Friday, August 23, 2013

Family Scheduling Series - My Posts on This Valuable Concept

Okay precious Mamas!  *smile*  Fall is approaching quickly and I know that most all of you are falling in to one of two categories.  Either you are thinking through your new schedules for this next school year and may have some questions or need more ideas or motivation; or you're wondering what all the hype is about scheduling and determining you'll never do that to your family.  *wink*  *chuckle*  Yes I meet both groups of women all...the...time.  

Well, if you are part of the planning-to-schedule group I may be able to answer some still lingering questions you may have such as:  what to do with weekends, or how to handle the real life stuff that get thrown in to every mom's day, or offer some fresh ideas for certain ages of children, or varying sizes of families.  And if you're part of the so-not-scheduling group, may I encourage you to be open-minded and consider reading a couple of posts on this subject, starting with the first one listed.  But be warned.  I've heard from countless moms that once they start reading these posts they can't stop.  *chuckle*  And many moms have even said that they approached our blog with their defenses up...only to find themselves blessed and gently swayed, and overjoyed at what they are now discovering for their family...

Here are the Contents for this series:

I've written so many more posts that relate to these posts on scheduling, it was really hard for me to not list them all in an effort to be thorough!  *laugh*  I desire to give you all of the details and practical how-to's for scheduling, yet to still keep it simple and concise.  So just know that a series is probably a lot to take in.  That's okay.  Give yourself time.  And the next time I post a series I'll try to post further in advance from when it could be applied so moms have some time to read through it and process it before it's time to apply it!  *yikes!*  Sorry!  *smile*  *hug*

If this looks like a ton of information then I encourage you to read first (or only) what's immediately pertinent for you right now and to leave the rest for later; perhaps read about weekends later in the fall, or about summers closer to that time.

Here's a short synopsis on each of my scheduling posts:

You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.  This is what we desire in life, though, isn’t it.  To have the fruit of a well-disciplined life, yet to be whimsical and do whatever we want simultaneously and without accountability?  Well here’s how I faced the reality of this dilemma with parenting & marriage, and learned a great strategy for success, on purpose.  I learned how to be proactive in planning our time instead of reactive; how to not let the urgent take place of the important.  There is freedom in learning to live on purpose.  *smile*

Every fall when we begin a new school year I sit down and create a new weekly schedule for our family.  When that's done I've then proactively thought through what should happen when during a typical week, Monday-Friday, and I can eliminate about a hundred decisions for myself, per day, because those decisions and possible alternatives are already now made in advance.  And, those decisions are made at a time when I can think straight and when I can focus, not on the fly or amidst chaos.  When I decide things in advance I can make my best possible decisions for our family and eliminate many mistakes, which would have wasted my time and energy and others'.  With a balanced schedule there is time to work, time to play, and enough time to rest.

I have many readers who have growing families but are not quite what most would call a large family.  They're interested in scheduling and have asked me what my schedule looked like when we had fewer children - how did I get things done, and when there aren't any "helpers" really yet.  So in this post I'll share with you ten of my past schedules when we had 2 children, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 children (and here is my current 9-children schedule as of fall 2011), to give you a window as to what those days were like for us.  And the additional schedules may give growing families a window in to what having a larger family of varying sizes can look like.  *smile*

I've had many questions about whether or not I schedule weekends.  The answer to this is yes, and no.  *smile*.  We have a routine for weekends, but not a schedule.  In general we do not schedule weekends, but I have scheduled Saturdays in the past when my husband, Bob, has been working every Saturday regularly.  When that was the case I needed to schedule Saturdays as well, for my own sanity and for peace in our home.  "Winging-it" for hours on end has never worked well for the children or myself.  *smile*  Having no plan has lead to chaos, which no one in our family likes for 10 minutes much less for hours...

It's tempting for parents to think, "It's summer!  *woo-hoo!*  Let's throw all structure to the wind and wing-it for 2-3 months!"  But especially if one has a large family, I personally have found that the wing-it plan was not very much fun at all.  *chuckle*  It was stressful, chaotic, and extremely frustrating because my expectations were then that I would have all this time to do what I wanted to do while the children just played.  This plan does not work well during the school year - and I discovered that it doesn't work well for summer either .  So then I had to learn what to do with our time during the summer.  I sought out and found some answers for us to these questions:
  • How can we have a routine while still having enough time to play outside in the sunshine?
  • What do we do on rainy days?
  • Should I fill the children's time?  Don't they need a break completely?
  • How long of a break shoule we take for summer?
  • What if it's an extra hot day and water play is just about the only pleasant thing for the kids to do?
  • Here's what our summer schedule looked like in 2012 - And a description

I hope this series on scheduling a family has been helpful, encouraging, and provides possibly some direction and vision for what life can be like - living ON PURPOSE.  *smile*  I know it's a lot to take in, but please do be patient with yourself and don't even necessarily read all of these posts at once!  This is a resource.  I would never want to overwhelm anyone, but only to give useful and valuable information for you to choose from to bless your family.  And I and our readers would love to hear your additional ideas to any of these concepts!

If you would like to have any of my charts, lists, or schedules that I've shared you can download those from this link.

Blessings on your efforts for your family,

Recommended resources:
Managers of Their Homes, by Steve & Teri Maxwell ($25)
Managers of Their Schools, by Steve & Teri Maxwell ($18)
Managers of Their Chores, by Steve & Teri Maxwell ($25) 

You also may be interested in my related post:
Living Life on Purpose - "Isn't it exhausting?"


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