I have to confess that the only routine in my house is the fact that we go to sleep every night, get up every morning and four or five days a week we “do” school between the time we wake up and go to bed ! You see I don’t see the fact that I do not have a scrict routine or a set schedule, etc (or I don’t want to see it) as being unsuccessful. I see it as just being me and a “strict routine” just isn’t for my family. I want to use this little post to encourage all moms to make sure you are NOT trying to do something that truly goes against who you are or who your family is. If you are like me and you have tried numerous schedule’s, chore charts, routine ideas and none of them seemed to work than can I go out on a limb and offer you a new idea. Here goes………………take a deep breath, a step back, tear down that chore chart that isn’t working, rip up that schedule that you haven’t been able to complete and stop looking at all those super mom websites that just make you feel so bad because all their wonderful ideas just do not work for you and your family.
Now I do believe that “Good Habits” are very important to every family but you do not need to have a list or a chart to form good habits. For some people list, charts, etc are very important, they work and they love them. I think that is awesome but I am pretty sure I am not one of those people. Good Habits can lead to a routine that works for your family, lead to a happy home but we have to remember that every mom is different, every child is different and every family is different. The day to day routines and daily descision making for each family will look different. SO KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR CHILDREN, KNOW YOUR FAMILY!! For moms that seem to be more like me and it seems you have tried chart after chart, all kind of schedule’s, etc. and all you get from it is a feeling of failing once again BE ENCOURAGED TO FIND WHO YOU ARE, WHO YOUR CHILDREN ARE, WHO YOUR FAMILY IS TOGETHER AND THEN YOU WILL FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. O.k. one more time I am not saying you shouldn’t give a new chart, new schedule or a set routine a try but if you are really not “that” kind of person or family than why torture yourself or set yourself to feel like a failure again.
All of this has been on my mind for a good while now. I have been telling myself that having a set schedule and having a chore chart for my boys is the best idea so I kept trying. I have come to realize that those tools might help but they are not the key to being successful. What has worked best for us is just having a weekly list of all the subjects I want to cover each week and how many times I want to cover them and then I just check it off when we do it. Then I also make sure I write out all the extra stuff we accomplished so even if I missed one of the normal subjects, it shows me we ‘did do’ plenty. Then most days I write on a dry erase board the subjects, activities we want to do that day and I mark them off as we do them. So the kids and I get a sense of accomplishment with out the stress of a certain order of events or a set time for each item. I have also come to accept the fact that most days we won’t get to everything I had planned and that is o.k. also. As far as chores for the kids I have to come to the descision that its not important to me for us to have a chart. What is important to me as they understand they will contribute to the family by doing chores. So I am just teaching them there are some things they have to do everyday, at every meal and then there are others that they will need to do when I say it is time. My main desire is that they learn to have a good attitude about contributing and a chart doesn’t help with that goal so I decided to not worry about having one.
As life changes, the boys get older, needs change, etc our routine may need to change so therfore we may need to use certain tools that we don’t use now and that is o.k.. The most important idea to keep in mind is KNOW yourself, KNOW your children, KNOW your family and only use the tools (or don’t use any) that work with and for you family!! Also when you really KNOW HIM (our Lord), HE will make your way straight, HE will be the source you need, HE will direct your steps, HE will have the answers, HE will walk with you, HE is amazing like that!!! So I encourage you to really get to KNOW HIM, acknowledge how HE made you, your children and your family and embrace who you (all are) in the HIM and find joy in the journey He has called you to travel and the means by which you will travel on this journey!!
When you KNOW……………… it helps picking out Home school curriculum, finding a teaching method, what kind of field trips to do, vacations to go on, free time activities, books to read, games to play, movies to watch, friends to have, when to have the “Birds and Bees” talk =), picking out consequences and so much more.
Please share your family stories, routine’s, tips, what works or doesn’t for you and yours!! Thanks!!
To see my original post with pics of my boys click HERE