One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you stay on task?" The other would be, "How do you stay on target while working toward your goals?" These are two VERY good questions. Staying on target, and staying on task, can be challenging for any homeschooling family. This is especially true for a special needs family. Keeping house, managing a family, doctor visits, extra curricular activities, therapy appointments, family time, etc...etc..etc. All of these things elbow their way into your time making it very difficult to find the time to do what you need to do for your homeschool.
The single most important thing you can do is make your homeschool a priority. It is just as important as those doctor's visits and therapy appointments, so you should treat it that way. Make sure when you schedule appointments, you keep in mind your homeschool life. Will that appointment cause a disruption? If so, is there a way to minimize that disruption by scheduling it in the afternoon? Or is it possible to delay homeschooling until the afternoon for just that day? Can that appointment double as hands on learning to replace a subject for that day? Take into consideration your need to stay on task and on target in your homeschool when scheduling appointments and other errands that need to be completed.
LISTS AND NOTES
My computer monitor is usually surrounded by Post-Its. Seriously, 3M should send me some as a thank you for all the ones I buy on a regular basis. Post-Its are my "thing." They keep me organized, and keep me on track. I can jot down my ideas, and deadlines, and stick them in order of priority. I can jot down what lessons I want to focus on more, and keep it along side everything else that needs done. In addition to that, a visual chart is fantastic. I have a "chalk board" wall sticker "To Do List" that hangs on the wall beside my computer. On that sticker I have the following written:
This allows both Mr. B and I to see what has been completed for the day, and what still needs to be finished. We have our 5 core subjects to finish, and we have review materials to work on. Most of the time, the review materials work with the core subjects, so we kill two (or more) birds with one stone that way, but sometimes they are different. I don't want to leave something out, so we check them off as we complete them. A missing check mark means our day is incomplete, and we need to get busy and get it done.
Before our school year even begins, I sit down and make a yearly goal. I decide what goals I want us to reach for each subject, and an overall goal. This year, the overall goal is full completion. I want him to be able to complete a full day, on time, without too much trouble. That's our ultimate goal for the year, and every day I have that in mind while we homeschool so that I can continual tweak things in an attempt to meet that goal. It's very important to remember never set a goal that is unattainable.
Leave me a comment and let me know what your goals are!