, were to clean out some kitchen cupboards and create space for each child’s school supplies. Before this, when school was done, everything went on the kitchen counter. YIKES!! Now all school things have their place. The teacher has a cupboard and so does my little baby for his playthings. This makes room rescues a breeze. Another practical thing we did was to create simple routines into our school day so that we didn’t waste so much time (we can do most things in 15 minutes with our timer!). For example, during breakfast we take 15 minutes and I read aloud from The Little House series. We are already in our 5th book and the kids love it!! We have also tried to break up their school work into 15 minute segments. They love using a timer or the clock and it is a great motivator for them if they know that they will be done with their reading in 15 minutes, or better yet grammar! We are getting so much more done and I am amazed at how simple it is. Baby steps is the key in homeschooling too. Little bits of effort each day conquer big things over time! I was able to create a a daily routine for each daughter with what they needed to do for school and put it in 15, 30 or 45 minute segments. This has been such a motivator to them because it gives them control over their time, to either use it wisely and get their work done or dawdle in between each activity and find out that it took 6 hours to do 3 hours worth of school. Whenever that happens, they are very motivated the next day to do better. It has helped them tremendously to see their school in short segments of time. Previously, I was the schedule queen with a list a mile long of what they had to do. When they finished one thing, they had to ask me what to do next, how horrible and unmotivating is that?? By giving them control with their schedule empowers them and teaches them how to make wise choices. What a simple thing! One of the reasons we wanted to homeschool was to have time for other things and to be less busy in our lives. Now we are busy doing the things that matter to us. Thank you for helping me to see that loving myself, means loving others as they are too. I cherish listening to my childen now and pray that God will heal our hurts and give me the practical steps each day to show my family how much I love them. This teacher has learned a big lesson and Flylady you have helped me so much with this. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. – Many {{HUGS}} from Michigan.

  24. I actually fit into several catagories but figured I would post some of the things that work with our family here. I have taken some of the everyday chores that need to be done daily and assigned them to my older children which we rotate every week. So each morning they get up, get dressed, eat breakfast and clean up, then do their chore for the week. Then my kitchen (where we do school) and living room are in good shape for us to do school. I found before flylady that I had a hard time focusing on school if the livingroom and kitchen (they are one big open area) were cluttered, so having these two rooms picked up and in order first thing in the morning are crucial to us having a good morning doing school work. – Flying in NY
  25. I am a homeschooling mom of 5. Ages range from 4 to 12. They each have their very own Control Journal. Their journals have all the same sections as mine, but the tasks in them vary to accommodate for their ages….

    For example: Wesley (4) One of his jobs 3 times a day is to take a small laundry basket into all of the rooms, in search of any laundry that goes stray during the day. Thereby helping me know where my laundry is at all times.

    I refer to them as Little FLYers. They love the feeling of accomplishment. In the end they have more free time than they have ever had before, because I am not always calling on them to help me get some mess under control … those seemed to take all day to get done … I would get sidetracked and keep them going on various jobs, forgetting that they needed their “self time,” too. Our motto…..”The family who FLYs together, plays together.” When they are grown and out of the nest, they will be able to FLY on their own with little difficulty.

  26. OOOH! I’m so excited to see what other homeschoolers are doing. That’s been my one frustration with FLYing — not hearing from other homeschoolers about how they manage it all. Granted, I LOVE homeschooling my three (one 8-year-old DD and two DS — 7 & 2 1/2) and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it does make keeping the house shining a little more than challenging… All of us are always here so my poor little house never gets a break from dirty fingers, strewn toys, crumpled seatwork sheets, eraser and pencil sharpener mess, etc! So, bring it on! How are my homeschooling sisters doing a better job of FLYing than I am. I’m eager to learn.

    I just recently started my kiddoes on a morning routine that includes: 1. Up and at ‘em, 2. Go potty, 3. Brush your teeth, 4. Dirty clothes in hamper, 5. Bathe or shower, 6. Get dressed, 7. Chores, 8. Breakfast, 9. Start schoolwork.

