the question

"My biggest problem is teaching five different ages.  So hard!  I feel like I'm 
spread too thin!" -Ashley

the answer

Thank you for getting back to us, we really appreciate it.

Being spread too thin is definitely something to concern yourself with.  It is great that you are recognizing it and calling it out.

The danger with not feeling in control of our time management is that we fall into a vicious cycle of guilt, anxiety, procrastination, and becoming overwhelmed to exhaustion.   Each one fuels the other to where our emotional and logical minds are left wrung out and dry, feeling utterly consumed with inability.

Every homeschooling mom feels this at some point in her journey; either for the first time or as a repeat visitor to the chaos.

1st step

Here is the number one thing that you need to do immediately:

  1. Pareto’s ratio:

It is an idea that 80% of the work can be done in 20% of the effort.  This means if you are feeling like you are being spread too thin, you are becoming a slave to your “To Do” curriculum lists/education ideas.

Take a moment to think about what is the most important thing to you for your children to learn this year?  If that feels to overwhelming to think about, break your time frame into smaller chunks: try your goals for the quarter.

  1.  Write down all of these objectives.
  2. Label the “could do’s” and “should do’s”
  3. Circle your top four “should do’s”.
  4. Put these four “should do’s” in a new list away from the other distractors (the could do’s).

2nd step

Now, we are going to take Pareto’s ratio to the extreme.

  1.  Circle your top 1 to 2 objectives.
  2. This is going to be the one thing that you are going to focus on for the time being.

When we look at our extreme Pareto list, we are looking for the one or two things that will yield the biggest result for each individual learner.

If you are able to create this list and give yourself permission to focus on these chosen objectives will find that you are no longer overwhelmed.

 

Creating a win for you and your kids.  You need this win.

 

Your internal feelings about being spread too thin, is not internal.  The kids are aware of your stress and this is going to be processed as “what we are doing is stressful not important” creating the vicious cycle for them.

 

Extreme Pareto your teaching and you will be pleasantly surprised that by narrowing your workload, they will be more successful.  This now will create a new cycle.

One that you will thrive in as a parent-teacher.  One that teaches them to become avid learners.

3rd step

When you have accomplished these top objectives, go back to the other 2 of your four top “should do” objectives and start the focus on them for a time being continuing your positive cycle of accomplishment.

Imagine where you will be at the end of the year.

After creating your list, and trying it for a few days, let us know what is working and what isn’t.

 

All the best & looking forward to growing with you in teaching,

Nathan & Nicole Bills

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