Habit 1: Stewarding your time well
Whether you’ve been homeschooling for years, or you just picked up the reigns a few days ago, there’s no doubt that this season has required us all to make some adjustments. While we normally spend a week each school year training up our co-teaching parents about how to succeed in their new role, we wanted to share some of those “best practices” in case you’re new to the life of learning at home.
This list may contain things that you’re already doing well. If so – keep up the good work! On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling as you tackle your new role, then our hope is that this list will be a blessing to you.
So this week we’ll be sharing with you the “Top 5 Habits of Highly-Effective Co-Teachers,” starting with Habit 1: Effective co-teachers steward their time well
In this season, where we simultaneously have both an abundance of time as well as an abundance of tasks to fill that time, it is important to make your waking hours work for you. Many of us are now trying to balance the regular tasks of life (hello laundry, we see you!), along with fitting in work and school and board games and home haircuts and….it seems endless on some days.
So how does an effective co-teacher (yes, that’s what you are now – congratulations!) steward their time well?
Looking at the lesson plans for the week might be overwhelming to you, and that is completely normal. One way to best utilize your time during each week with regards to teaching your students is to tackle the big rocks first. You may have heard the anecdote about fitting various rocks, pebbles, sand, and water into a jar, as Steven Covey shared here. The trick to getting all of the objects into the jar was to start with the biggest items first.
In the same way, the “big rocks” of your homeschool day might be the hardest subject for your student. Maybe it’s a difficult new concept in math. Or your student might have a hard time with spelling. Whatever your “big rocks” are in the context of homeschooling, try tackling those first, maybe even first thing in the morning (after a hearty breakfast!). If nothing else gets done during the day, school-wise, you’ve at least finished a huge task together, and that’s something to celebrate!
Now let’s be honest: there might be a day that your big rocks are things like laundry, managing a migraine, or simply setting aside time for yourself to rest and recharge. The beauty of schooling at home is that you get to decide how to use your time. And on some days, school work might not be a big rock. That’s ok.
Stewarding (or looking after) your time well during this season will hopefully help things seem more manageable, especially when it comes to co-teaching. Check back tomorrow with best-practice #2: Preparation is key.
Until then, may these words from Psalm 90 encourage you today:
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands;
yes, establish the work of our hands!