Well, here I am over one month later, and I am sure some are wondering (as am I some days) how successful my scheduling has been. Well, the fact that I have not blogged once during the last month is likely a good example of how it has gone - not perfect! This is where I begin to tweek some more. There are days, when everything goes as planned and there is much accomplished in a given day. I would say that the schedule is much more effective for the children than for me. I will try to explain why, and I am sure many of you moms will certainly understand. The children have been great at staying on schedule - up until about 2:30 in the afternoon, anyway. My son especially (who is 7) loves to watch the clock, set the timer and carry on whether mommy is present or not - which is tremendous! His sister, who is almost 10, seems strangely more dependent on me to give reminders and a little nudge here and there. Is this a gender thing? Or is it a birth order thing? Or a characteristic of themselves? Not really sure but it is interesting to note. I am doing short lessons (remember!) so the morning can go by at a farely good clip hopping quickly from subject to subject. That is working very well - they are generally working diligently during their 15-30 minute time period and I very rarely see them doddle. I really love that! Nothing erks me more than a doddling student...not that it is all about me...it is really about helping them to develop good work habits! :)
Now, about me - how are my work habits you might be asking? Well, generally I usually have a really good start to it. I am consistently starting my day at 6 am or soon thereafter, do my stuff, get them going with breakfast, start in with some extra chores or baking, and then by 9 am the schedule is no longer followed. Whether that is due to my work habits or just my life with five ALIVE children under 10, I will leave that for you to decide. I feel very much that I am needing to change my portion of the schedule greatly. I mean, I have things like - on Mondays: ironing or mending at 10 AM!! Come on - I think I have done that once - there is very rarely a day that I am not changing a baby's bum or helping a child through their language arts lesson - or - what really I don't know!!??? The mornings just fly by! I am not sure what I was thinking scheduling my life like that - I just want to avoid having things like that (ironing - it sits in our room till it has to get washed again from the dust!) to do in the evening or leaving them till I can't even think about it anymore! So - though it does need some serious revisions I would say generally it is helping us to maintain a more productive and routine life. There are so many days though where the whole thing halts - a phone call, a shift to work, a field trip - and I am learning to accept those days too. I think maybe that is what makes it so hard to get back in to it after days like that. If only I could have a month with no interruptions - THEN we would be right on track by the end of that - habits would be instilled!!
Oh - speaking of habits - the last thing I will mention this post! I woke about 3 weeks ago with a great idea that has worked really well for our family. Although I am a die hard Charlotte Mason gal - and her being very, I would say "not" for Behavioral Modification, I still have a lot of that kind of training under my belt and I can't help but use it with my kids - SO combining those two seeds of thought, I decided that we would begin (drum roll please...) the 5 DAY CHALLENGE!! I made a chart with 5 days at the top and 3 bedrooms in the columns at the sides. Then I said to the kids - "Okay - at 8 am every morning for 5 days straight we are going to inspect one another's bedrooms - including mommy and daddy's and if everything is cleaned off the floor - and I mean every little thing that does not belong then they PASS and they get a check mark! If at the end of the five days we ALL have check marks then we will get ice cream!" (which at our house is really special). The reason why ALL of us have to have straight Passes was to make it more cooperative and less competitive - this was a family Challenge!! So at 8 am, for five days straight we did just that - now the first day was the hardest, but by the end of the week we had done it! Now for some of you this probably doesn't seem like a big deal (I know - some of you have houses where there is very little on the floor for longer than 30 minutes)but to me, with all these little toys and little girls that play all day every day- it has been HUGE - I now can walk down my hallway and see tidy bedrooms - every day (they already were making their beds by then for their morning routines - so that is a bonus). So - once we had that first taste of ice cream - we did the 10 DAY CHALLENGE - with success!! And now we are on to our 15 day challenge. After this I plan to reintroduce the 5 Day challenge again but this time - the floors AND the dressers have to be clean and tidy!! My 9 year old said to me the other day - "it is so nice to walk in to my room in the dark and not have to worry about stepping on something" - yep, I agree!! One little step at a time - pain free and delighted!
God bless - and hey - have a great Thanksgiving - I am SO thankful!