Step 7: Smart Scheduling

Step 7: Smart SchedulingYour schedule will be a guide you will follow in your efforts to meet your goals — when things go as smooth as a well-oiled engine…and when the train runs off the track! Creating a workable schedule takes planning, perseverance, and flexibility; but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

So all of the materials you purchased arrived in the mail. Now what? Give yourself time to sit down with pencil and paper and create a schedule. Whereas “record-keeping” refers to documenting events that have already occurred, for our purposes a schedule is a timetable created in the planning stages to meet your goals.

If you haven’t considered what you hope to accomplish — your goals — we encourage you to go back to the planning stage by developing your approach. To start, keep these “schedule keepers” in mind:

 

The Habit of Routine

Schedules are much simpler to keep when everyone knows in advance what to expect. Once your children are accustomed to starting at 8:00 a.m. each day, for example, it will be much easier to avoid disagreements and balking each morning.

 

The Unanswered Phone

Nothing can throw off a schedule faster than an extended, unplanned telephone conversation. (And this would include “conversations” on other devices.) Ah, yes, the joys of voice mail!

 

A Can-Do Attitude

Someone didn’t get enough sleep the night before? Your child have a bad case of the tired-and-grumpies?

Rather than let a sour attitude prolong math, which drags into language, which flounders into history, before finally sinking into science — address it! Encourage the discipline of a “can-do” attitude.

 

Reasonable Boundaries

What are your lesson hours? Determine the times you would rather not be interrupted and let friends and relatives know. Most will be happy to call or visit during more convenient times.

 

The Unplanned Moments

Some of the best educational moments are those that were unplanned. While a schedule helps us stay on track for meeting our goals, the most useful schedule is a flexible one that allows for children to be children, moms to be moms, and homeschools to be homes.

“What is really worthy of your time? If you can answer that question honestly, then look at how you are actually using your time on any given day. This will give you an assessment of whether you are walking the walk or just talking the talk. If you say that Christ is the center of your life, yet you spend no time with Him, there is incongruence. If you say that family is the next most important thing in your life, yet you spend only a minimal amount of time with them, you are not being true to your convictions.”

Christine M. Field, Life Skills for Kids

 

Further Reading

Scheduling
Reviews, articles, how-tos, and other scheduling helps.

 

Additional Resources

Can a Scheduled Mom be Spirit Led?
“The schedule is a tool the Lord Jesus has given me to help me to accomplish what He has called me to do—it is a part of my life being Spirit led. That means I am looking to the Lord for what should make up my schedule and how long should be allotted for each activity, not only for me but also for each of the children I am scheduling. The schedule is also flexible, allowing me to accept the changes that the Lord brings into a day that were not a part of the schedule.” Encouraging words from Teri Maxwell.

Homeschool Management Tips!
An extensive list of practical time-management tips from Tamara Eaton.

Intentional Homeschooling or Falling Through the Cracks?
“All things that need to be done don’t get done unless we are intentional about them. What are those things you really want to do this year with your kids? What are those things that you say you want to keep as a priority in your homeschool? What about that quiet time with the Lord you wanted to keep having? None of these things will happen unless we are intentionally making them happen. Good intentions mean nothing unless those good intentions become intentional actions. Intentional actions mean nothing if they don’t line up with what God desires for our lives. So, if we know what He desires, we must start walking in those things.” Article by Deborah Wuehler, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

A “Plan” for Nature Study?
“So, somewhere in the last three years, I began to suspect that the plan I needed for this venture, homeschooling, was perhaps NOT to be found in my planning sessions, but in my devotion sessions.” Michelle Duker explains that the perfect plan may not be the one you make.

The Scheduling Key
“It is common for me to be asked how I manage to homeschool, to be a wife and mother of a large family, and to take care of my home. The answer is easy. I use a schedule. This is the mechanism the Lord has directed me to use for budgeting my time. It has been one of the greatest practical blessings He has given me to enable fulfillment of the responsibilities He has put into my life.” Teri Maxwell details the benefits that a schedule can provide us as we seek to be better stewards of our time.

Too Busy?
“Where ten years ago we were the ones looking at the system school parents and shaking our heads over their tendencies to over-schedule their poor kids’ lives, today you see large numbers of homeschoolers doing the very same thing. As adults, we grouse to one another about life being crazy and never feeling like we have time to breathe anymore, but as homeschooling parents we’re teaching our children that this kind of lifestyle is acceptable and must be endured.” Advice on avoiding over-scheduling from Tammy Cardwell.