Monday, January 3, 2011

Re-grouping, Re-charting, Re-scheduling...Re-starting! Homeschool, Winter 2011

After any lengthy break, I stop and take the opportunity to get organized, evaluate where we've been, and set a new course for where we might head in the coming weeks.  School can wait a day so that we can get a good fresh start.  These are the things on today's agenda:
Our Environment:  Clean up Christmas.  I am sad to see it go, but the tree is dropping it's needles and it's time to take down the cheering lights, and pack things away so they'll be as special again next December.  In the process, the house should be cleaned and a bit decluttered, so we can sit for school in a neat environment.

Address Chores:  Poll the kids about what chores they're getting along with and what ones they might want to swap with someone.  There are certain chores that aren't getting done the way I'd hoped...Do I assign them to a new person who'll do them up to standards, or will that be 'letting someone off the hook,' and I should instead keep them on the task until it's done right?  Some of both, I imagine.  Just as the right tool is needed for a task, sometimes the right person is needed, too.  I need to get that all figured out, and redo the chore chart.

Daily/Weekly Plans:  Revamp the daily schedule in regard to school start time, and the number of things to be covered each day.  Fall was a bit light, due to older kids moving, fall sports, and some weather that allowed outdoor time. But now we can stand to fit in a bit more time in the books...and I want to add the project component, so each one of us has a longer term project underway at all times.--Maybe to learn a new skill, or maybe to help someone in need. Years ago we had color-coded daily schedules the kids all loved.  They still talk about the colorful boxes and how they watched me change them every morning.  They appreciated the structure, and the fanfare of welcoming each day with the unique plan.  That was a Microsoft Works program I don't have any more, so I need to find something will have the same appeal.

Me!:  Schedule not only the kids, but myself!  I want to get more out of each day, instead of letting the weeks disappear with nothing to show for them around the house 
(time to finish backsplash and touch up paint).  I don't any more time to go by without special, focused attention on this fleeting stage of my children's lives, and sometimes barely noticing what the weather is like outside!  I want to give my 
Bucket List goals time in my weeks, and not let the computer soak up time I'm needed elsewhere.

Special Note:  I had these goals in mind for weeks, but I have to think that reading and discussing her blog post,  "New Years Resolutions," with Laxsupermom on Sugar & Spice in the land of Balls & Sticks likely helped me better form the words to express my plans.  We have similar goals in regard to our homes and 'momming.'  Her resolutions are great ones.


  1. Thanks for the shout out.

    It's incredible how organized you are. I have one kid who's a chore chart kind of kid(SB) and one who isn't(WD.) SB actually wrote up a chore chart for himself the other day and excitedly showed me how he had checked each item off.

    WD works the system. He'll clean his bathroom, sortof, pick up the rec room, kindof, knowing that I'll scrub(vs just swishing the brush around) the toilet or reorganize the shelves(vs just making sure nothings on the floor) when he's in school.

  2. There are too many people, and things going on around here not to assign tasks via chart...because I can never keep track of what I've told whom to do, and neither do they! We don't have the 'check-off' sort, just reminders of what needs doing each day, so parts of the house get some attention on a fairly regular basis.

  3. Ha! I can't keep track of what I've told to whom and there are only 5 of us! I am a chart kind of person in theory, but in practice I've had difficulty finding a system that works such that I stick with it.

    I have given the older two chores from age 3, and for the last 6 years or so, they've pretty much had the same job. Since I have only 2 to help, I can't go switching around too much. I do think it's good for them to learn a variety of chores and to be flexible with what is given them to do.

    I am also trying to teach them to take initiative in seeing that others need help. I've added that after they finish with their regular chores, they take initiative to make one visible improvement that is not their particular responsibility, and they also ask me "What may I do to help you?" before asking for anything for themselves. This is slow to catch on without prompting, but at least they are not sullen about it, praise God!

  4. I've tried to impress upon them to see what needs doing beyond their chores, and Hubby says they should have an eye toward a project or improvement around the house, but I haven't added it to their charts or schedules. I read that brain development doesn't really allow for initiative before a certain age, and I find that anything vague doesn't seem to register...So I try to stick to more concrete lists with the kids. Even things they can choose from. But asking the question "What may I do to help now?" is concrete enough! Good idea.


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