Our time is really valuable and we want to try to ensure we make the most of it. As Muslims time management is an integral part of our religion with the foundation of our 5 daily prayers helping us to structure our day. How do we build on this fundamental foundation and take ownership of our time in order to boost our productivity and get everything done in our homeschool?
In Episode 61 of the Raising Mums podcast, I share homeschool productivity hacks, to help you get it ALL done!
The key things to try and implement are to:-
Honour Your Homeschool day – say “No,” don’t schedule appointments or run errands during school hours, put away your phone.
Time block – Have a blocks of time for homeschooling, cleaning, cooking etc.
Be proactive, not reactive – Identify times in your day when things go wrong and ask why. Then you’ll be able to identify what you can do to prevent it.
I teach you how to choose the right subjects for your homeschool, how to choose the right resources and plan out your year to create a homeschool experience that aligns with the values and beliefs of your family.
I show you the essential teaching techniques that you’ll need to know to get started. There’s even an entire module on how to manage your time so you can still cook, keep the house tidy and take care of yourself, all whilst homeschooling your children!
If there’s one thing I have learnt over these past few years of homeschooling my children, it is the benefits of being a homeschool planner!
Planning annually has so many benefits for us especially as we reside in Saudi Arabia and spend our summers in England. Regardless of where you live though, I find having a rough plan for the year can benefit your Homeschool in many ways.
Looking at your calendar for the upcoming year and being realistic about what is happening, whether it is a holiday booked, a wedding to attend or you’re giving birth, will allow you to focus on balance and ease for your Homeschool life.
Of course not all plans are set in stone, but preparing yourself mentally will ease any stress that comes along with unexpected events. So here are my top tips on why you should plan your Homeschool for the year if you aren’t already doing so.
Homeschool Planners are One Step Ahead!
The biggest benefit being a homeschool planner, and preparing at the start of the year, is being one step ahead in acquiring resources, finding books, planning outings or activities.
Of course spontaneous and unplanned events/days can have their own benefits too, but that feeling of seeing the bigger picture when you’re in the midst of homeschooling life or things aren’t going as planned really is a life-saver on your difficult days of homeschooling.
So annual planning helps you keep on ball without worrying about what could have been because you’re one step ahead with your vision for the year.
You know exactly what you want your children to achieve by the end of the year. This should also prevent you from worrying if you fall into the social media comparative trap.
Many people ask me about my Homeschool budget and I tell them I spend under £200 or less annually, depending on how many books/resources we may need and I’m sure this varies from Homeschool to Homeschool.
But if you are finding you’re spending way more than you need to or way more than you can afford to, you need to ask yourself why that is. Is it because you found yet another Homeschool bargain buy or that you feel your children really need it because everyone else seems to be buying it too? We can all fall into that trap!
But with an annual plan, where you are focussing on an overview of the year, knowing what your possible learning topics will be, budgeting can prove to be quite useful. Always ask yourself if the resource is re-sellable, can be used by all your children and is it good quality and long lasting before you buy.
Having a plan to fall back on
Even if you take a more child led approach to your homeschool, and feel that being a homeschool planner may not be worth it, there are some things beyond our control.
Seasons, the weather and nature being some of these. If you enjoy nature studies, then it may help to look ahead at the seasons of the year to jot down a loose plan to focus on seasonal plants, grow a garden, butterflies or visit farms etc. The same can be applied for certain topics linked to festivals and celebrations.
Nevertheless, on days when life is chaotic and you feel you may be losing your vision or goal with your homeschool, it may just be handy to have a plan or vision to fall back on. Its reassuring coming back to the goals for the year and knowing you’re actually doing great!
As mentioned above, acquiring resources ahead of time (in sales) or at the start of the year allows you to take a more intentional approach to what you need.
Having said that, recently I found my children are immersed in stuff! Much of this is because we haven’t had the opportunity to sell on our used games or books we no longer need at the end of each year, especially as we tend to buy more each summer.
When you’re a homeschool planner, you can assess what resources you already have, which you could possibly swap or sell on and use that same money or more to purchase whatever it is you need for the year. There may be times you find resources at a great price to use in your Homeschool in a few years, but ask yourself do you actually need it now?
Focus on your annual plan to keep within your budget and allowance. Reserving library books ahead of time and ensuring you have the books you need for your topic is another advantage.
Being mentally ready for your homeschool year could reduce some of the stress and panic that can come with homeschooling especially when things aren’t going to plan!
Homeschool planning at the start of the year means you have sat down and thought out in a realistic way of how much you can actually teach your children in a year.
Sometimes we tend to want to teach everything and so very quickly because of their interests. So, this is a great time to get your children involved, ask them what they want to learn, give them some options and find out their interests.
Finally, because you will already know your child/children’s ability levels, therefore aim to plan realistically for progress by taking the whole year into account, you won’t have time to panic, hopefully!
Hafsa is a former Primary School Teacher turned Homeschooling mama teaching her two daughters the love for learning through arts, crafts, fun and play. Originally from London, Hafsa now resides in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia where she loves to share her Homeschool journey, tips and planning advice over at http://www.mamateachesme.com
This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about home management for mums and how they can run your home like a BOSS!
