I just learned that Stephen Covey died a couple days ago. I’ve only heard highlights from his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I don’t know much else about him, but I did learn that he had 9 children and 54 grand-children. Should I ever decide to read the book, I will do so, knowing the man knows what he is talking about. A large family requires sharpened priorities, organization, and a schedule (sigh).
Schedule. Routine, daily itinerary, no matter how you say it, I used to hear: jail, prison, oppression! The strange part is I’m not the person who revels in chaos. I don’t like clutter. I do love list making; but tell me that everyday should have an outline that looks the same, the same monotonous boss day after day after day… oops, there I go again. NO! Routine is good. It gives my family stability and in the long run more freedom.
That confessed, here is our daily schedule. I’m always on the look out for ways to tweak ours so maybe you’ll find something helpful or maybe this will just satisfy your curiosity about what our crazy family does all day. Our schedule is an ideal and pretty much remains that. I’m not sure we’ve ever done everything exactly as planned, but a vision is necessary none the less. “Where there is no vision; the people cast off restraint” (Prov 29:18).
6 am Alarm goes off
6:30-6:45 I get out of bed to exercise with Chris, shower, eat breakfast, read my Bible and pray.
8ish am Kid Breakfast
Now we move to order of the day not a clock schedule. Funny how the clock is no respecter of a kid’s deep theological question, a really good read-aloud, or of bean bag filling that needs cleaned up for the second time because the toddlers figured out how to open the top of the shop vac that you forgot to put away…
E,M,L,K -Chores while I take care of any morning prep, cleaning, and settling Jack and Beppie.
E,M – Start school work independently. I do pre-school with J,B,L,K.
B,L,K to the playroom, J to the pack n play, me to the school room to help E, M
About an hour before lunch, cartoon for the playroom crew.
Lunch- E,M make lunch while I check over all their work.
Rest time- E,M clean up lunch while I put little people to bed
E,M, Me- rest time: quiet play, nap (my option of choice) , read aloud, etc
Free Play (I try to get housework, planning, and other work done here)
4:30 Mandatory Outside Play: The “mandatory” part is 20 minutes. If they are all still standing forlorn at the sliding door, we do a cartoon while I make dinner.
Family Clean-up – One of the ways my dear family blesses me everyday. I get to mindlessly do the dishes, while Chris manages a full family pick-up.
Play with Daddy
Bed – for the little 4
Bed – for the older 2
And lest you have the slightest notion that this sort of organization is even possible day after day at our house, you really must read School at My House from Susan Wise Bauer. She literally has written the book on homeschooling (at least a few good ones), and her post on scheduling made me laugh out loud at least 6 times. Many of our days are probably much more in line with her description.