Schedule Schmedule, On Paper vs. Real Life

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On Paper vs Real Life

Every year, in August, I gather together all our homeschool books and files for the new year and make my plan. I outline out our yearly goals and our semester goals. I list out what I want us to accomplish every week, and finish up by writing out a daily schedule. It takes me about a week to weed through all our options and pick what we’re going to focus on. I spend hours recounting what worked the year before and what we need to change for the next year.

Apparently over our summer break, I forget that schedules don’t really work for us, because I am once again convinced this is totally going to work.

Let me take you back in to the crevices of my memory and give you a glimpse at my Super-Amazing Schedule from last September. It went a little something like this:

7:00 am: Coffee and news with the Mr.

7:45 am: Bible reading and more coffee, while pretending to watch cartoons with Lil Man.

8:30 am: Breakfast, get dressed, etc.

9:00 am: Lessons with Bubbagirl and Lil Man.

10:00 am: Light fun snack, while doing read alouds with all four kids.

11:00 am: Big kids get started on “book” work (computerized, very independent curriculum), mom helps as needed.

12:30 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Chores

3:00 pm: Mom preps dinner, kids play

5:00 pm: Mr. heads home, dinner, and family life like a moderately comical but completely heartwarming sitcom.

Are you laughing yet?

That schedule didn’t last a full week. I forgot Art classes started again. I forgot Fall Ball started again. We were sent the schedule for AHG (American Heritage Girls) and there were three consecutive weekends of events. Oh, and then my brother got married. I only had four flower girl dresses to make and a bazillion crocheted flowers to make for said dresses.

Oh look, it’s October. Where was that schedule again? Oh yea, tossed in the trash because the big girls HATED the new curriculum. I don’t blame them. I had removed everything they loved about school. No lapbooks, unit studies, art projects. No Lego math days, or “Let’s color My Little Pony while mom reads something boring from history” days.

I spent a couple frantic days in October trying to piece together a new school plan from the shelves of other curriculum we already owned. I started putting some of the fun things back into our plan. This *might* have been pretty easy to do because I *may* be a homeschool hoarder.

I’ve learned to lighten up a bit, and not try to schedule out every minute. I am learning how to follow their lead. I am working on understanding that my teenager works better late at night, and that’s okay. I am accepting that sometimes 6 year old girls have NO INTEREST in learning to read, while 4 year old boys want to stop and read EVERYTHING. I am learning to love and accept that we are becoming eclectic homeschoolers.

My new schedule, which has worked for almost a month *gasp*, is a little more like this:

{very loosely}

  • have coffee with my Mr.
  • cuddle with Lil Man while he watches cartoons, I write my Bible verse in my notebook and read my YouVersion Bible Plan for that day. more coffee.
  • check Evernote for new emails and notes from the day before, tag them, move them, delete them, or put them on my to do list for the day.
  • review the calendar for the next couple days
  • review what the general plan for school work is for the day
  • 15 minutes decluttering one spot.
  • start a load of laundry
  • tidy the kitchen
  • eat something
  • take something out for dinner
  • wake the girls up and get them moving
  • teach something (formal book work)
  • read something
  • play something
  • clean something
  • cuddle someone
  • teach something again
  • play loud music
  • housecleaning disguised as a dance party
  • look at the Chef Chart and see who is in charge of cooking dinner. Find them, and teach them to cook.
  • Kiss the Mr. and  eat dinner

Now, somewhere in there we also:

  • get to voice lessons
  • get to art lessons
  • don’t forget choir practice
  • work on our Awanas verses
  • work on our AHG badges
  • get to AHG on time
  • softball
  • softball
  • T-ball
  • hang out in the street with all the neighbors
  • hang out in our yard with all the neighbors
  • climb a tree
  • kiss boo boos and practice first aid
  • visit Terabithia (the woods at the end of our cul de sac, where all the kids have built a fort from scraps and old tarps)
  • chase dogs
  • have head colds
  • share head colds
  • use Mom’s Everything Essential oil book to find an oil to make everyone feel better
  • October festivals
  • Thanksgiving festivals
  • Christmas Pageants
  • Easter presentations
  • Sing at the nursing home
  • Take chili to the homeless
  • Go to a friend’s game and cheer them on
  • Bathe three dogs
  • skip school and go to the park
  • skip housework because we lost ourselves in learning, uh playing, yea – learning…
  • Give bird a shower
  • Check out Miss Cindy’s new ponies
  • Watch Nanny do her woodburning artwork

you get the picture.