Do you find yourself saying, ” I wish I could, but I don’t have time?” Do you want more time and energy to do what is important to you. Do you want more time to connect with your children? Do you want higher energy levels to play and read to them?
Now you know the steps you can take to go forwards insha’Allah.
Now its up to you. I hope with all my heart that you use this as an opportunity to really take ownership and responsibility for your time, energy and ultimately your life. This is where you can start! Use this as a chance to make those positive changes that you and your family need.
Thank you so much for tuning in.
I’ll be LIVE again next week, at 10am GMT, Sunday 27th January, on Facebook and Instagram where we’ll be continuing this discussion on home management for mums with:
“Run your home like a BOSS Part 2- Taking it to the next level!”
I’ll see you there!
If you have any further questions, or ideas for future lives broadcasts, please leave them for me in the comments below.
Peace and Love,
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As a busy homeschooling mum, cooking and preparing food takes up many hours of the day. This Ramadan I have decided to meal plan for Ramadan so that I can spend less time in the kitchen, and have more time doing other acts of worship insha’Allah.
For more about meal planning in Ramadan:
WATCH THIS VIDEO!
This blog post was written as part of a Meal Planning Collaboration with loads of other bloggers. You can find links to their articles or videos at the end of this blog post!
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Benefits of Meal Planning in Ramadan
Grocery Shop before Ramadan
When you are fasting, shopping for groceries can not only be tiring but make fasting more difficult than it needs to be. By planning what you will be eating for the month, you can purchase many things ahead of time and minimize the hours spent trawling the supermarket shelves.
Eat more Nutritious Food
After a few days of fasting, we often slip into the mistake of just making whatever is easy or satisfies our cravings! If you plan your menu ahead of time, you can consider what foods are more nutritious and beneficial for you to eat before or after you fast. Taking to the time to think about nutrition, and food that will give you long-lasting energy and hydration will help to make your fasts easier on your body insha’Allah.
Less Time in the Kitchen
Meal planning allows you to be efficient with your time. You will know precisely what to cook and prepare, and so you can use your time most effectively. This may mean marinating something the night before, or preparing vegetables earlier in the day when you’re less tired. Whatever works for you! You may even be able to prepare some dishes ahead of time before Ramadan begins, and keep them in the freezer.
Also spend some time thinking about what you are going to give your children to eat. When you are fasting, it can be hard to keep up with the demands of hungry children. Try to plan some nutritious and easy to make lunches and snacks for your kids.
Less time in the kitchen means more time in ibadah! It will also give you time to rest in the afternoon, so you can pray taraweeh insha’Allah.
Wasting food is a sin. However, sometimes due to our disorganized lives, food does go to waste. In this blessed month, the last thing we want to do is to commit bad deeds. Meal planning will help you to minimize food wastage insha’Allah, because you will only buy what you need. Also, it allows you to plan your meals so nothing is wasted. For example, if your curry only requires half an onion, you can plan to use the other half in the vegetable side dish.
Free your Mind
Knowing that the meals for Ramadan are planned, and the shopping has been done, will free your mind!
Instead of spending time wondering what you will cook that afternoon, you can use that time to reflect on more important things!
The Ramadan Meal Planner
My gift to you this Ramadan is this RamadanMeal Planner. I hope that it will help you be prepared for Ramadan, and make the most of this Blessed month insha’Allah.
You may wish to plan out suhoor, iftaar, and kids meals; or you may only need to plan iftaar. Please use these FREE PRINTABLE sheets in whichever way suits your family.
This first step it to plan the meals that you and your family enjoy eating in Ramadan. Sometimes, your family’s preferences and the type of food you eat during Ramadan are different from other times in the year.
Personally, I know my family prefer to eat lighter foods, and foods with a lot of sauce! This is the stage where you can consider the nutritious value of the meal, and if it will sustain your family through the long fast or the long taraweeh prayer.
Use our Meal ideas sheets to plan out what you will be serving your family. I have included a page for suhoor, iftaar, and for kids’ lunch.
Now is the time, before Ramadan starts, to get out your cookbooks. Look through Pinterest or Google now. Looking at all the yummy recipes out there is not easy when you’re fasting. Do it now! Try to choose recipes that are simple to make, or that you can prepare now and freeze ahead of time.
Fill in the Weekly Chart
The next step is to fill in the weekly chart. Print out 4 copies of this chart and, using the Meal ideas pages, fill it in. You will probably be repeating some recipes throughout the month. That’s ok! My planning out the month, you can make sure those repeated meals are not too close together.
Write your Shopping List
Use our shopping list to write out what you need to buy, and refer back to your weekly plan. You may want to print out several copies of this and use one for the butchers and one for the supermarket.
Also, print one out for this you can buy now ahead of time (like rice, lentils, canned tomatoes etc.). Then write a shopping list for each week of Ramadan. It will be so nice for you, when Ramadan begins, to have everything already written out!