Planning/Scheduling

Thoughts on Schedules, Part 1 of 2

Many of us know that a schedule or healthy routine is good for us. However, many of us are too busy or stubborn to sit down and make a schedule that really works for us. We figure that we know what we have to do and that going through the motions to “create a schedule” is unnecessary. Some even feel that orderliness is overrated, that it doesn’t matter what order you get it done as long as you get it done. We’re going to explore some reasons why a schedule is important for homeschooling families.

For many of us, the parent that stays home is usually not confined to a regular work schedule. That allows us to be flexible in our days. However, being flexible shouldn’t mean just flinging order out the window just so we can say we are free to do as we please. Many homeschool parents are heard to say, “We aren’t sending our kids to school, so we don’t have to set our days like the school. We have freedom to set our days how we wish.” While this is true, many of us struggle from time to time to set our days according to any schedule.Get Up

One problem homeschooling parents have with scheduling is the feeling of being tied down. We know we have freedom to make changes, so we do. We also know that routines are good for sleeping, eating and more and yet we’re so afraid to be tied down, that we sometimes throw out all routines all together. We want to challenge you to look at schedules and routines, not as a way to tie you down, not as a way to make you just like the schools and not as a way to take your freedoms away, but to rather use them as a tool to help you accomplish all that God desires for your home and children.

God created the world with order. He gave us days and years and seasons.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 it says,

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”

We have seasons in our lives. As parents, we have seasons in our lives. As homeschoolers, we will also have seasons in our lives. If we keep this thought in perspective, we won’t feel so tied down to the house and feel as if our lives revolve around potty training, sounding out words, and washing dishes.

In having a home, a schedule is important. We all need sleep; we all need to be fed. Some spouses need to work; some of us need to work. Chores need doing and kids need tending to. There is much to be done in the home and having an orderly home allows us to get it done with less frustration.

With homeschooling, we have just added some elements that most families do not have to contend with. We will be having our children with us all day long. They will be in the home all day long to create messes and get into things. We also have extra books and projects sitting on tables and in rooms that other families do not have to work around. We have essentially chosen a path that is a little harder on us to keep the home neat and orderly.

Alarm ClockOur days are filled not just with 2-4 hours of study work, which some think to mean that we are done with school for the day. Homeschooling is a different type of lifestyle that needs some direction to get it all done. Many of us focus on the fact that we’re home “schooling” and our thoughts tend to think about how we can make everything a learning experience. Yet in doing that, we often forget about the part of the day in which we must carry out the mundane duties of daily living. Sometimes we get them done; sometimes we do not and we think, “Tomorrow will be a better day.” We begin to procrastinate on things that are important, even if we’ve tried to assure ourselves that they are definitely less important than what we accomplished.

“It is the faithful performance of everyday duties that brings the satisfaction and peace that come to the true home worker. Those who neglect to bear part of the responsibilities of the home are the ones who are troubled with loneliness and discontent; for they have not learned the truth that those who are happy are happy because they share the daily routine of work which rests upon the mother or other members of the family. Many are leaving unlearned the most useful lessons, which it is essential for their future good to understand.” {CG 352.4}

A schedule is a tool to help us create routines in the home that are healthy, that help us grow, that keep us happy, and that keep us moving forward. There are many different scheduling resources out there and we will share some with you at the end of Part Two. The best advice however that we can give you is to take this to God in prayer. Ask Him to lead you to that which is right for your family and your home. God knows your circumstances and He has answers for you.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of Thoughts on Schedules

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Schedules, Part 1 of 2”

  1. Thank you Melissa for writing about this topic. I praise God for this is another lessons He teaches us. Having assigned times for wake up, meals and sleep time including worship time, will set up the pace for all aspects of our lives. These times will vary by family, but they are very important to bring balance into our homeschooling lifestyle. This is where habit formation plays a great role.

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