    Chores: Clean room & make the bed, tidy the playroom, feed the animals, get the newspaper, empty the dishwasher, sort & begin laundry, empty hallway toy basket & put everything away, practice your instrument, water patio plants, set the table, take out trash. While they’re busy with getting their morning going I can get my things done, too: once-over the bathrooms, make breakfast, prepare the school day, get going on dinner, shower & dress, work a little in my zone, pay bills, write a letter, put out fires, etc. This has been much much much easier with the kids occupied instead of trailing after me or making a mess elsewhere in the house. Thanks Flylady! Flybaby in Orange County, CA

  27. I am the homeschooling mother of six children, ages 4-13. I used to believe that my house would always look like a science project in process, until I started using your helpful system of cleaning and decluttering.

    I would like to offer the following tip to other homeschoolers. Have your children do daily routines. Establishing good routines is crutial to children. If you don’t teach them, then you will pass on routines of clutter and poor habits.

    Each morning, we wake up at 7:00; each child must get dressed, make his own bed, put laundry down the shute, put toys and books away, brush teeth and hair. We made a chart for each child, for the younger ones we used pictures. We eat breakfast together, then they all have household chores. Dishes, sweeping, putting food away, and quick bathroom pick up. Each child then has a morning devotional time. This routine is in writing, there is no arguing, because it is clear who has what job on a given day.

    This schedule has made a huge difference in our home. I feel like I am teaching the children great habbits for the future. This routine doesn’t take up much time. We begin school at 8:30 each morning and the house is in good order.

    We also have family flings and quick pick ups. It’s amazing how much can be done with so many hands. I have the children act as runners, returning each item that is out of place to its proper home.

    Homeschooling a large family is a huge job, but order, makes it a blessing. Don’t give up on having a clean, orderly home. It is attainable; it takes less time than my old “all or nothing” strategy. Learning to fly and loving it.

  28. I have 5 children from 1 to 11, we homeschool our 11,6 and 4 year olds. I have allowed these three children to have a page in my control journal, the younger ones colored a picture that I drew of each thing they need to do before breakfast (pray, make bed, get dressed, pick up toys, brush teeth, tell mom goodmorning) and they can check off with the dryerase when they have finished a task. The two oldest also have each school subject and their chores on their lists, it really helps the school day go by quicker when they can see the accomplishment of finishing a subject and crossing it off for the day. We are also newly famous for stopping the school day and having a room rescue. I was pretty overwhelmed a couple of weeks ago, as I told a flyfriend “My living room looked like the toybox and the trash had thrown up on the floor”, so I called for a room rescue, set the timer for 5 mins KNOWING we could in no way get it all in just five mins, I mean it was really disgusting, but off we went, do you know not only was the trash tossed, the toys put away, the cusions straightened on the sofa, but as the timer beeped I was finishing up dusting!!! I was soo excited and so were the kids, it actually works, we were amazed! Thanks for all of your help, preflylady I couldnt homeschool and keep up my house, a dear friend once said a person can only do so much 100%, have a clean house or homeschool, something must give, you cant be all things to everyone all the time. And while there is a grain of truth to that, you cant run around doing doing doing and expect to have a great family when they only get your leftovers, but it is possible to have a peaceful clean home with five small children AND successfully homeschool. Thanks to flylady I am living proof!
  29. I have one big box, with a lid, for each kid’s school stuff i.e. books, pencils, rulers, calculators, erasers, folders, hand-outs, workbooks, notebooks, etc.The boxes stack up in a corner of the home school room. It is easy to tell them to get their stuff out and easy to get them to put it away. They get to organize the insides of their boxes themselves. This has helped soooo much with getting the kids to clean up after themselves. – in St. Louis
  30. My school table was my worst hot spot. I just could not keep it clear of schoolbooks, finished papers, pencils, etc. My solution is a plastic 3-drawer chest on wheels. I put one student’s name on each drawer. Now Daily work and books go in the students’ drawers, and their weekly schedule goes on top along with completed work, until I check it and file it.
  31. We have started to use the timer during school time too. As a homeschool mom of two plus a home business women it is beginning to work. My oldest is ADD so we work 20 min, break 10 min. During those 10 min breaks I will FLY, work at my desk, or just give myself a break. This also gives the children the ability to give their all to their school work since they know a break is just around the corner. And they are learning to try to fit in as much as they can in those 20 min. because once their word is done its done. They are learning to FLY too! Budding Wings in Ohio.
  32. My “homeschoolers” are college graduates that are now blessing me with grandkids! But – I’m still helping others who are homeschooling. And still learn new things everyday!