I can write down whatever I want, give it it’s own time slot, highlight it, tag it with a post it note, but with four growing, energetic and very social children there is no way that any schedule is going to be kept for very long.  I always try to start my day with coffee, the Mr., and my Bible app. Next, my day planner, mostly to make sure I don’t miss an appointment, and then I spend 15 minutes decluttering some space (drawer, shelf, table). I try to do most of the laundry on Monday, but it usually takes well into Wednesday. I try to make sure the kids rooms are vacuum-able on Thursdays. If I’m not exhausted, then I try to tackle bathrooms on Friday.

typically work with the little ones early in the morning before Lil Man starts getting ornery.  The big girls stumble out of bed late, and take forever to “wake up”, so we do work that involves sitting and listening before lunch and work that requires movement after lunch.

Every afternoon, when the school bus has dropped off all their friends and they go running outside to play, I try to get the living areas picked up so the Mr. doesn’t walk into a total disaster, and I review the basic game plan for the next day. Everyone has a night that they are in charge of cooking, even the four year old, and provided they earned the privilege of being chef they get to come in and learn to cook.

About a year ago, the Mr. expressed to me how much he enjoyed just chilling with us at night, so for most nights I try to honor his wish to just be with me (instead of fighting for my attention while I clean/plan/write/etc.). Once he’s home, I don’t get a whole lot of “productive work” accomplished.

For us, a schedule is more like a set of guidelines rather than a set of hard and fast must-dos.  Our best moments, our best learning, our best times are had when we let real life, and all it’s randomness take precedence over our On Paper life.

**There are times when I feel I’ve totally lost my way, or lost my ability to focus, or just need a kick in the butt, where I use a couple of my favorite fall back planners to help me get the structure I need to get our very laid back schedule flowing again. One is the Confident Mom Planner. Another is the Motivated Moms. They both help me create the structure I need to get through a season of such severe busy-ness that I can’t seem to take care of any business.  

This post is part of a link up of posts about What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like, from the iHomeschool Network. Click through to read more!

What My Schedule Really Looks Like

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Five Minutes to Catch Up

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I’ve hardly posted all summer. I have tons of drafts started, but no time to finish them. But, I miss you guys. I miss blogging. I post on Facebook because it is short thoughts. Quick and easy. Like crock pot cooking, which is a God-send lately.

So here I go, five minutes at the table, with the Playstation blaring in the background and the bird squawking until my head screams, spilling out my words.

School is going, not going well, not going bad, just going. I did manage to write something for The Homeschool Post on it. You can read it here: When Your Kid Hates Your New Curriculum.

My weekly therapy sessions had become more of a “this is what I did last week” and less like therapy, but lately….it’s been all therapy. My anxiety is on overload. I want to cancel all our groups and clubs and just hide inside. Seriously, who thinks kids (especially ones with siblings that have their own things to do) have time to do all this stuff?

I ate breakfast 20 minutes ago (it’s almost lunchtime), so I could take my meds. I still haven’t taken them. I’m going to pause and get them now, since I’m remembering.

Hunted down my cup, and took my meds. Even my anxiety meds. I hate them, but dude…it’s better than crying right?

See, I need to get an A+ y’all. I need my house to be tidy, and my kids to behave. I need to remember doctor appointments and go on playdates and remember to bring food to my sick friends.

But I don’t. I keep messing up, or falling short. Or worse, not even starting because I know it will not get completed or done to my satisfaction. Can’t fail if you just don’t try, right?

I have a plan to help me deal with my need to have everything just right. Hopefully, I can get it down in words soon, because I really want to share it with you. Until then, just know that nothing here is perfect, or even close to it. My blog isn’t called Chaos Appreciation for nothing folks.

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I was at the Extraordinary Women’s Conference this past weekend, and it was amazing. I almost fell over laughing when Jeremy Camp was talking about his kids. He was sharing how each one was so different and he learned to pray for them each differently: that the one with the leader personality would be a great leader for God, and that is follower kid would be a great follower of Jesus, instead of the world. Then he talked about his son, the warrior. Oh boy, I have one of those. He’s going to be the end of my sanity. I’m trying hard to pray that he would grow to be a great warrior for God, instead of praying he would just sit down and be quiet and stop trying to being a superhero.

