‘Tis the season for shiny new planners and amazing goals. I’ve been working hard updating my Clever Fox Planner Pro, preparing it for use and getting the first quarter ready to go.
But…sometimes in all of the planning and the goals and the dreams, you can forget one very important thing.
You don’t need to change everything.
In fact, trying to change everything will often lead to overwhelm. Which means you will likely change nothing at all.
Instead, really focus in on the areas that aren’t working. Then pick one and start there. Make a change or two.
Then get used to it. Take time to see if the changes worked. Then make another change.
Baby step your way to success one little bit at a time.
And if it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Don’t waste anytime researching it even.
Information overload is very real. There are so many experts out there who all know what’s best for you and your homeschool. And since it’s often contradicting, the information is overwhelming. You can get so busy reading about what you should be doing you don’t ever actually take action.
So my best trick for you as a busy homeschooling mom is to stop trying to change what’s already working.
Copy What Works
Copy what works for you. There is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to.
Instead, keep that task the same. Do what you’ve always done for now.
Later, you can come back to this area and reassess it. By then, it may really be time for a change.
But if not, keep plugging away. There is no rule that says you have to have complete upheaval to your life every single January.
That’s just crazy!
Your kids won’t know what to expect. You won’t even know what to expect…
And there is nothing wrong with things staying the same, if they are a fit for your family.
Take my meal planning for example.
Because it works.
It puts my meal plan on autopilot and frees up my time to do the bazillion other tasks I need to get done. I don’t have time to stop and rummage through cupboards to try to figure out what to cook. I don’t have time to answer a million questions about what we’re eating for each meal.
So I found a solution that works for my family, and I’m sticking with it.
And one surprising thing?
80% of our meal plan stays the same year after year. Even though I mix things up and let the kids pick the options. They just like the routine. And so it stays the same.
Kids tend to thrive in routines…
Know When to Adapt
Sometimes, the things we are doing are only sort of working. And if that’s the case for you, I highly recommend adapting before you scrap your system completely. It’s much easier to make small course adjustments than to flip a U-turn…
Don’t be afraid to take small changes. Or to take someone elses’s system and tweak if for your family. There is never a one-size fits all product or service. Your needs are different than mine. Our families are different. Your homeschool isn’t identical to mine.
Look analytically at potential solutions and products, and figure out what components would work. It’s like cooking.
Often, I find a recipe I want to try. Except, my kids don’t like ingredient x and I don’t have time for steps 12-15. So I simplify and adapt them.
I make a substitution, or combine a few steps. Both lead to a similar end result, but mine is tailored to my family and time.
You can do the same thing with any system or routine you’re using. Quiet time not working well with one of your kids? Instead of scrapping the routine, brainstorm ways you can help make it successful.
Make a list of activities together. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of that time helping this child get settled.
Use a sticker chart for motivation.
But don’t get rid of quiet time if it’s otherwise working for your family. (And an important time for you to relax and recharge a bit).
What’s that old saying…
Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
If there are parts of your day that need tweaked, by all means tweak them.
But, don’t ditch everything. You don’t need to.
Ask Your Kids
If you’re struggling to decide which parts of your day need tweaked and which ones don’t, ask your kids.
They are truly way better at providing insight than we give them credit for.
Ask if there are any parts of the day they wish ran more smoothly. Or that would get changed.
And while you’re at it, ask what routines are working well for them. You may be surprised at what they say.
As you take your kids’ opinion, look for patterns. If more than one person agrees on a problem area, that may be a great candidate to address next.
So slowly make some changes.
See if it works better. Then gather your kids around for another discussion. See what they think.
Once you have this part of your day running a little more smoothly, pick another one to tweak.
And as you slowly make changes, you will build new habits.
That will make your changes sustainable.
Which is a good thing.
Need even more help with productivity? Check out the Ultimate Productivity Bundle. It’s got over 70 resources to help you get more done, even as a busy homeschooling mom.
Are You In Planning Mode?
Are you also in planning mode for the new year? If so, let me know one thing you WON’T be changing in the comments.
For me, it’s meal planning.
That’s staying the same, because it’s a life saver.
How about you?