    The best tip that I have for homeschooling families is to remember that “homeschooling” is a way of life 24/7!! vs. “schooling at home” which is doing each subject separately for a certain amount of time ie: bring a school class room to your house.

    Look for ways to incorporate learning into everything you do – the “science” of cleaning, the math of cooking, the culture study of beds while making them together. While studying history you can bring in science and composition. When we studied the move westward we had to study about wheels, gravity & friction, lever & pulleys because they were all used as part of the wagon trains.

    The grocery story has more lessons than you can think of – culture lessons, lots of math, science, language arts – labels and advertising, history. My kids learn to take surveys and make graphs by doing a taste test of 4 varieties of apples. We did a treasure hunt for apples, they are everywhere – in the produce dept. in cans, in juice, in the freezer dept. as dried snacks, etc.

    We NEVER took vacations – we took FIELD TRIPS! The kids help plan with the map, figured out mileage. Keep up with what we spent. Listened to local radio stations and talked about different cultures, learned about oceans & waves at the beach, went to historic sites, wrote in their journals daily about what they were doing and learning.

    Remember that you can’t teach them every piece of information they will ever need to know but you can teach them to LOVE learning, to be curious, and how to find any piece of information that they want!

    ENJOY learning yourself & your kids can’t help but pick that up from you. They really do catch more than they are taught (LOL) – A Flybaby grandma

  33. Use your timer! My DH understood that homeschooling was a 24/7 life style but he really wanted the books & experiments off the kitchen table when he came home. A reasonable request I thought. However, I had a “dawdler” child. So, I taught him to use the timer. Instead of taking 3 hours to write a 1/2 page report – we’d set a reasonable time frame. If he didn’t get it done within that time frame then it was “Homework” that night. While the rest of the family was having family time in the evening – he had to go to his room and finish his homework. WOW – he stopped dawdling in about a week~!!
  34. One of the best things we have done to teach cooking and budgeting is to have each child plan and prepare meals for our whole family for one month. The young adult is allowed the amount of money we normally spend on food. We even have them use a ledger sheet to keep track of the purchases. This is documentation of their effort and the amount of money they spend. We also made it a graduation requirement. This is great practice for when they are on their own. We let them choose the month they want to start. Our teen choose to do it when she was 14, before she had a job. All the other children know they have this requirement also and are preparing by doing a bit of cooking here and there.

    We judge if a meal is balanced by looking on the plate. Is one fourth protein, one fourth carbohydrates, one half fruits and vegetables? This is also applicable if you are serving a casserole. Are there parts of protein, carbs, and fruits and veggies on the plate?

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  35. After spending a long time homeschooling in CHAOS, I can’t thank you enough for the difference you have made in my family. We’ve still got a ways to go, but we’re making it. Here are some of the things that have helped us tremendously…

    Morning routine All the kids and I each have our routine posted so that we know what we must accomplish before we head downstairs. We dress, brush teeth, swish the potty, clean the sink, clean mirrors, and make beds before going downstairs. When downstairs, I fix breakfast for each child…whatever they want, and the they have free time until about 8:45. At that time they take up and put away their laundry for the day, and swiffer the floor of their room and the hallway. The kids are dressed during the day all the way to the shoes, just like would be if they were in traditional school.

