Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Organize your morning -- keeping it fresh

I had a little extra time tonight, so I decided to put together some tips on starting the morning right, after the theme for the Heart of the Matter carnival for the week. Friday they will post the carnival, so be sure to head over there for lots of great tips on starting your day off on the right foot. Last week they shared about organizing the physical space you homeschool in.

If things stay the same for too long, I get a little bored, and less productive. So, I like to tweak things periodically to keep things moving.

My current schedule is my absolute favorite so far, and I find we have time to get everything done.

After a quick shower, I head right to my Bible. If I stop and do anything else before this it gets shortened or skipped and the rest of the day just stumbles on by. Right now I am reading through the Bible thanks to 66 books, and I daily pray for my husband and kids using Power of a Praying Wife and my prayer calendar.

This biggest help I have found is writing it down. Even if we don't always stay exactly where we should be, we all know the goal, where we are headed, and what comes next. Here was my schedule from the beginning of the year, but I have had a hard time getting up at 6:00 recently so my exercise has resorted to PE time in the afternoon with the kids.

Running a close second for helping my days get started right is my new commitment to stay off of the computer. I don't even turn it on until we start school, and then it is just for studies. IF I get my morning responsibilities done early I check email before school starts, and I have designated blogging and computer times that I am working at sticking with. So far, pretty good. Sometimes things come up and they don't work out, and sometimes things come up that give me some extra time on the computer, but I control my computer not vice versa.

The kids all have their designated morning chores that are clear and, again, written down. I have found a homemade system that we love for keeping them on task at the various chore times throughout the day and makes their expectations clear. In a nutshell, they have chores on index cards that they move to the "done" envelope throughout the day as they finish them. Very hands on and visual.

Keeping it simple, written down, and tweaking as needed has helped us get started each day with enthusiasm and joy! So much comes back to me, setting the tone for the rest of the day by God's strength and my continual submission to Him.


momishome2 said...

Great ideas! Thanks for the reminder that starting with God (and not the computer!) is the best way to go. I am really struggling with the whole morning thing right now.

The Ties that Bind Us said...

Great schedule! I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your insights. I also, have scheduled "puter" time, and my husband helps keep me accountable with that.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Love those chore cards. My oldest is 6 and we haven't been great about routine chores, but with a 6,4, and 2 year old and one on the way...I'd like to get some sort of little routine going.

I have also been laying back off the computer - no checking email first thing, etc. Boy is it freeing!

5intow said...

momishome2, Morning is a struggle. I think partly because a mother's nights are not always predictable which effects everything the next day! I'm praying for you as you find the right answer for you and your household.

Ties that Bind, Great idea for having your husband hold you accountable! I have my blogging buddies, too, but they don't truly see what I am doing. My kids also have a great nack for saying, "Mom, I thought you weren't supposed to be on now?" And I slink away in guilt . . . It keeps me off!

Mary, The chore cards are great and I used pictures on them with the little ones. I think you are in perhaps the toughest age/season in terms of keeping in top of a routine. I found once the kids hit 7 their ability to help around home jumped. They could read independently and work more independently. I've been there and love all the littles around, but it is an exhausting time. I'm praying for you! Glad you have found freedom from your computer, too. :-)