Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Day Plan

This is a really boring post. (As opposed to most of my posts, which are such thrillers, right?) I would recommend that no one should read it......except I really need help.

A few weeks ago, I read, and listened to this podcast about Finding a Framework for Your Day. The message this faithful mom has shared there has really been on my heart and in my mind since then. I keep tossing my week around in my head (and, sadly, only occasionally in my prayers.) I really appreciate Keri's sentiment that "God will always give you enough time to do everything He desires you to do."

My prayer of late has been that God will show me exactly how he wants everything to come together in my day and in my week during this upcoming school year. Especially because I can't seem to figure it out.

Those of you who know me well, know that I'm not, and never will be, Queen of the Schedule. BUT, because I'm lacking in time management and organizational skills, I feel I need to be especially diligent about how I spend my days and count my time, otherwise I'm living in chaos and feeling overwhelmed because too many things are being left undone, and I can't account for why or what *did* happen during the day. So, though I'm not a person who is naturally punctual or inclined to strict schedules, I do need a framework for my day and a detailed plan for how to spend my time. There is a certain liberty in regular routines and a preset structure.

That being said, here's the school plan I came up with for us for this coming school year. I'm really happy with its layout. This was done during the time last March when I was spending a lot of time in prayer and reflection about our homeschool journey and I feel that the wisdom granted to me when I was laying out this schedule was part of God's provision and guidance for me during that process.

So, I would like to keep this schedule as the basic foundation of our week. What I need help with is scheduling in a few other things that are also necessary for the smooth running of our home (like laundry, lesson prep time, grocery shopping, housework). Because if I don't have a plan for attending to those things, everything is going to come unraveled.

Here's our weekly lesson plan: (click on it to see the whole thing).
What is not included in this plan are the following prescheduled activities:

Monday: co-op from 10 to 3 (which means were out of the house from 9:15 till 3:30 or 3:45 and tired when we get home.) During co-op, I do have two free hours, one from 11 to 12, and one from 1:30 to 2:30 that I could use to schedule in something.

Tuesday morning: Women's Bible Study and prayer group. Sweetling can use this time as a study hall, which is what is scheduled in for her.

Tuesday evening: Sweetling's Tae Kwon Do from 6 to 6:45, which the Jedi takes her to, but I need to have dinner on the table close to 5pm those nights.

Tuesday evening: Worship dance for me from 6:30 to 7:30 (maybe, OR maybe it will be held on Sunday nights).

Wednesday evening: Church from 6 to 8:30--youth group, Awana.

Thursday evening: Sweetling's Tae Kwon Do from 6 to 6:45, again the Jedi takes her to this, but I need to have dinner on the table close to 5pm those nights.

Saturday:  We observe a Sabboth rest on this day, so no grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry, or school work can go on this day.

Sunday morning: Church from 9:30 to 12:30

Sunday evening: MAYBE worship dance from 6 to 7.

What I need help scheduling:

Lesson planning time:
--time to look over and gather materials for the My Father's World curriculum, preferably in the evening of each day to prep for the following day. This just needs to become part of the stuff I do every night, so nevermind about scheduling a block for it during the week. See, I'm thinking through typing.
--time to read and understand Sweetling's biology book. This does need about an hour or two of time blocked into each week.
--time to email Tia Smurf, the Jedi, and Mama Sweetling's vocabulary exercises for the week so that they can attempt them and we can have a group dialogue about the words, the meanings, the exercises, etc. Again, an hour block of time each week.
--time to plan for the Intro to French class I'm teaching at co-op. I'll need two to three hours for this each week.

Grocery shopping:
--time to cut and sort the weekly coupons. Maybe an half and hour to an hour time each week.
--time to put together a grocery list and match up the coupons with the list. Half an hour or so. Please note, I use a site called The Grocery Game to help me match coupons with deals and it has had a significant impact on keeping our grocery budget manageable. The drawback to this site is that it doesn't have info up for the week until Tuesday morning, so I can't put together a list and do my shopping until after this occurs.
--time to go grocery shopping and put all the groceries away when I get home. Two to three hours.

--vacuuming. This is happening once a week now. It maybe should happen twice a week.
--sweep and mop the kitchen. Sweeping happens multiple times a week, but the mopping takes longer cause I move all the chairs out and back in.
--dusting and general straightening. Yeah, if it's not scheduled, it doesn't happen.
--deeper cleaning, things like windows, ceiling fans, blinds, scrubbing ovens, cleaning out the fridge that needs to happen, but don't need to happen every week.

