Monday, October 5, 2015

Tweaking the Routines

We are already making changes to our daily routine, our homeschool routine and our chore routine, just a few weeks into our new school year. I am a big believer in routines lately, and the more we have going on, the more I rely on my routines to keep things going (somewhat) smoothly. Naturally I would love to sit down, write up my ideal routine on paper, and then have it work out perfectly...but that is pretty unrealistic. Routines need tweaking constantly, because life changes constantly. Following are a few of the changes I have made to help our routines work better for us.

Our Daily Routine

Walking the dogs: First of all, I have been trying to spend some time each morning walking the dogs, because I have found that the day runs much more smoothly with a tired puppy! This means I have to get up a bit earlier each day, but so far it is working well and it's nice to have some outdoor time first thing. Exercise, tired dogs, time in nature, quiet time.... some pretty good multitasking goes on if I can get out of bed early enough.

School starting later: I really do want to start school at 8 a.m., but it is just not working out. 8:30 is ambitious enough for us right now, and honestly we seem to get almost the same amount done whether we start at 8 or 8:30. We still stop at 2:30 no matter what, except on Fridays, when we stop around 11:30.

Less writing time: My least favorite tweak is that I had to cut back on my writing time. My goal was to write for ten hours each week, but right now that feels like too much. I really love writing, and in the past few weeks when I have been writing more, I have had time to submit some articles for publication, which is so exciting. I have found though, that squeezing in that much writing time made life feel very hectic. We are really only home two weekday afternoons each week, and I really need that time to take care of other things. Now on one of those afternoons I have an "office hour" when I make phone calls, catch up on email, research things, plan my next FIAR row, take care of my to-do list, plan our next week, make shopping lists, and things like that. On my second afternoon at home I plan to spend a good chunk of time on housework.  I still have a few evenings set aside to write for an hour or so, and I am still brainstorming ways I can find more time, but for now less is better. It would be much easier if I was one of those moms who could stay up half the night doing things, but I need my sleep! 

Our Homeschool Routine

As I said, I really wanted to start our homeschool day at 8 a.m. but it is just too early for us. I am usually up early, but some of the kids don't wake up until 7:30, and I don't like to wake them up. I figure if they are sleeping, they probably need it.  When they do get up, they like to play with the dogs a bit, and eat really slow, and then there are all the chores to do, and the puppy to take out (again), and before you know it we are way behind schedule. I hate always being behind schedule! So now I aim to start at 8:30, and if we are able to start early I get to feel like I'm ahead.  Other than that, there have been no real changes to our homeschool routine yet.

Chore Routine

I had originally assigned room cleaning tasks to specific days, but now I am back to my old housework loop plan. I kept the loop the same, but I only plan to work on it for two hours on Wednesday afternoons and one hour on Saturday (maybe). Anything that doesn't get done during those time slots will wait until the following Wednesday. We are still sticking with our morning, noon, and evening chore lists, but now the major cleaning is assigned to just Wednesday and Saturday. Housework is something I can't let totally slide, but I don't want it to take over the week, either. For now, this seems like a good compromise.

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