Thursday, October 15, 2009

scheduling a life

I love my schedule. I refer to it throughout the day. It's like having a road map to know what comes next. Over time, parts of my schedule become habit, and I hardly need it, but I still find satisfaction in checking something off my list, feeling productive, doing as I ought.

I have a chore chart that I keep on the fridge for me more than for the kids. I'm learning the habits of a good wife and mother. What needs to get done? Does someone need a job? I’ve got one! Sometimes I find that I just don’t know what to do next if I haven’t made it a habit. I love a visual.

I have had many school schedules; each year’s has varied a bit or a lot. I am happy with this one so far that includes three of the boys’ work on it. I was inspired by Ann Voscamp’s planning days.

I write notes as things are accomplished (or not). I can jot down what we did or where we are. When I didn’t have a visual of what we were doing, I could let days go by and not realize that we had continued to skip out on things someone didn’t want to do.

It takes me about a month into the school year to get into a groove and realize where I have overestimated in my plans and tweak things to accomodate. I always aim high and am very ambitious about what we can accomplish, but that ambition can sometimes affect how effective I am as a mother.

I can be so eager to complete my schedule that I speed through something just to move onto the next item. My kids get short changed so I can keep up with a schedule that I created in the first place! (Actually, we follow Ambleside’s schedule of Year 2 and 3.5 for the most part and a varied year 0. But I change things up a bit.)

I find myself mumbling that we are behind, rushing my children to sit and hear a fabulous story.

My oldest asks, “What do you mean when you say we’re behind?"

What do I mean?

Charlotte Mason says: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

Can’t we just continue what doesn’t get completed tomorrow? Isn’t that one of the beauties of homeschooling? Education is a life. It is not rushing through just to check off a list. It is savoring the moments.

It is a discipline. It requires forethought and a plan. It requires getting things out the night before and referring to the schedule.

It requires diligent training of children.

It requires getting up earlier than I’d prefer and going to bed earlier than I’d like . . . if I want a smoother day.

Education is an atmosphere. Children learn from real things in real life. It’s the opportunities that God places in our lives that are the real education; which may mean I don’t get to Latin today, or we do mental math in the car, or we linger with a chapter longer than the week it is scheduled.

It means forts get made during the day,

messes are allowed for creative hands to work,

birds and lizards capture our attention,

and sometimes we just need to get outside.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Kristine. It is so nice to be able to see what other families are doing and how their days look. And the link you shared is great too. I love that blog!
    I'm glad you posted!

  2. Great post Kristine! Thanks for sharing your schedules with us. So grateful for you and your wisdom!! Love all the pictures of your boys - I always look forward to what they might capture next, they are so "full of living" :)

  3. So true Kristine! Thanks for reminding us to enjoy Education as an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. Such a simple principle that I know I need to be reminded of continually. The more we make it an atmosphere the more we learn right along side our children instead of directing it at them and checking it off our list. Looks like you have had some great days! I'm new to this and love "peeking into" everyones days and ideas, thanks! - Katie

  4. I love this post! More inspiration for me to follow my schedule. My life was so easy when I followed a schedule. I fell off track and now I struggle. Terrible when you have four kids and homeschool! Thanks for the inspiration...I feel like getting myself back on track!

  5. I like schedules!
    I just have to remember that I'm the master to my schedule...not the slave!

  6. I love the pictures! What a great atmosphere you have in your home!

  7. This is really great Kristine! Thank you for sharing so much with us. I MUST have a schedule as well (funny). I found myself in such a similar place... "oh no, we are behind" and what a revelation that was for me to finally get "that that was actually ok", I am homeschooling, this is "life", and as you said "savor the moments!"

  8. WHere did you find the knight costume? I love it!