Avoiding Decision Fatigue in Your Homeschool

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Can everyone just stop asking questions, please?

I have said this on more than one occasion in my house.

Everyone has a question for mom – the one who holds all knowledge and the answers to all things.

Also known as me. But I don’t have all the answers. I’ve got nothing.

I’m just tired. And it makes a little bit crabby. Hence, why I tell my kids to stop asking me things.

Recently I learned of something called “decision fatigue. “ It means that you are exhausted from making hundreds of decisions every day.

Yes. I definitely have this. I diagnosed myself.

It’s just one of the many reasons why my brain is mush and I’m so tired.

So, I’ve been taking some steps to combat this decision fatigue.

I have a plan. I have certain procedures in place, so that I don’t have to make so many decisions in the moment.

And I’m feeling just a little less crazy after simplifying and eliminating many of my daily decisions.

Here’s what I’ve done to simplify, create routine, and plan ahead.

Meal Plan Rotation

I’ve created a simple meal plan rotation. We have a theme for each night of the week and there are 7 or 8 dishes that fit into that category. Each week I create a menu plan by taking one meal from each category and writing it on that day in my calendar.

Then I immediately create my grocery list. And the most important step – I write the plan on a chalkboard in the kitchen. Now, no one has to ask me about the weekly meals. They can read it for themselves.

Weekly Family Calendar

I have a quick calendar overview meeting with my hubby each weekend to plan for our upcoming week. Then I write that plan on a weekly calendar grid that hangs in our kitchen. Now my kids know the upcoming activities and events for the week.

Open-and-Go Curriculum

I’ve chosen curriculum that is easy to use and doesn’t contain too many options or choices. I want to be able to open that teacher’s manual and know the lesson objective and exactly what I need to teach for that lesson.

Whenever possible I buy the manipulative kits or book bundles that accompany that curriculum. Now I don’t have to look for additional resources to supplement our learning. Everything is provided with the curriculum and I only have to reach into the canvas tote to get what we need.

Summer Curriculum Planning

Each summer I use my simple planning method to give myself an overview of our homeschool year as well as our daily goals for each subject. I know exactly how many lessons of each subject we need to complete weekly to be able to finish by our target end date.

Then I use my sticky notes and flag our curriculum by the week. I put a sticky tab at the end of each week’s work so we have visual reminders of our weekly goals. My kids don’t need to ask me how many pages or lessons to complete. They simply work until they reach the next sticky flag in their book and then they’re done for that week.

Daily Schedule

I create a daily schedule so that our days can have a consistent rhythm. We have a set start time to our day so my kids know the expectation of when we will be doing school each day.

And I try to make sure each day follows the same routine so it quickly becomes habit. My kids know exactly when we begin group school and when they will have individual time with me.

Daily Work and Chore Checklist

I print out a short checklist for each child that lists each subject. Then we have a separate list of chores. I laminate both and hang them in our homeschool room.

Each day they can cross items off their list as they complete them. And I can quickly go through the list with them to make sure they are on task and remembering each chore.

Yes, all my planning takes a little bit of time. But now I have systems and routines that have been put in place. I make fewer decisions throughout the day and my kids know the school work expectations, the daily and weekly schedule, the menu plan, and the chore and homework list.

I do less reminding and I answer fewer questions because we now have habits and routines to get things done.

If you haven’t taken some steps to do some planning ahead for your household or homeschool, I highly encourage you to find some routines and systems to put in place so you can make fewer decisions and have a better flow to your day and week.

Find more homeschool ideas and inspiration here:

The Sticky Note Planning System

Meal Planning

My Homeschool Planning Nights

Trimester Plan

How to Plan Your Homeschool Year

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