I love organization. Even as a girl, (and you can ask my Mom), I would make lists, organize my closet and label. LOVE organization!!
One way to make our homes run efficiently is to be organized. The old adage,"A place for everything, and everything in it's place", is just as much needed as a motto in our homes today as it was when our parents were children. Not only does organization allow things to run smoothly;it also allows us to be able to enjoy the time we spend within our four walls.
One of the things that I have found that needs to be organized is my time. Through the years homeschooling, I found the element that made it possible to get done what needed to get done - - having my time organized. Life just works when it is ordered. Time limits need to be set, and our days need to have forethought.
In her book, The Shaping of a Christian Family - How my Parents Nurtured my Faith Elisabeth Elliot said this about order in the home:
"There is a great deal of talk these days about having things unstructured. Just how can a Christan make this jibe with such Scriptures as "Let everything be done decently and in order", or with a careful study of God's creation? What would happen to the galaxies if they were unstructured? Certainly there should be order in the home."
For years of homeschooling, our schedule was set. I did not need it written down anywhere- I knew it, the kids knew it and we just did the next thing. Now, in the first years of homeschooling, I had the schedule written out, copies on the fridge and a copy in each one of the children's rooms. As the years went by, we just knew it and did it. It was part of us.
However, this year with the older children attending school, we have had to learn and invent a new schedule. We have worked and reworked it through the last couple of months; but I think we have finally figured out what works best. I thought I would share with you our morning routine. I did want to say that with our homeschooling schedule we worked with the actual time when everything was supposed to take place. (Rise at 6:00 am, Dress at 6:10 am etc) I have found for us in the morning a routine works better; because there are days when we leave earlier than other days. I did not want to have to make out schedules for everyday of the week. The routine way of organizing our time has worked better for us in the mornings.
Here is a sample of Rachel's Morning Routine: (note: the amount of time given for each task is what governs her- not the actual time on the clock)
Get Up / Make Bed - 5 minutes
Wash up / Bathroom - 5 minutes
Get Dressed / Hair Done - 20 minutes (absolutely NO talking in the house)
Personal devotions - 20 minutes (bring down book bag to front room)
Family Breakfast- 15 minutes (no talking during breakfast-Mom or Dad goes through the day with the kids while they eat)
Brush Teeth - 3 minutes
Prep to Leave - 5 minutes
This routine is working out smoothly for us. I know that the kids need 75 minutes for their morning routine. Thus, whatever time they need to leave will find us getting them up 75 minutes before that departure time. There are a couple mornings when they have to leave at 5:45 for school other days they do not have to leave until 7:30. (It all depends on who is taking them to school - - if Dad is taking them, they have to get up earlier so they can help him open the store before he takes them to school.) The routine helps everyone know the next thing.
I make sure I am up, dressed and ready to go for the day before the children get out of bed. I try to have the lights on down stairs - so it seems that the house is awake when the kids are getting up. Also, in the kitchen I try to have some Christian music playing - just to give an alert feel to the air.
The little kids who do not go to school are NOT allowed to get up with the older kids. They stay in their beds and are quiet(preferably sleeping) until Mommy tells them to get up. This way, we are able to get the kids off to school without the added chaos that younger kids throw into the mix. On the really early days, I have my time with the Lord as soon as the older kids walk out the door. After my devotions, I get the little ones up for their breakfast. On the days that I take the kids in ( usually around 7am) I rise early enough to have my devotions before I get around and dressed for the day. On the later days, the little ones are gotten up during the older kids' devotion time - with a rule that they have to be quiet!! Then we all eat breakfast together before we head out to school.
I wish that I could give them more time for their personal devotion; but right now, with almost an hour's drive to the church, this is as early as I feel comfortable getting them up. To rectify that issue, we do give them time for Bible reading before bed. We want the children in a habit of giving their day to the Lord - even if all that is allotted is a 20minute time frame. Time with the Lord must be a high priority!
I would encourage you, if you do not have a regular scheduled routine for your children to pray about what you could do. Kids thrive on a routine and everyone in the family seems a little happier when they know the 'next thing'.
Join me next time as I share our afternoon schedule and some thoughts on getting it all in after school!
Thanks for stopping by -I am so glad you did!