My strike against schedules

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Schedules and I, we don’t get along.  Never have.  I enjoy nothing more detailed than: wake up, drink coffee, work my way through the day, check a few things off the “to do” list, and go to bed.

Anyone else?  Am I all alone?

I have friends who seem to plan out every single minute of the day.  (An exaggeration, I know.  Maybe.)  And accomplish all goals!  And stick to their schedule!  I really admire these people.  I also know people who have more or less told me I need to stick to a schedule; that a schedule will solve the chaos and make my life easier.

Sigh.  More guilt.

Before I got married, I had huge scheduling plans.  You know, like laundry on Monday?  Only?  Haha!  I’d have a huge, stinky monster in my house if I let laundry pile up for a whole week.  And I planned on keeping my house spotless by cleaning the livingroom on Monday, bedroom on Tuesday, kitchen on Wednesday, bathrooms on Thursday… and so on and so forth.  Well!  I forgot maybe I’d have kids too.  And that I’d have to clean the bathroom more than once a week!  And the kitchen — maybe three times a day?

I was dreading this first scheduled week of homeschooling.  HOW am I going to do it?  I thought.  WILL I be able to do it?   And the answer is “Yes.”  I can.  I did!  It’s only one week, I know, but I’m rather proud of myself!

What did I do?  I didn’t schedule!  Now, I am not advocating laziness.  Not at all!  I consider myself a hard-worker.  But I was trying to turn myself into a scheduled person, and it wasn’t working.  For me.  People can change, yes, and should change, yes, but this girl isn’t changing in the schedule category!

I’m not against routines, patterns, and order to the day.  I’m just against the word  “schedule” and the detailed, on-the-hour plans my mind associates with the word.  I do un-scheduled schedules!  Take this week:

  • Wake up.  No need to set an alarm.  I can count on Cameron to wake me up by 6:45am.
  • Doze on and off on the couch until everyone else wakes up.
  • Drink coffee.  This is non-negotiable.
  • Feed kids breakfast while I drink a second cup of coffee.
  • Dress Cameron and Megan, change diapers, remind Kirstyn and Cory to get dressed.  (“No, you can’t wear a snowsuit.”)
  • Set Kirstyn up at the kitchen table with a math page or two.
  • Find coffee.  Warm it up in microwave, sit next to Kirstyn to explain 1st grade math.  (I can do this!)
  • Shoo Megan and the boys out of the kitchen.  Repeat often.
  • Bring outside any hatched monarch butterflies.  (Seven this week!)
  • Feed everyone a snack.  Forget about the “no eating in the livingroom” rule I was going to try.
  • Start Kirstyn on a penmanship page.
  • Switch laundry, check Facebook, dump clean laundry on the already existing laundry mountain.
  • Sit on the couch with Kirstyn (and usually more eager children, excited that Mommy’s sitting down!) to read about Johnny Appleseed, the moon and stars, or animals ranging from hatchetfish to kiwi birds to anteaters to elephant seals.
  • Look up the animals’ habitats on a world map
  • Feed everyone lunch.  Finish now-cold coffee.
  • Ship all four kids to the backyard while I load the dishwasher and sweep the floor.
  • Browse Facebook, eat some food — possibly for the first time that day.
  • Go outside and push Cameron and Megan on the swings.  Play hide-and-seek, tag, kick a ball around, or watch Cory climb trees.
  • Tuck Cameron and Megan in bed for a nap.  Wish I was napping!
  • Listen to Kirstyn read, and read more science or history books together.
  • Movie!  I admit, I turn on the tube and let my big kids vegetate.  Free time for me!
  • Cook supper, kiss my honey, wash dishes, ignore the laundry mountain, play with my kids.

And that’s it!  It’s working.  Kirstyn is doing a lot of school every day, plus everything else is getting done too.  Well, there may be a few extra spider webs in the corner.  I just don’t look!

(Yes, all you smart people out there, you’re right — my laundry never does get finished!)

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About patchofheaven

"Mom" sums it up quite well! I cook, I clean, I homeschool, and yes, I do still ride a tricycle. I love to read books to my kids, and every once in a while I manage to read a book "all by my big self." I journal about my life, here at patchofheaven; hoping to remember, grow, love more, and entertain my mom and other readers!

4 responses »

  1. Sounds like my day! I don’t like schedules either So I am making compromises, like organizing parts of my life, my desk, my hutch. I am slowly learning that having fun is learning. (I know I am a slow learner.) I am glad you are feeling successful in this new endeavor we call homeschooling! Keep it up, you are a great momma!

    Melanie

  2. I love YOU! I can’t believe with everything else you’re doing you find time to not only read my blog but comment too! You’ve got twice as many kids as I’ve got! By the way, WELL DONE for starting homeschooling… you are such an inspiration to me! If God gives I want to have as many kids as you have, AND homeschool besides, and some days I look all that in the face and think, HOW on earth?!?! But you’re THERE, and you’re doing it– AND blogging about it! Wonder Mom! I can’t WAIT to see you and go out for coffee with you (or just have coffee in your living room after the kids are in bed!) and enjoy being in the same room as your smile!!! I miss you!

  3. Ruth,

    I find flexibility and creativity are keys to successful parenting and teaching. You seem to understand that. It works! The kids learn what they need to, and cleaning does get done — maybe not as often as we wish, but it happens. Your homeschooling sounds like mine. 🙂 I just haven’t blogged in awhile. 🙂 Gotta run!

  4. Funny, I’m finding I’m leaning the opposite way. I always thought that scheduled people were boring. Wasn’t spontaneity so much more fun? I sort of had a routine to my days, but you could never call it a schedule.

    Last year’s homeschooling was VERY laid back and informal – and we learned a ton and had fun. But this year with TWO in school, I had to change something. I tried to have a school schedule for the first week. It was a loose schedule, more of a routine than a minute by minute routine. But it is working! The first month has went so much better than last year. It is still crazy and my life is far from scheduled. The best part has been that the children know what is coming next and they can get out their next books and start with it even if I’m distracted. (Not “if” but “when”!)

    Who knows, maybe eventually I’ll be one of those super organized moms that know what they are going to be doing next Monday at 10:26!
    Gina

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