Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back-to-school: Our schedule this year

When I was in college and pursuing a degree in Home Economics (which I'm pretty sure is obsolete anymore), one of the courses I took was entitled "Personal and Home Management."  Loved the course, but the detailed homework was a bit mind-numbing.  In an effort to get a picture of how much time we waste every day, we were required to chart minute-by-minute what we did through-out our day.

 I learned several things from this:
 1.  I have WAAAAAY more time on my hands than I think I do, 
2.  I could fill in some of that wasted time with something profitable, and 
3.  It helped me pinpoint where in my day I had extra time that I didn't think I had.

I started out homeschooling this way.  I made a schedule (albeit NOT minute-by-minute), and did pretty good to stick by it.  But over time, it got too complicated, and I started feeling almost compelled to stay within the confines of this schedule lest I stray due to something unforeseen (usually by the toddler) and I was running the rest of the day to keep up.  I highly recommend coming up with something on paper that you can post in your home somewhere to help keep on track and to help you figure out where you can fit in the mirade of things you need to do everyday.

But over time, my daily schedule has evolved somewhat.  Now, instead of putting everything down on paper at a specific time, I split up my day into 3 parts:

Morning activity  8:00 am - 12:30 pm
Afternoon activity 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Evening activity 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

I then make a list of all the school subjects we have to cover for the day, meal times, clean up times, and household responsibilities that need to be completed each day.
Then, I can decided in what part of the day each thing will fit, without having to have it done right at
a specific moment.  I have tried that many times, but after getting thrown off by the unexpected EVERY day,
I got tired of either getting frustrated and angry or thrown off the track completely without hope of ever recovering.
It's much more realistic and relaxing to know when something will get done, even if it's later than I would really like, and not having the pressure that the schedule is so tight we'll never fit in something we missed.

Here is what our daily schedule looks like most days:

I have this strategically posted in the kitchen area, so everyone is not surprised at what is happening next.

After we have family dinner, each of the children take care of their "cleaning chore."
I like to refer to it as an "opportunity for helping with a servant's heart."
Super easy.
Each child is responsible for a room (or couple of rooms) in the house each night.
I wrote their names on a piece of sticky note paper, and each Sunday I will
rotate who does what so they all learn how to properly clean each area of the house.
We even get the toddlers involved too.
They especially are excited to be helpers too!!
The rotation schedule is great for the older ones too because if they complain about a
certain area being too "hard" or time-consuming, they know it will only last until Sunday.

This also is strategically posted in the kitchen area right next to our "daily schedule."

We are entering our 3rd week of following this routine, and it has taken every bit of the last two weeks
to get everybody used to this.  We've been patiently walking the family through the daily schedule and teaching the younger ones how to do each of the household responsibilities, and we're slowly seeing some good results.
The hardest part of setting up any routine though is CONSISTENCY.
It takes discipline and perseverance on my part as the mom not to slack off and skip something.
If I do, it's like we take 3 steps backwards!!
But slow and steady wins the race!!
This race called life.
Life in my shoes.

1 comment:

Tori said...

How neat is this!!!!??? You are so amazing! And yet, it is so. simple. I love it. Will you please remind me of this one day (If Tyler ever comes around to the idea of letting me homeschool)? Great post, Brenda <3 <3 <3 :)