Scheduling Chaos

Sorry for my blog absence the last few weeks. Life mowed me down with sick kids, sick parents, and general busy-ness. So, as a grand introduction to scheduling, let’s just say that when all does not go as planned, you just muddle through and pick up the pieces when things settle down.

I once thought that because each of my days was so different I could not possibly plan an effective schedule. I work one day a week at client sites. Two afternoons are devoted to dance lessons and piano. Another morning to a homeschool co-op. And we fit our own homeschool in there somewhere. Only one day a week is without scheduled commitments, so that often becomes our day for doctor appointments, playdates, etc.

Somehow, I had to organize this chaos, so I set about to schedule what I could. It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be because there was so much already scheduled in that I only had to work in short blocks of time. My main headache was that I couldn’t fit in everything I wanted. I had to prioritize and learn that all was not lost if all of my desires were not accomplished.

When in doubt where to start, just start at the beginning. I get up every weekday morning by 6:30. I would like for it to be 6:00, but I have a baby that does not always sleep through the night. That 30 minutes of sleep is sometimes a lifesaver. The children must be up by 7:00. Each of us has a list of personal and house chores which must be finished by 8:00, including dressing, eating breakfast, and making beds. School starts at 8:00 on the three days that we have available mornings. They still have school work on my work day, but have a little more leeway on when to start since I’m not home.

I cycle through school with each of my school age children (ages 12, 8, and 6). They take turns occupying the babies so that each of them gets one-on-one time with me. We are usually finished with school by 11:30, allowing for a break around 10:00 and any other interruptions. Lunch is at 12:00. At this point, our schedule diverges for our different daily commitments.

Mondays we leave at 12:30 for piano. We get home at 2:30 and have an afternoon school time from 3:00 until about 4:30. I start dinner by 5:00, and then leave at 5:30 to take my 12 yod to dance. I usually fit an hour of writing during her class…but not always.

As I said, Tuesdays are either spent at home all day or working in extra activities, such as doctor appointments, family visits, playdates, etc. When we are home all day, we have a long lunch break until 1:30 and extended afternoon school time until 3:30. We use the extra time to do some of our weekly cleaning chores, play outside when the weather is nice, have story time with the babies (2 and 1), and fix a nice dinner (i.e. no freezer meals). Tuesdays are usually my favorite day when they are spent quietly at home.

Wednesdays are my work day. If I do not have early meetings, I sometimes get the older girls started on school and then leave. Dad helps them finish up. I’m usually home by 5:00 and help with dinner.

Our Thursday morning is the same as Monday and Tuesday, then after lunch I take my 8 and 6 yods with me to a client where I work about two hours and then I take them to dance from 3:30 until 5:30. I try to do a slow cooker meal on Thursdays that I start before I leave and is ready when we get home.

We are members of a fabulous homeschool co-op that meets on Friday mornings. We leave the house by 8:15 and get home at 1:00. Friday afternoons are our other weekly cleaning day. We usually do not do anymore school unless we have had a particularly hard time getting the week’s work done. It happens.

Our evenings are less scheduled and more routine. We eat at 6:30ish and clean up. Everyone is ready for bed by 8:30, and after many false starts, the children are in bed by 9:00. I’m not a night person, and even when I am desperately behind, I am in bed by 10:00. Trying to catch up when I’m tired isn’t a good combination. I usually end up having to redo it.

So, that’s an overview of how I schedule our days, different as they are. I wish I could say it all flows smoothly, but as I admitted in the beginning, that’s not realistic. When life is bumpy, all but the essentials get bumped off. My essentials are meals, homeschool, and family needs. The house can get a little messy. Friends (and blogs) might not hear from me for a while. But, eventually, life settles back into a routine, and I pick up where I left off.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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