Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scheduling my Life

I read this book this summer. "Managers of their Homes". I became convinced that it is a good idea to have a schedule for my family. I have seen too many hours wasted away in our home - having good intentions to complete projects and get certain subjects done doesn't seem to make much difference. So - I have become a scheduler! Here is a picture of my colourful work in progress - this is the step before the "master list" that I will done before this day is through. (the yellow is Bill, orange me, red Rowe, blue Alex, yellow Elisa and pink Mia - no I didn't schedule baby Bekah!!)

We have been implementing portions of it over the last month or so. The first stage - what I will call Phase One was a scary one for me. I needed to begin waking up at 6 am and going to bed by 10 pm. I have been struggling with this one for years - always pregnant or nursing a newborn, it seems like, this has been an impossibility! Well now I do not have that excuse (I guess that's a good thing...{sigh}) so now I can start to get myself where I want to be! Let me tell you - getting up at 6 am at the beginning was not easy. I have been rising, up until this point, at 7 am or later - depending when the kids woke up. The children are always hungry at this time of day, and of course I felt like I was hopping out of bed and running a marathon right from the outset. Now, oh what a reward! I wake to silence. (and it certainly has gotten easier!) I have a shower, or start laundry, maybe tidy a few things up and by 6:30 I am ready to have my time sitting with God and His Word withOUT falling asleep again (that was a big tip in this book - work on something first to get yourself awake - I had never thought of that before). My 5 year old usually wakes up before 7 but I have taught her to STAY in her room till 7 and by then breakfast (almost always a pot of oatmeal) is ready to be eaten. At this point I drag the big ones out of bed, they come to the table dressed, faces washed, beds made and ready to eat. We all finish breakfast by 7:30, Rowe and Allie (9 and 7) do their morning routines (including cleaning the kitchen table and bathroom) and an 'extra' chore such as wash a window or clean the microwave (can you tell I'm loving this?) and by 8 we are all ready to start the day. (and that's only the first 2 hours!)

Now - a word about overscheduling cause I am thinking you might be thinking what my husband feels - I don't want my whole life scheduled! And I agree that I don't want to be a slave to my schedule - feeling pressured to perform right on the mark and not vary from that. But so far something amazing is happening through this schedule, and that's why I decided to include it in my blog. Somehow I actually feel MORE calm about our days, I feel MORE free then ever before - I am not constantly feeling like I am getting nothing accomplished, because I know I will either get to it later, or I know it will happen in some shape or form. Bill has reminded me that recently we heard a man, Joe Boot (check him out at explain that if we did not have the Law of Gravity we would not have the FREEDOM to move around in it. That might be in the right direction of how I am thinking with this schedule thing. Not until I begin to live as one "under" the law or the schedule do I have the freedom to truly experience life as it is meant to be lived.

I have not scheduled a lot of Bill's time - his choice - and mine too really - I know he wouldn't live by it right now. His schedule for work is so all over the place that it would be difficult anyway, but I have his mornings a bit scheduled in that a different day of each week he will spend 30 min-1 hour with a different child doing something one on one together (Baseball, biking, a project, reading etc.) and he will be teaching history to the kids. I am hoping this is successful. I think we all need a bit of structure -there have been just too many weeks that go by and we say - what have we really accomplished? He also has a chore list - very easy and minor (ie. Mondays - garbage) but just to keep him and I accountable for the work that gets done around the house. My chore list is quite a bit more involved but that's because I am more on board with this and this IS my workplace now. I have done this mainly to alleviate doing ALL my house cleaning on Saturdays - making for a miserable weekend. The kids and I have divided the work up throughout the week and it leaves very little to be done on Saturday - I will let you know how that goes too :)

I know I homeschool and I know that lots of people looking at this don't homeschool, but I think you might want to consider scheduling the time that you are home, making you and your family more productive with the time that we do have home with our spouses and/or children.

Something to think about.

Oh, by the way - I didn't schedule Saturdays - my blogging is an "extra" right now that I just happened to make time for today since there is so much free time! So far so good...