home/school/life is the secular homeschool magazine for families who learn together.

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling: Week 7: Track Your Time

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling: Week 7: Track Your Time

Here’s a fact that may surprise you: Only about 17 percent of people can accurately estimate the passage of time. The rest of us are just guessing—and lots of times, we’re guessing wrong.

If your days feel rushed and overwhelmed or just unsatisfying, figure out where your minutes and hours are actually going. Keep a log for a full week, tracking start and end times for all your activities, including math lessons, email breaks, dinner prep time, readlouds, commute time, and everything else that’s part of your regular routine. You may be surprised to realize that you’re spending twice as much time on handwriting as on your other classes, or that you actually spend hours each week sitting in waiting areas, or that lunch is taking up a huge chunk of your afternoon each day. 

The fact that something takes more of less time than you’ve mentally allotted it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can—or even that you should—change your schedule. What it does mean is that once you’re aware of where your time is going, you can make the most of it—whether that means allocating your karate waiting hour to answering your email or realizing that math always takes longer than you planned and moving it to the end of your school day so you’re not always cutting other subjects short. There isn’t a right answer when it comes to deciding how to structure your day—the way that works for your family is the right way!—but really understanding how you spend your time each day can help you figure out how to make every day a little better.

Your challenge this week: Keep a log to track how you’re spending your time each day. To get the truest picture of how your homeschool life adds up, keep your log for a full week. Then consider your records: Are there any surprises? Are there any obvious time drains that you’d like to plug? Do your days really reflect the things that are most important to you? 

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