You know when professing unschoolers hate workbooks and lesson plans like most of us hate the smell of rotting garbage? That is not me. I have four children who have very clearly requested structure, workbooks, planned activities, etc., and I comply, because this is part of how they enjoy learning.
I am about to share with you the daily schedule I came up with to help guide me through being responsible for a small tribe of other human beings and myself. It is a GUIDE. It helps me stay focused. When you see “HSing”, it means we have paper, workbooks, online lessons/games/etc. going on. Some of my kids have gigantic full curriculum books (in French) that they LOVE. One of my kids dabbles with All The Math You’ll Ever Need and a whole lot of reading and documentary watching (his choice—he seriously loves docs). My going-on-10-year-old adores Math Masterpieces, as he is very artistic, and identifies with Modigliani because he couldn’t sculpt any more—which was his initial passion—due to his tuberculosis. My son has Celiac disease and we have to be careful what kind of play dough he comes in contact with, as gluten can even be absorbed into one’s skin and cause issue.
Anyhow, here is a copy of the piece of paper that helps me stay on track and not feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off:
Realistically, sometimes The Husband and I take off on a date for a little break. Other times things come up that need to be dealt with outside of designated “errand time”. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes it is pouring rain out, and we will opt for something other than being outside doing what we may have been doing at that point (running, Nature Study, etc.). The idea is to use a schedule as a guide, and not be a slave to it. Being a slave to it will only add unnecessary pressure to life and make you feel like a failure if you don’t keep to it, which is not a positive thing. I realize there is a lot of exercise and reading/writing on there. I feel much more balanced if I work out, and the yoga and running are things I (usually) do with my children. It’s time together. Reading is something I used to do much more of, especially when my children were babies, and I have missed it so I am making a concerted effort to get back into the habit of devouring books on a regular basis. I feel that it sets a good example for my children. Writing, well, I have published poetry, articles, a children’s book, and have contributed to a book on natural childbirth. I have been writing since I was a child. I blog to keep writing, and to connect with others (I’m a people person who lives in the country). And yes, I am currently working on a specific project that I would like to have done before Christmas. Exercise, reading and writing are things that keep my body, mind and soul healthy. So make sure I can get them in because there was a season of my life when this couldn’t always happen, between nursing, diaper-changing and potty-training. Do what works for you.
I also have a chart detailing whose laundry & sheets are washed on which day, and which kids have baths/showers on which days as well. Trust me, with nine people in a home, this REALLY helps. And there is a chore/housework schedule for each day of the week. I will add both us these at a later time. They are very helpful.
Some things are not included on the schedule, but are obvious (to me, anyway): making beds, getting dressed & putting on a bit of makeup (according to The Husband, slipping into yoga pants does not qualify as getting dressed LOL), tidying up bedrooms, setting up the coffee maker at night…
Feel free to ask any questions or toss out your thoughts on this. Share your schedule if you have one and think it may be of assistance to others. I no longer have children under 4, but if you do and are struggling with finding a bit of balance within the baby chaos, I may be able to help.
Mommyhood is a team effort. We may not all be raising our children in villages where it is a given that we have one another’s back, but we can support one another online now eve if we are miles apart, which is a beautiful thing.