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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scheduling


A couple months ago and before we started school I decided to read Managers of Their Homes.  I have known about the Maxwell's books for a long time, but I had never read one.  I guess I just figured it couldn't be that hard to make a schedule.  Honestly, it really isn't that difficult, but this book was extremely helpful to me.  The Maxwell's have a wealth of experience and wisdom from raising and homeschooling their eight children.  The book talks about the importance of budgeting our time...just like we budget our finances.  I won't go into a lot of detail, but I highly recommend it.  It is definitely worth the money and is so helpful in many ways.




My time is currently scheduled out in 30-minute increments starting at 5:30 in the morning and ending at 10:00 at night.  I will be honest and say that I have only kept the whole schedule a couple of times.  When the first trimester nausea and fatigue hit, I made it my goal to stick to the morning and midday schedule, but to be flexible in the afternoon and evening.  Some things did not get done, but I did get in some naps and I was able to put my feet up when I felt like I needed to.  I plan to start back with the afternoon and evening routines at the beginning of October.

I certainly don't mind sharing our schedule with anyone who would find it helpful or interesting, but I don't particularly want to post it on here so that anyone and everyone can see what I am doing at any given moment in the day.  If you are interested, just leave a comment on this post and I will email it to you.  There is also a very helpful post here about another large homeschooling family who budgets their time in the same manner. They have a picture of their schedule that you can click on to look at how they do things.




One of my biggest hesitations with having such a structured schedule was wondering if I would be okay with it not working out every once in a while.  I tend to err on the side of being a slave to what I have planned.  I don't like for my plans to be messed up.  After working with this schedule for well over a month now, I have to say that it is actually easier for me to be flexible than it was when my time was not budgeted out so specifically.  Part of the reason for this is that I know that I have a certain time set aside every day (or week, depending on what we're talking about) for each task.  If we skip Hannah and Esther's math one day so that we have an hour to go to the library, it's not a big deal!  We will pick up where we left off the next day, and they each have 30 minutes of one-on-one math time with me every day.  Today we ignored our schedule altogether and drove up into the mountains to get apples.  The schedule will still be there tomorrow and we will pick up where we left off yesterday.  That is very freeing to me.

I really like having a set amount of time to complete certain things.  One of my frustrations with school in the past has been feeling like I HAD to finish a whole math lesson every day or get a whole spelling lesson dictated and quizzed each day.  Well, I don't.  I have a certain amount of time allotted for those things and we just work hard and get done as much as we can in that time frame.  I have found that we have gotten a lot more accomplished this way than we have in previous years when I would get stuck on getting a whole lesson completed.  That would frequently turn into hours of time and frustration for everyone involved, not to mention no time left over for other things.  Slow and steady progress has proven to work extremely well for us this year.  Sometimes it is hard to just stop and put things away when our time is up, but I have seen the huge benefit that comes from sticking to our allotted time and just picking up where we left off the next day.



Another huge plus to having our time strictly budgeted is the marked reduction in the amount of chaos that can quickly take over.  Everyone has a specific task at any given moment.  No, it's not as easy as it sounds, but it is easier than I thought it would be.  I have scheduled out each of the children's time in 30-minute increments as well...with the exception of Peter.  He just goes with the flow. :)  The Maxwell's did schedule their infants' time, but I have found that it works better for us to just incorporate the baby into whatever we are doing.  Their nap and feeding schedules fluctuate so frequently that I would be having to adapt the written schedule every month or so anyway.  That may change for us over time depending on the baby.  We will see.




Just to give you an idea of how things run, I will quickly list what we are all doing at several different points in the day.  During one of our morning time slots Joshua and Abigail are doing grammar (independently unless they have questions), Esther is working on phonogram flashcards and reading with Hannah (this benefits both of them and they both love it!), I am doing some sort of a preschool activity with Noah and Joseph, and Peter is playing with toys on the floor beside my desk.  At another point Joshua has playtime with Noah and Joseph (usually Legos), Abigail is doing typing, Esther is doing reading/spelling with me, Hannah has play alone time in her room, and Peter is napping.  During one of our afternoon time slots Joshua is doing history on the computer, Abigail is completing an assigned cleaning chore, Esther is practicing the piano, Hannah is completing a cleaning chore, Noah and Joseph are napping, and Peter is either with me while I clean or playing on the floor.

The children have responded amazingly well to the schedule.  They love having something that they can look at to see what they need to be doing!  Even the little ones, who aren't into lists and checking things off, really enjoy having a specific order of activities that remains the same every day.  They quickly learn what comes next and they have yet to balk at anything.  Well, okay, sometimes Noah objects to naptime. :)




I really couldn't be happier with this setup for our family.  We are getting so much more accomplished than we have in the past.  I have had to learn to get over some things.  I am a perfectionist and I like to have everything clean and organized and running smoothly at all times.  Of course that isn't possible, but I used to wear myself out trying to make it happen anyway.  Now I can actually walk past baskets of clean laundry that need to be put away and it doesn't bother me.  I can see dirt and dust on the floor and not have to drop what I'm doing to clean it up (or ask someone else to drop what they are doing to clean it up).  Everything has an assigned time in which it will be taken care of.  As I mentioned before, I have not been fully implementing our afternoon and evening schedules, so it hasn't all gotten done over the past couple of months.  But I've been too busy resting to care. :)  I'm starting to get my energy (and appetite!) back and I'm looking forward to putting the whole routine into practice in October!

1 comments:

Nikki said...

That really does sound like a great schedule. When yo get a chance, would you email it to me, please? I would love to see it. I may have to get a copy of this book, too.

And I hope this comment doesn't get lost. *Sigh*