The arrival of the months of August and September tend to bring about more changes and challenges than the month of January. After a long leisurely summer break, suddenly the addition of scheduled schooling causes the ebb and flow of routines to be thrown into kinks.
While I have shared with you all our family’s schedule before, there have been a few questions that have become common in my inbox. With Lacy over at Catholic Icing hosting a scheduling link up, I thought it would serve you all well if this post was revisited and expanded upon.
First, let me preface this by saying that there are days when nothing on the schedule goes as planned. These days are to be expected. With little ones, our days can not be mapped out in black in white, so instead, plan for margins in the day. Leave ample room for life to happen!
There are several things that I have learned over the years that I hope will be quite helpful to all of you:
- Learn to say NO! And not just to drugs. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries for yourself. You will be asked to teach your parish’s CCD class, to be team mom of your son’s soccer team, to chair your support group’s field trip committee, to host a co-op in your home… All of this and more ON TOP OF teaching your own children! Know your limits and expectations for yourself and your family and stick to them!
- Set time aside for glancing at the week ahead. Every Sunday I set aside at least 1 hour to glance at the week ahead. I make note of any upcoming commitments, errands that need to be made, and feast days to celebrate, as well as make the weekly meal plan, grocery list and ready the workbox. Once these tasks are noted on their appointed days, I then have a skeleton on which to work. If I know ahead of time that Monday, (our regular laundry day), hosts a field trip, then I know I need to make plans to squeeze it all in on another day of the week. If I know that I will be next to our favored market on Wednesday due to art class, then I will make plans to swing by on our way home. Mapping out the week helps to limit surprises and ensures that all of my tasks are accomplished.
- Meal Planning. In our home, having the evening meal together, seated at the table, is non-negotiable. This is the time of day when we all gather together to share our day and pray together as a whole family. To ensure that it happens, adequate planning helps keep this time of day running smoothly. Also, learn to use your slow cooker– it is a real sanity saver!
- Evaluate your expectations. Despite how much is contained within our family master schedule, there are only a handful of duties that I feel must be accomplished daily. There are some days when nothing else is achieved in my day besides clean bathrooms, tidy living spaces, and the evening meal prepared. Some days it just has to be alright, and I’ve learned to be okay with that.
- Set time aside for yourself. I know. I know. You have heard this a million times— but do you listen? We all need time in our day to recharge and regain energy. Try to make the time in your day to set aside just for you. Revisit old passions or pick up new hobbies, but make sure it will benefit you and you alone.
Lastly, as I am sure you will be visiting all of the other participants in Lacy’s hop, remember the importance of keeping your eyes on your own work. Don’t let the glimpses of of other’s lives discourage you! Weed through all of the wonderful advice and wisdom, but remember not to loose what He has created you to be!
It is a soft and continuous rhythm, an expected order, that fills our days. More of a fluid continuum than a set schedule. Each day formulates it’s own plan, no two are identical. That being said, there are benchmarks that appear regularly, which gives our school and home it’s familiarity and consistency.
I am always curious to see how it is that other families spend the hours of their days, so here is a little peek over the fence into the inner workings of our school and home. The times are -ishy. Yes, there is a general flow, but life and messes happen, and with a built in margin, there is a lot less frustration.
7:00 The children rise and begin there morning routines and chores.
7:30 Breakfast and prayer together as a family. Father leaves for work. Collective cleaning and tidying up the kitchen.
8:00 Read aloud time conducted by my oldest for my son as I gather and order things for the school day. Usually this time consists of hand picked picture books appropriate to the liturgical season.
9:00 Opening prayers, intentions and saint for the school day, followed by catechism and poetry memorization. Occasionally a liturgical craft will find it’s way here.
10:00 – 12:00 Entries into daily journals, involving handwriting, grammar, spelling and copy work, which are often accompanied by illustrations. Latin and Math follow closely behind.
12:00 – 1:00 Family lunch and praying of the Angelus. Afterward, the children have outside play time as a little tidying up is necessary before moving on to afternoon studies.
1:30 – 3:00 Afternoons alternate between science, history and fine art studies. Lots of reading aloud and experimentation occurs, rabbit trails are explored. In the cooler months, nature walks and park trips are frequent.
3:00 -5:00 Lots of free play and outside exploration.
5:00 – 6:00 Everyone gathers together again to help prepare the evening meal. Often audio books or our current music study play in the background and little hands are kept busy with art projects. Father arrives home.
After the family meal, the evening hours are filled with the business of tying up the day– tiding up, reading aloud, prays and bedtime.
Then, in the morning, it’s rinse and repeat.
(You can create your own family master schedule here: Blank Master Schedule)
Be sure to visit the other posts in this series: