It seems to be a universal problem. Every night, homeschooling moms around the world wonder what got done. What did I do with my time?

It’s discouraging to look back on the day and wonder what really got accomplished.

The passing of time

The kids managed to get through some schoolwork, but it’s hard to see progress in anything.

The house looks the same because there’s always something competing for our time. Completing everyday basics is a struggle.

Dishes, kindof. Laundry, kindof. Character development, yes, but only because it involved apologizing for losing my temper and a lengthy conversation on what we all needed to do differently. Just keeping it real.

Add To Your Day

I know. That sounds horrible, but sometimes the solution is as easy as keeping track of what you do. Other times it’s just adding a thing or two into your day or simplifying some areas.

Here are ten things to “add” to your to-do list that will help you make the most of your time.

1. Make lists

List of things to do

Every day has its own “necessity,” something that has to be done. There will be more than one thing, but make a list and keep it realistic. What three items are non-negotiable? There are days when I can pass on the laundry or skip the grocery store, but other days those will be the things I have to do. When I stick to the necessities, it gives me the freedom to move on to other things.

When the days are crazy, it’s even harder to get odd jobs done, so I’ll add one to my list, and it helps me feel like I’m moving forward. Things like hemming pants or organizing school stuff. Those aren’t daily chores, so it helps me break out of the monotony and gives me a little boost. I feel particularly good about checking those boxes off. (The joys of adulthood….)

2. Note every “extra” that gets done

You have a list before the day starts, but add to it throughout the day or even at the end of it. Don’t give yourself more work, but write down those things you do that weren’t on the list. Maybe something pops up, like a friend calls and needs to talk. Or your husband needs you to get the oil changed. Make note of the smaller things, like helping your child with his Lego project or watching the ants and explaining how they gather food.

Those things take time, and taking notes will help you look back at your day and see where you spent your time. You might be surprised by what you and your kids got done!

3. Read for 30 minutes

Children's books

Break it into smaller chunks, if need be. Thirty minutes of reading can quickly turn into more, but start simple. It will give your kids some grounding, you’ll reconnect, and they’ll benefit from the stories.

4. Play games with the kids

It’s hard for me to find the time to sit and play a game. Having a toddler or baby around makes it even more difficult. BUT my older and younger kids all appreciate it when I make an effort. There’s plenty of learning being done, and we’re doing it together.

5. Make chores fun

Little kids love to help. There are days when I don’t want the help; it just needs to get done now.

Caution sign for cleaning

However, helping is how they learn to do the job right and with a good attitude. I have found that sometimes my days are rough because the kids need more of me. Having them by my side gives them a sense of accomplishment and the much-needed “mommy time.”

Give them a washrag and spray bottle or bin of bubbles, or have them mop the floor with their socks. Keep it lighthearted, enjoy their presence, and feel good about things being a little cleaner. Be creative and make a game out of cleaning!

6. Do school drills or games, 10 minutes at a time


Make it a game. Blow a whistle or yell, have everyone gather, and do 10 minutes of drills. Or play around-the-world. If it goes longer, great. Bonus! If not, at least you squeezed a little in. You could even do it a few times throughout the day, at meals, or before bed. Remember, anything is better than nothing. Don’t get stuck on the all-or-nothing mentality.

7. Use documentaries and podcasts

Kids (and adults) can pick up on facts even if they’re not fully engaged. Take advantage of them being in the same room, whether for folding laundry, building with blocks, coloring, etc. Everyone can be listening to a podcast or documentary and learn a little about something new. It might even spark a new interest.

8. Take advantage of online learning games

There are many online learning games. They can be a great supplement and a worthwhile distraction on those “off” days.

9. Head outside, go somewhere

Relaxing outdoor scene

Or don’t go anywhere. The important thing is fresh air and sunshine. Sometimes it’s no sun and just fresh air, and that might even be questionable depending on where you live.

The outdoors can be therapeutic, and it’s so easy to sit and learn. Talk about the birds, seasons, insects, plants, weather, types of clouds. The topics are endless. All while you are sitting and relaxing.

10. Take a free day

Allow yourself a day to rest mentally and physically. It’s hard for moms to do. It might not happen all in a day. Maybe it will take multiple days to catch up. If you’re burnt out, say so! Ask for help. The kids will be ok without schoolwork or their set schedule for a few days. They need a healthy mom more than they need math. I promise!

Intentional Time With Kids

If you are intentional when spending time with your kids, they will be learning. Stop to take notes of your conversations. Pay attention to their play. Prioritize your time. You’ll see them learning and fit more in if you look for the opportunities.

Women giving the thumbs up
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