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We are buying our house, the one we are renting. There is an urgency to it, because the owner is in a bit of pickle regarding the house. I’m a basket case over it. I’m exhausted from resending paperwork that we’ve sent 100 times already. I’m still nauseous from the appraiser having to take pictures of every room, and closets, to put IN the appraisal report. I just LOVE that everyone knows what my teens *disaster* area looks like on a daily basis. I’m nervous, because while everything looks good so far, it is still not a done deal. That lady isn’t singing until the end of October, so I have a lot more time to think about it.

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Not all is bad and panicky:

My teen is learning to be responsible for most of the dishes. My newly double-digit aged Taderbug is learning to be responsible for washing and drying the laundry. The little ones are learning to take care of their own chores. My kitchen table has been clean and clear three times in the last week. It even has an Autumn centerpiece and tablecloth. I didn’t screw up too bad playing handbells for the first time at church last Sunday. Lil Man earned his Cubbies vest at Awanas. Despite my anxiety, life is good. I just need to stop and see it.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Well, there went our uterus.

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Yep, it’s been evicted. It wasn’t helping anyone here anyway. If it did anything, it made me feel like poop and ruined a full week of my life every couple of weeks.

Since we were all done making babies of our own, the decision was pretty easy.

I did pretty good at prepping for the big day too!  I made mini books full of school work plans and notebooking pages.

Month's work of school workI bought groceries that would be easy to prepare and were inherently kid friendly.

I started getting rooms in order so the house wouldn’t swallow itself in my absence.

I started….  quietly panicky.

I was in total denial over the details of the procedure. Everyone who knows me knows exactly how I feel about doctors, especially doctors touching me, and double especially strange doctors {and others} touching me in areas …well.. in sensitive areas.

I also wasn’t sure how I would feel, how fast I would recover, and how the meds would make me feel.

I don’t mind a couple of glasses of wine, but full on out-of-my-gourd for days on end is not my idea of fun.

I prayed, and prayed and wanted so badly to share with you all about how NOT worried I was, despite my efforts to fret.

I just couldn’t get all worked up about it. I knew God had it, that it would be fine, and no matter how much my human head wanted to fret my heart wouldn’t have any part of it.

In the two weeks before my surgery, we had stomach bugs, cramps, budget issues, and homeschool woes. Nothing I had planned went as planned and I in the end, I just put up my hands.

Here are some of the funny and not so funny things I observed during my surgery experience:

  • When the anesthesiologist says, “You won’t care in 30 seconds”, he is probably overestimating how long your give-a-dern will still function. Mine lasted approximately 10 seconds.
  • When the anesthesiologist says, “I have to keep you awake for the spinal, but don’t worry, I’ll make sure you don’t remember any of it”, he really means “we are going to delete your memories from between to moments in time with such precision and effectiveness that you are going to wonder if all your Sci Fi fears are coming true and you will forever wonder if this has been done to you before.”
  • Amazing nurses with not-so-amazing bedside manners and a tendency to make judgmental comments about homeschooling should most definitely NOT be put on duty with a homeschool-loving mom under heavy medication but no lock on her mouth.
  • It’s shocking how the nurses and doctors will ignore you (unless you beep them of course) for HOURS on end during the daytime, but when night falls they stand outside your door and wait for you fall asleep so they can come wake you up for blood pressure checks and blood tests.
  • Some patients are painfully and unnecessarily high maintenance.
  • Pain meds are a lot of fun, until you stop taking them and realize how ridiculous you have sounded for the past three days.
  • You don’t really know how much something hurt, until the pain is gone. (Dear Uterus, You will NOT be missed. Thank you for your service. Buh-bye)
  • You don’t really know what your hubby can do until you shut up, take a nap, and let him do it.
  • Letting someone else be in charge, of the very things you have invested your life to take care of, is the hardest part.
  • There will be a couple of times in your life, when pooping becomes very, very important. This is one of those times.
  • Just because you think you are making sense, you probably sound like you left a few marbles at the hospital. This is almost guaranteed if you started your morning with Vicodin.
  • Few things are as blissful as a steaming hot bubble bath – alone.
  • When push comes to shove, what you thought mattered is the last thing you think about, and what you took for granted will be the first thing you cling to.

I’m pretty sure it’s time for me to curl up in bed and cry.

Not sure why I’m crying, but it seems to be coming on like rain in Florida. It doesn’t last long but it happens regularly.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.