Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One

Fail-to-planRecently a friend who is fairly new to homeschooling gave me a call. She had a lot of questions regarding homeschooling, but mainly her problem seemed to be this, “How do I do it all? How do I clean my house, do my laundry, school my kids, do a million other things, and still remain sane?” My one resounding answer was this: organization! As the old adage goes, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Now, let me be very clear. I am not perfect, nor do I always plan perfectly. There are many times that I have had to restructure my plan. Things change and so do my family’s needs, but the saying still stands true; I will not accomplish anything if I don’t at least have the building blocks set in place.

That being said, how do we go about setting up our schedules? First things first, know what your priorities are! Being a Christian wife and mom, my priorities are thus: Being a Godly woman, being a Godly wife, and then being a Godly mother. Taking this into account, the first thing I want to do is sit down with a calendar (daily and monthly) and start putting things in place.

The first thing I want to schedule in is my time with God. Some women prefer to do this at the beginning of their day. Great! Some of us prefer lunchtime or when the kiddos are finally in bed. No matter when you decide to do it, make a point of putting it down. Your relationship with God must be firmly in place; from Him will you gain the wisdom and peace to proceed with the rest.

The next thing I might want to schedule in, is chores. The first ministry that I have been given is to be a Keeper of the Home. The Lord has shown me this must come first. If my home is not in order, I have no business being outside of my home doing other things. My chore schedule is as follows (I use this as an example, by all means do what fits your lifestyle, not mine!):

Monday: adult laundry/bathrooms                                                                           Tuesday: children’s laundry/floors and dusting                                                      Wednesday: linens/bathrooms                                                                                  Thursday: grocery list finalized/menu                                                                            Friday: library/errands

Being that it is currently summer time, now is my opportunity to put this schedule to the Fail to Plan: Part Onetest. Is this working for me? Perhaps I need to change some days around to make things work better. I also want to start taking notice of when is the best time to do my chores. I don’t necessarily set a specific time, but setting up blocks of time gives me a general idea of where I might have “free time”.

Chores being designated and set in place, I now want to start having the kiddos get in on the game. Even my youngest who is only five helps out the family. Each of my kiddos is given a task and we all work until the job is done. Our kids need to learn the value of a job well done, working together, and being responsible. Mommy handles the washing of the laundry, but the kiddos help fold and put their own laundry away. Mommy cleans the basins, but the kiddos do the mirrors, floors, and counters in the bathrooms. We have the joy of working side by side and encouraging each other in doing a good job. They will often hear me saying, “Good job, Joseph! Keep it up honey, you are going to be a pro at keeping your home when you are a mommy, Trinity!” The kids will learn to enjoy their chores, have fun working together, and take pride in their work.

Two things I should point out though. One; while the kids are young, they are going to make mistakes. Try not to clean up their messes in front of them. Wait until they are out of sight and preoccupied, then straighten things up. This will prevent them from getting discouraged, but still keep your house to the level of clean you might like. The second is this, be prepared that the kids will complain from time to time. Let’s be honest; work is work! Don’t give in and do the chores yourself! You are only making your job harder in the long run and robbing them of the joy of responsibility.

Once I have my chores pretty much down, then I will be free to start adding other events onto my calendar; slowly and with much prayer.

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19 thoughts on “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One

  1. Reblogged this on A Homeschool Mom and commented:

    Summer time is just about over. It’s time to start thinking about our coming school year (one week away!!) and getting our priorities in order. Looking back over this post, I don’t think much has changed. This was a good plan then, it’s a good plan now. It’s time to get moving!
    Cristina

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  2. I agree with you, first and foremost we prioritize God. Thanks for the reminder! I am a newbie too, and have started a little each day with my homeschool while it’s still summer for a dry run. Any tip on how to be calm and not lose it with the kids?

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    • During those moments when we feel pressed, I find it helpful to stop what we are doing and take a break. If we can’t physically walk away, we take a moment to close our eyes and say nothing. We try to use those times to pray as well; as a wise man once told me… “You can’t pray and sin at the same time. It’s impossible!”

      When all else fails stop talking and pray! 🙂 We don’t concur it every time, but we are certainly getting better!

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  3. Pingback: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part One, Revisited | A Homeschool Mom

  4. I hope your summer is going well and enjoy what is left 🙂 I’m a newbie homeschooler too!! I found out it was easier when I set specific things for each of my kids to do it made it easier for them to get them done. Of course mine are older and they know how things are supposed to be even though they still are learning. I do this because it does teach them responsibility and a job well done. Thank you for the article 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Part Two | A Homeschool Mom

  6. ” while the kids are young, they are going to make mistakes. Try not to clean up their messes in front of them. Wait until they are out of sight and preoccupied, then straighten things up. This will prevent them from getting discouraged,” EXCELLENT point!!!

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