Laundry: You might think this should fall under housework, but it gives me enough headaches to warrant its own category.
--sorting. Right now, the routine is that the kids grab their own laundry hampers and the three of us all sort laundry after church on Sunday.
--washing/drying. Right now, I generally start moving loads through the machines on Sunday and finish up the machine moving part on Monday. However, co-op on Monday might through a wrench into these works.
--folding, hanging, put away. I am le fail on this part.

Things that I would like to have time scheduled for:

Gardening. A little regular maintenance would go a long way to keeping the outside looking nice. Right now its not quite a health department concern, but pretty darn close.

Blogging and writing. Right now, this just happens whenever I throw in the towel and ignore everything else I should be doing in order to get a little writing done or a post up on my blog.

My psuedo-regular daily routines:

Because I'm not a Queen of Scheduling, these things do not happen every day, or very smoothly every day...but I'm regularly making an effort in this direction.

--wake up 6:30 (and thus begins the "psuedo" portion of this routine).
--move, stretch, and  exercise. I generally, generally wrap this up around 7:30. The dreaded "psuedo" strikes again here.
--I'd like to get in the shower by 7:30, but Mama is never out until closer to 8, so dishes and shower happen between 7:30 and 8 ISH. More psuedo casualties, but dishes and showers do eventually happen.
--get kids breakfast, get my breakfast, and do devotions. In theory I'd like to have 8:30 to 9 to sit in peace, sipping hot chocolate, reading my Bible, and write in my devotion notebook. Theories are such fleeting, intangible things.
--school at 9. This fall, I believe I shall add, under penalty of death, school will begin at nine.

The phone sings every afternoon at 4:15. That's everyone's cue to start their afternoon routines. My afternoon routine includes straightening the living room, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping the kitchen, clearing off the kitchen table, and starting dinner. Afternoon routines generally go pretty smoothly. We only run into trouble here if we are trying to squeeze in errands or are out on field trips during the day. But, when we are home, our afternoons are nice and smooth.

I have no evening routines. No, that's not true. I have no SUCCESSFUL evening routines. Here's what I'd like to happen:

Snack time at 8:15 for both kids. (In reality, this gets often forgotten until the last minute and throws other things off.)
Story time at 8:30 for Toa of Boy. This happens once in a blue moon.
Teeth brushing at 8:50 for Toa of Boy, so that he can have..
Bedtime at 9pm for Toa. In reality, teeth brushing starts shortly after nine.

Jedi time from 9pm to 9:50. Except Toa's bedtime doesn't happen on time, so this often gets infringed upon.
Sweetling betime at 10pm. Which never happens. Ever.
Grown-up bedtime at 10:30....which always seems to become 11:30 or later.

So, help please??


Holly@aiminghigh said...

Here's what we do for laundry...
ALL members of the house bring their own laundry to the laundry baskets each night. I gather kitchen/bathroom towels as well. In the laundry are 3 baskets: whites/lights/darks. They sort them as they bring them in.
After pjs are on children, I run ONE load (whichever basket is the fullest). By the time nighttime routines/kids in bed are completed, the load is ready to switch to the dryer. Dryer is complete before I go to bed so I put them in a basket and plunk the basket on the living room floor.
As PRE-breakfast chores, a child sorts clothes according to whom it belongs, then ALL children take his/her individual pile, folds and puts away. I fold the big stuff and the "chore" child puts them away. All takes less than 15 minutes.
I rotate every other week through cleaning the bedrooms, so I just wash the sheets of whose room is being done. Thus, I don't get overwhelmed with too much laundry if I tried to do all sheets on the same day.
Laundry is the one thing I am rarely behind on. My husband knows he best needs kick into high "helping" gear if laundry gets behind because it means I am about to become a complete basket case. If laundry isn't under control for me; its the signal that just about everything is about to hit the fan. :>)
Many Blessings,

Anonymous said...

So I've been thinking about this. One of the things we are trying this year is Project Week. It has been working because we homeschool "all year". We do three to four weeks of intense school with housework being just the "normal" chores. The fourth week (or fifth, depending on when holidays land) becomes Project Week. This is when I do deep cleaning in areas, holiday preps, sorting, and when I get my act together physically, gardening prep work, etc. Any schooling that happens is anything that didn't get accomplished during the previous weeks.
So far it has worked for me. I don't get overwhelmed or worried too much that something isn't getting completed because I just place it on the Project Week "to do" list.

holly@aiminghigh said...

Oh, that was me in the "Project Week" comment. I hit publish before signing out. Oops.