Do It Now
One of the ONLY ways that I am able to pull off HOMESCHOOLING and WORKING without screaming to the rafters about how STRESSFUL it is - is by ORGANIZING things way in advance
I do realize that I am a bit Type - A and possibly would've been diagnosed with being hyper, scatterbrained, and unfocused. But I have learned to re-focus myself and my home.
THINGS TO PLAN and SET UP BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR
A space for school: Even though my kids roam the house with their laptops to do work, I do have a DESIGNATED spot for each of them. I use that spot or space to get them to refocus, get some accountability, or to review a topic with them.
Since we have limited space - we use a PORTABLE DESK that we break down when it's time for dinner. They also have a rolling drawer set that is our WORKBOXES where their books and work mainly reside.
A space for books: Our school materials are in two bookshelves. Each kid has their materials for school on their own shelves, in their rolling workbox drawer set, and materials on their shelves.
A laptop: We had to buy one for each of the kids, especially, since one was taking Robotics and the other was doing Computer Programming.
A DVD Player: We have some DVD based curriculum that worked well for us. Therefore each child has their own DVD player and earphones.
Meal Planning: Freezer prepping meals is my secret weapon. Great for a working and homeschooling parent and easy to get the kids cooking. This is another area I try to plan way in advance. There are tons of meal planning templates and plans online. I use those to build our meals for the school year.
Meal Prep Time: We schedule in family meal prep time for Sunday's. My secret weapon is Freezer Prep meals. Here's a great blog post that helps me a lot.
Cleaning Schedule: I create the chore chart for the school year, which typically include 'maintenance' cleaning during the week and 'deep' cleaning on Saturday afternoons or evenings.
Field Trip Planning: I take a moment to review their curriculum and then build our monthly field trips around what they are learning.
Curriculum Planning: This takes me several weeks of research and evaluation of what worked previously and what didn't.
Weekly Lesson Schedule: I put together the first two weeks of school on a daily schedule sheet for each child.
Parent Break Times: Yes, I schedule in when my husband and I relieve each other from 'homeschooling' duties to have time to relax.
Date Nights: I do this in advance in case I have to hire a babysitter or ask one of my older kids to watch their siblings.
AFTER IT's ALL PLANNED - SHARE IT WITH THE MASSES
Sharing this with your kids and spouse is a great way to get everyone's buy-in and help. I do a walk thru with the family the week before we start school, even if they grumble about it, they appreciate it.