Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting It All Done: The Daily Grind

Since both cows became fresh last month, and farm chore times increased, I had to redo our daily schedule.  I finally feel like we have the major kinks worked out.  It's the first time that I really feel like the kids are used to the routine.  Before I share my schedule, here are a four reasons why I think THIS schedule works:

1. I cut out a bunch

 Honesty, there are only so many hours in a day.  When I had things schedule so tightly together that there wasn't any leeway, we all felt it.  We don't have many normal days.  Owen might have seizures and require more care.  The cows might get out.  The sheep might jump the fence.  Life might happen.  Scratch that.  Life DOES happen.  And because of that, our schedule wouldn't.

I'd get stressed over what wasn't getting done, and that would affect the attitude of the whole house. Now I have less planned, and it's working great! Less stress, and important things are actually getting done.  Major happiness here!

2. I stopped trying to have kids do chores before breakfast.

I don't know about your family, but my kids wake up ready to eat.  Every schedule I look at online seems to have chores that get done before breakfast.  I've always tried this in the past. For us, it lead to lots of grumpiness.  Now I've decided that we can eat first.  Chores get done so much more productively now! I love it.

3. I took time to teach the process

Too many times in the past I just made a schedule and tried to implement it immediately.    After doing some research on this--by reading posts at Large Families on Purpose and the Maxwell scheduling book (Managers of Their Homes), I learned the importance of teaching the schedule.

We had dry runs with different parts of the schedule before jumping in whole hog.  We were able to discuss what worked and what didn't work.  I got input from my older kids. 

4.  I have a list of extra things

With all the extra time in the schedule, we might actually have surplus time one of these days.  You know--if the distractions don't happen.  I'm prepared.  I have a list of things that could get done.  Or games that we can play.  Fun things.  Work things.  School things.  Depends on when we have the time. This way I don't just turn on the TV and veg.  It's hard to get back to reality after stopping for a TV break.

So without further ado...the schedule that is currently working for us:

4:30 am: Nurse Simon
5:00: Walk/Run with Bryan
5:30: Milk and am farm chores (clean barn, water animals, feed baby cows, feed hay) Jayme joins me at 5:45,
6:15: Shower and dress. Make breakfast.  Pack Bryan's lunch.
6:45: Say good-bye to Bryan, start English with Jayme.
7:15: Wake up rest of kids.
7:30: Breakfast & Nurse
8:00: Table Chores, Morning Chores & Morning Weekly Chores
9:00: Bible Time
9:30: School--Jayme on her own, Me with Jeff, Ellie, Sydney & Owen
10:00: AM Snack during school
10:30: Finish school & Clean up, Nurse
11:00: Free Time kids while I make lunch (one helps me)
11:30: Lunch
12:00 pm: Table chores & Afternoon Weekly Chores
12:30: Family Play Time
1:15: Pick up and get ready for Quiet Time
1:30: Quiet Time
         One child has special time with me for 30 minutes
         2:00: My Bible Study Time & Nurse
         2:30: My Nap
        3:00 My walk with one child 
3:30: Afternoon snack & story
4:00: Nurse Simon before chores
4:30: Milk & afternoon farm chores
5:15: Dinner prep
5:45: 15 minute cleanup
6:00:  Dinner
6:30: Table chores, ready for bed, nurse
7:00: Family Play Time
7:30: Evening Bible Time as Family
8:00: Kids go to bed, nurse
Time with Bryan
9-9:30: Bed

We aren't a slave to our schedule, but having the routine has been great!  We are actually getting weekly chores done twice a day!  We are staying on top of milking!  We are homeschooling with a purpose and plan.  I don't stick to the schedule as much for nursing, except for the times right before milking.  I don't want Simon hungry during farm chores! :) Otherwise, he nurses on demand through the day. It's about every two hours, so that's what I stuck in. 

I love it! 

What's your daily schedule?

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