Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tweaking the Routine

I have been trying to find what works for us with the ever changing variables. I used to be a time frame person and it always made me feel like military mom. I have much respect for moms with small children who can stick to time frames and not feel stressed out. That would not be me ;O). One impact from the book "Praise Her in the Gates" by Nancy Wilson was that joy should characterize our homes.....not just quiet happiness but loud rejoicing. One thing that stole my joy was time frames. I long to be "with" my kids no matter if it's math or bath time. I want to be available, aware and in touch with my children not just accomplishing a goal.

So I have been slowly trying to find what works for us that isn't time oriented but still gets it done. I have come up with a block system. I have blocks of things that go together. Some days it will take me 1 hour some days maybe 1 and a half. Each block has it's non negotiables and negotiables. So when life's opportunities knock (I used to call them interruptions) I can embrace them without feeling behind. Here is what I mean. All with an * is something I can leave or fit in my quiet time

Block 1 (all non negotiable)
Coffee and Time with God
Bible with kids
Treadmill (kids play on floor)

Block 2
Shower *
Breakfast dishes *
Grooming and morning chores for kids
Circle Time

Block 3
More school * (certain things can be left if needed)

Block 4
Clean up
Daily jobs *
Story time

Block 5
Whole House Quiet Time
Mom's email, phone time *
History, Science

Block 6
free time * (can be shortened if needed)
dinner prep

Block 7
family reading time, game night, bible

I am slowly thinking in these blocks which helps me stay focused. There are things I will drop in each block if I need to. Cleaning is the first to go which is why I have to have a schedule for that also. The less thinking I have to do the more I get done. Some days we start school at 10, some days 11. On the days we start later I will save clean up till after free time when they clean up anyway, I will shorten story time by 15 minutes and clean a little less. I have a list in my head of those things that must be done like school, dinner, general tidy, laundry, reading, etc.
This may make me sound so neurotic but really this has given me so much freedom. When I take longer to do breakfast because we are in this great discussion about something I am really *there* because I am not stressing about not getting it all done. It is kinda strange to write it out. We all struggle at some level with getting it done but don't necessarily explain it in writing LOL!

At the end of the day how I have been with my children is far more important then what I have accomplished. Thank you Lord for changing my heart!

The cleaning rotation still to come.


Anonymous said...

Looks GREAT! :)

Heather_in_WI said...

Oh, I love that book "Praise HEr in the Gates"! LOL, I'm a scheduler, but I like your block schedule, too.

I'm tagging you for a homeschool resource meme. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your block schedule. I can see how that would be freeing and helpful! Rigid schedules make me feel like a failure and like I'm always in a hurry--gotta get to the next thing. I like the way put the emphasis on being with your children and not necessarily on accomplishing everything on the list.

Cindy said...

I can not tell you what a chord you struck with that post. I live in that constant state of 'hurry and on to the next thing'. I can't stand it but have been at a loss as to how to change it. Your words were definately an encouragement!