I’m not going to lie and tell you that everything is sunshine and roses around here every day. My seven-year-old reminds me often that he doesn’t-like-school-not-one-little-bit.

I don’t fret too much about this, because I remember the nine-year-old going through just such a stage.

How to Take Charge of Your Homeschool DayIn the meantime, we are putting our head down, carrying on each morning, and not doing too badly with it. And then a few weeks ago my friend Sarah called, totally psyched about this new method she was using that was making such a huge difference in her homeschool days.

She eventually wrote a post about it — you can see it all at How I’m Using Spiral Notebooks to Simplify Homeschooling.

Well you know my ears perked up at the whole “This is incredible, and it is making my life easier” gush. But Sarah was all about using this with her independent big kids, so we figured it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort to me to try it — my kids are younger after all.

Then the post came out, and I just had to give it a shot. And you know what? I discovered something about the notebook trick that totally made it awesome for me — something we had never considered before.

It’s all about decision making.

How to Take Charge of Your Homeschool Day ChecklistI realized as I sat and wrote out those checklists that I made about 20 different decisions in that moment. Exactly what we were going to do the next day, what each kid needed to focus on, how much to assign and more.

These were 20 decisions that were now already made and did not have to be made in the heat of the moment while we were doing school. I even made a “group list” to make decisions for everything we do as a group.

Sure, I make a plan for the year, but because I leave my plans flexible on purpose, I never realized how many decisions I left hanging until the morning of school. The physical act of making a list the night before helps me have a more peaceful day that runs just a little more on autopilot.

Less indecision. Less grumpiness trying to think while everyone talks at once.

It was pretty helpful to me, and I thought it might be to you too.

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Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.
Pam Barnhill