    School: 9Am begins our day and we usually start with our music lessons. They set the tone for us and we are ready for the day. We stop every 45-50 minutes and take 5 minutes for a quick room rescue or another laundry run. It gets everyone off their seat and lets them stretch out for a bit. We try to mainly do our room rescues in the downstairs area so that we don’t get sidetracked and forget to get back to the books!! The kids like knowing exactly when school will begin and what is expected each day.

    11:45 begins our “pre-lunch” routine. My husband works shift work, so if he’s home, I have already started cooking for lunch to be our main meal of the day. The kids put away any completed books as they are complete, and so there is little by this time to sort and put away. We eat lunch and clean up completely before we pull out any remaining books. If my husband is not home, we keep lunch to simple things, sandwiches, canned foods, leftovers, etc. I always cook to have leftovers for another meal. They kids have free time until 1PM every day.

    Afternoons are generally lessons, errands, field trips, crafts or playtime. I always have a plan for dinner and am ready to get busy when I need to!!

    Dinner and evening routines are probably very similar to everyone else’s except we don’t have much homework. We are able to work on special crafts or play games. We do make it a hard rule to lay out clothes for the next day because that is key to getting straight to business the next morning.

    With our routines, our homeschooling is flying sky high, thanks to you!!! Love, a whole brood of flybabies in Florida

  36. We are flying with a schedule and index cards. Our homeschoolers are boys, ages 10 and 11. We originally started with a weekly chart, and they got points for each task accomplished. The first chart had “make your bed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth,” etc. Once that was firmly established, after maybe 6 months or a year we went to a chart with daily chores, again with points earned. One would sweep the floor and empty the dishwasher, the other might set the table and take out the trash daily. The items on the first chart became negative points if they didn’t get done. At the end of the week the points translated into allowance earned.

    Now we have index cards on a ring, a different color for Monday through Saturday, and a small one with the daily reminders. We sat down together to decide what color each day would be, and one by one they wrote out their cards as the information was transferred from my head to the paper. They check for which day they change their sheets, clean the animals’ cage, do their home blessing chore, and so on. What a relief for all of us to have this agreement, so to speak, and we can focus on other things.

    They are expected to be ready each day at 8:30 am, we start with a group Bible Study and prayer time, then we do one or two subjects that they study at the same time. I screen the phone calls during the morning, especially early school hours, as any distraction at that time is hard to overcome. I don’t usually get my whole week planned out ahead of time any more, but hopefully I have that day’s subjects written down, and the next day or two. Our state regulations require quarterly reporting, and I find that a good time to reevaluate our progress. I decide if there is an area I want to focus more on in the next quarter. Homeschooling is a great example of babysteps. Little by little they conquer new concepts and can do the simple things quickly. I guess all flybabies are Home – schooling!

  37. I have been a Flybaby for 8 months and homeschooling for years. Flying has greatly helped our school! Before flying I struggled to ignore the mess and focus on my children in school time, but I was grumpy and short with them. It was hard to be creative because who could find the stuff needed for a quick craft or science experiment? Not me! And it was easy to get sidetracked and off schedule because I was not organized.

    Now we each have a morning routine that is finished before school starts so everything is orderly and peaceful through the whole house. The children are dressed to their shoes with made beds and tidy rooms. I am too, with dishes finished, bathrooms swiped, and one load of laundry going. A huge difference is that I have decluttered the schoolroom and school closet! So now the children can quickly clean up the schoolroom before we leave each day. It is pretty and peaceful even!

    The school closet is so organized ( I did it 15 minutes at a time) that I actually know what is in there, and can quickly gather supplies for any creative activity. I discovered I will never need to buy chalk, crayons, or pencils again! I found tons when I decluttered!

    All this peace has lead to our school time being more organized, productive, fun, and creative! We have more time to play and enjoy each other. And now my “problem” is my children are getting so far ahead academically I have to decide whether to go ahead and start next year’s books in March or do something for enrichment instead!! What a great problem! Thank you!! Flying in Georgia

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