A House of Order

by Melanie Skelton

Mapping Out Your Curriculum

Map out your curriculum as you would a vacation. Although you may want to keep your curriculum flexible so you have time for side trips, strikes, having a basic plan will help your children benefit more from the journey.

Learn to understand the factors that influence learning in your home. Understand where you want to be going. Define the subjects you plan to study in the upcoming year and put a plan on paper that you can refer back to.

Life is part of school. Involve your children in canning, meal planning, and other projects. Incorporate the things that are part of life into your school plan.

Sticking to Your Plan

Establish firm habits with your children concerning television or other distractions from school work. Habit is a powerful tool in helping children remain focused on learning. As the parent you can instill this habit lovingly. The key is consistency.

Help the people who are close to you understand that you will not answer the telephone, door or e-mail during the hours you choose to do school. Choose community activities community carefully.

When creating a "House of Order" by having a plan and having control of that plan, you will find other ways to be flexible, enjoy your children and treasure each moment.

Creating Order from Chaos

  • Organize school supplies and books into one general area so that they are easily accessible. 
  • Assign each child a place to keep their school work. 
  • Consider each room by what its purpose is. Keep like items together in that room.
  • Use totes and bins to provide a place for like items. 
  • Find a friend whose home seems organized and approach them about walking through your house and giving some organizational tips. 
  • Have a system for doing laundry.
  • Insist that your children learn the place you have established for each item.

Dinner Too?

How do we balance the demands of homeschooling and fix dinner too?

Simplify mealtime by having a plan. Write a menu out for a week or two at a time, and do the shopping for those meals.

With a basic meal plan for the week it is easier to choose something from that plan each morning. Make this choice as you are preparing breakfast or at least by lunch.

Involving children in dinner preparations is a perfect way to accomplish two things at once. Children can read recipes, practice multiplication while placing biscuits on a cookie sheet and discuss topics of interest. If they learn the most complicated algebraic equations and can't take care of themselves, what have we accomplished?

To further simplify mealtime try using a crock pot, cooking for more than one meal at a time or making mixes ahead. Be willing to experiment. Not every idea will suit every person, but find the ones that suit you.

Remember, you will feel better and your children will respond more positively if good meals are being served. Behavior problems can be related to food, and children need healthy meals and snacks. Boys in particular seem to be better behaved and more focused when their nutritional needs are being met.

This is an introduction to a 4 part series:

Melanie Skelton/Rebecca Evenson © 2006-2008 All rights reserved. Printed with permission. http://www.utahfamilies.net/