Since we homeschool, we only loosely follow the school calendar, but I am trying to be more organized and follow more of a schedule this school year. My oldest boys are in 2nd grade and I also have a preschooler, in addition to a toddler and a baby. Here are a few of the things I do to stay sane :)
- have a schedule. I never thought I would have a strict schedule, and I don't, but we do have a routine. Although, snack times are strictly at 10am and 2pm, the kids hold me to that! If you have younger toddlers or babies, you have to be flexible with your day. You just can't always plan that leaky, poopy diaper, But as much as I tried to avoid having a schedule and a "school day", it helps us keep up with our work to have a routine. The boys can anticipate what we do and when. They are much more cooperative.
- have a designated school area. We have a table in the living room that is just for the kids and just for school work. Sitting in the dining room all day just didn't work for us. Also, sitting on the couch was too tempting for my little boys, too tempting to just lay around and not actually work. The table is old, so if it gets pencil or crayon on it, I don't mind. We put adjustable legs on the table so it can be "kid height" and adjust as they grow.
- keep track of lessons completed. Sometimes I'm lazy. I don't create lesson plans ahead of time. Instead, I keep track of all the lessons we have completed instead.
- meditation. I have 4 boys, so our house is loud! I found a great book called In My Heart Room. When we all need some quiet time, we read through one of the exercises. It works great for Mommy and for little boys.