Finding Joy in Scheduling
Now that your school year is underway, have you found it to be running smoothly?
Are you stressed or happy? It is easier to achieve more when you plan your time. There is joy to be found in ordering each day so that you accomplish your goals and gain more peace for your home. The principle of doing “all things decently and in order” truly applies to life at home. Without some kind of schedule, it would be hard to see progress due to interruptions that occur and babies who need care at the same time that your students need help. When you lose track of time, it may mean putting off finishing a necessary subject. However, if you have a schedule, each one will know what to do and when it should be started. Then, if you are distracted, they will know what to do next and older ones could even help a younger student for a few minutes. If you desire to look well to the ways of your household, as Proverbs 31:27 instructs, some kind of schedule and routine will be ideal to meet this goal. Plus, planning your daily work will bring more rewards and joy to your day.
Motherhood is daily ministry for God, so it is important to use our days to honor Him. What is your household like? Try writing down the things that occur daily and weekly and estimate when each happens. That is your core schedule. Make certain that your husband’s needs receive their due priority in the line-up with the children’s. Will your husband need a lunch for work? Should dinner be cooking before dad arrives from work? Pencil them in. Do you need groceries or have to run errands too often? Work out a day and time for these to save gas and redeem the time for your family. Include your blend of chores, nursing, or potty-training with your schooling.
You will not need to be a slave to your schedule. Just focus on primary concerns and create one so you can see a sense of accomplishment each week and month. Doing so now, while the school year is just beginning will increase your joy all year. The basic structure of your schedule will remain solid, but you will need to test it for a couple of weeks to adjust for the changes you think would benefit your time.
Keeping a schedule is not just good for you; it is good for the children, too. Children learn best if their day is stable and focused. They can thrive if they know what to expect and when they need to accomplish each goal. Times for getting up, doing chores, and starting school are very helpful if you want them to learn to manage their time well. If you value happy children, a definite time to have lunch and naps should be set in stone.
Everything else, such as dentist visits and errands, should be placed afterward since they may also behave better when they have had food and rest beforehand.
At our house, no matter what subject was not finished yet, all the children can depend on lunch and free time beginning at noon sharp for one hour. One of them is sure to remind me if I failed to notice on the dot. The baby was also scheduled to be nursed and changed right before the naptime so mom could have an hour of rest then. If you are consistent, every day, your preschoolers will likewise accept it as part of their life.
When scheduling subjects for each student, place every hour to match the child’s unique needs when possible. Some need more supervision than others. If one dawdles over his work, you will save much time, as well as your nerves, if you will give easy subjects to the others when you need to sit with him during a math or reading lesson together. It will be finished faster and with greater understanding. You will gain more time, and you will not have to review with him as often. The others may work on their own longer or aid each other in case a distraction occurs. When one needs help, don’t delay to do so and you both win. Be kind even when things get tense and be sure to praise progress, too. They will be so pleased that you noticed!
The hardest part of scheduling is weeding out waste. Weeding involves keeping only the things that are best for your family’s future. Evaluate what is truly important and say no to the rest. It means painful choices if you or your children have too many activities away from home that stress your day and your budget. Leave those for another year. Saying no to some things will let you enjoy grand progress at home and will increase your family’s freedom.
Being consistent with your schedule on tough days may seem impossible if you don’t feel well or you are quietly suffering in other dire ways, but don’t jump ship! Make yourself choose to do what you can to complete the essential items, then enlist a child’s help when needed. The rest can be resumed again soon. Not all work is fun, but all work is still profitable. If we are consistent, they can be, too. In difficult times, such as a job loss, a death in the family, or a new baby, being ready with a set schedule and a chore chart and the lesson plans written out for the year will help as you walk through a surprise in life.
As you plan each busy day, there is no substitute for praying each morning and night to gain wisdom from God, asking for strength to be diligent in your goals. This time of devotion each day is crucial to being fruitful at home, whether you can be alone or not. Let Him guide you and help you decide on priorities for each day. Listen also to your husband’s input and accept any changes. Good results will flow from wise decisions. With a good schedule in place, you can face troubles and change more peacefully, while knowing that God allows all things for our good. So take time to establish a good routine now. You will be blessed with a special joy and you can rest in knowing that you are reaching goals that honor God at home.
© 2011 Melanie Lippert
Joyfulmoms.net / Ps. 113:9