Dear Channie: I’m Running Out of Time!

Dear Channie,

I have been homeschooling my children ages 10, 7 and 6 for the past three years now. One of the biggest challenges I face is getting through the lessons in a timely fashion. It doesn’t matter if it is a lesson I am teaching or one they do on the computer…we always run out of time! This usually means one of two things happen: either we are doing school all day or other subjects just don’t get done. I am not sure if you have faced this particular problem. Any advice would be great.

Sarah, from sunny California!

Hi Sarah,

Managing time has always been one of my weaknesses–so trust, you are not alone! Luckily for me I am married to a man that has mastered time management. I must admit I didn’t always appreciate this talent of his–especially when we first started dating and he insisted we arrive at the movies 45 – 60 minutes before they even let you enter the theatre. But now I kind of count on him for that.

I simply never had that gift.

I always found myself in the same position as you–always feeling like I am running out of time and battling the exact same consequences. I have even spent several hours researching how others like me dealt with this problem (if you haven’t done this I would suggest it) and even tried a few.

One day during dinner last summer I was sharing with my husband about my lack of time management and he gave me a solution that works perfectly for me. I use it all the time (even for non-related homeschooling things) and it keeps me on track!

The best thing is it is free and I already had it–I just never used it.

Ok, so what is it?

The free clock app on my phone. I have a Samsung, but I am sure every phone has it. One of the features on the clock is a timer. The timer is the magic. When I start a lesson I determine how much time I want to spend on it. I put my phone in the holder and place it on the table and press start. When the timer goes off we all know that the lesson is up. I then set it for an additional two minutes so we can wrap things up. I then move on to the next lesson.


Here are a couple of lessons I have learned that can help keep you on schedule:

  1. Use the timer! That is the first lesson for me because I have tried (tricked) myself thinking I was disciplined enough to teach without the timer. It doesn’t work for me. So use the timer.
  2. Be realistic with the time! Be sure to set aside the correct amount of time for your lessons. My 2nd grader’s English work takes 30 minutes while my 5th grader’s Literature class takes an hour. So again, really think about how much time you need.
  3. Remember to Press Start! This sounds simple but it is true. I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to actually press START. Bummer when that happens.
  4. Stop When The Timer Goes Off! Actually stop class. If you keep on working then it will be pointless for you and the kids.
  5. Do the Wrap Up! Because you may not have finished everything you planned and will transition to a new subject/ activity it is important to wrap-up. During my wrap up we go over what we accomplished, any independent (homework) assignments, and what will happen in the next lesson.

I know it sounds like a lot of starting and stopping–but give it try and see how it works!

This is the holder I mentioned–it is one of my favorite things!


Thanks again Sarah for sharing, let us know how it goes and as always,  

Stay Encouraged & Be Blessed!

Have a question for me? Need some advice? EMAIL ME at In the subject line put ‘Dear Channie‘. Please allow 48 hours for me to respond, as I try very hard to respond to ALL questions. Also know your personal information is NEVER shared. Before sharing your question and my response on my blog I will ask your permission first. THANKS for YOUR support! 




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