September 01, 2012

Homeschooling Tip: Tackle Two Tasks at Once

I often find that more than one task is calling for my attention at the same time.  Having to let go of one to attend to the other just puts me farther behind on my list of things I need to get done. And truth be told, because both things tend to be pretty important, it can be quite frustrating at times.  Perhaps you’ve felt this way?

Have you ever experienced anything like this at your house?

“We need to progress in the education department today, but when I look in my laundry room, I see the neglected mountain of our blessings (referred to as laundry by some).  I could ditch school work, or let the mountain grow taller but both of these leave me feeling unhappy. They both need to be done.”


“I woke up crampy today, and my hormones are vicious.  I struggle just thinking about making it through our planned school work for the day. I just want to go to my room (with chocolate) and cry or take a nap or both.”


“We’ve had way too many outside obligations lately and now at lunchtime, I find that I really need to grocery shop and bake bread. Oh wait… the dishes I need are in the dishwasher.  Ugghh”

Examples like this seem to be never ending, but when I remember to work smart, I can prevent the frustration and feel good about our day.  These are the resources I’ve found to be sanity savers, progress makers, and frustration preventers -


This list enables me to accomplish two tasks at the same time.  I’m trying to remember to use it more often. 

Here are a few ways that we have used this list over the past few weeks:

Just today, we resigned to folding and putting away the laundry (those are the parts I really don’t like).  We all worked together while taking advantage of an AUDIO BOOK.   We listened to And Then What Happened Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz. Our thoughts were lost in the story while hands kept busy getting the job done.

On another day, we fixed some healthy snacks and curled up on the couch and employed that lovely tool known as the DVD.  We watched Johnny Tremain (after reading the book).  We’ve also enjoyed episodes of Liberty’s Kids, A More Perfect Union and Various School House Rock videos.  Can you tell we are studying American History? DVDs are great for those days when it’s just hard being a girl. 

Yesterday, I sent my oldest to the store with the grocery list, so the younger two and I could tackle some other things.  This luxury won’t be available much longer as my oldest is leaving on his mission before long. However, when we do take shorter trips to run errands, we take advantage of CDs.  We can add in some works of a composer we are studying or of music we’d like to learn or a fun tune to learn some concept for to commit something to memory, the elements on the periodic table, for instance.  We’ve already pulled out our Classic Piano Christmas CD.    

All it takes to tackle two things at once is a trip to the library.  If you are blessed to have an online ordering option at your library, take advantage of it.  It’s wonderful!

Can you think of any other great additions to this list? 

If so I want to know about it! 


Update:  This was written (but not completed) some time ago when my oldest was still at home.  He is now serving a mission for two years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1 comment:

  1. Lately I've been listening to April's General Conference (our bishop challenged us all to reread all of the talks by October's conference) while I walk on the treadmill at home. It's really hard for me to carve those 30 minutes out of the day - hard to carve 30 minutes out for anything! - but it feels good doing the two things at once. Double-check!! :D


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