When I sat down to start re-working my home management binder, I realized that I needed to put more thought into my daily rhythm and routines. Obviously, since I have been talking about finding a better rhythm since the New Year!
I have always been less of a “what time are we finishing a, and starting b” and more of a “let’s do b after we finish a” kind of person. That seems to work well with my kids, especially with homeschooling.
There are days when Jack wants to do math for an hour, and there are days when he will only do one lesson. I have Emma complete a task before going on to the next one.
Instead of having a schedule with time limits, we like to work with anchors.
I first read about anchors being used throughout the day over at FIMBY. The premise is that there are certain things that happen during the day, and they happen at about the same time. And then we work everything else around those anchors.
The biggest anchors in our house are meal times. It is relatively easy to then block off time for each group of activities we need to complete throughout the day.
For example, we do all of our schooling in the morning. It is after breakfast, and we are finished by the time I am ready to start fixing lunch. The kids know what to expect during this block of time, school. There aren’t any surprises, and so we are able to easily work through that time because everyone knows what is expected.
Now, that doesn’t mean that school itself is always easy – it most definitely is not. But, everyone at least knows that we will be doing school during that time, and have come to expect it.
Once I have those blocks of time tied to the anchors of my day, it is easier to fill them up with what needs to be accomplished.
These anchors help sculpt my daily rhythm.
Every day seems to be a little bit different from the last. This is where the Daily Planning Sheet comes in handy. I am able to map out where I want our day to go, and by having it written down, it gives me a guide to follow.
Now, if you like to have every hour scheduled, by all means do that! Whatever works for you is the important thing when creating a home management binder. What would be the point if it doesn’t work for you?
I have a separate binder that lists out what I want to accomplish during the school hours, so on my Daily Planning Sheet I block off a few hours as “school” – genius, I know!
Some days everything goes smoothly, but more often than not the urgent interrupts the important. I am working on minimizing the urgent, but with a new baby, and even 4 and 6 year olds, stuff comes up…a lot.
My goal with having the Daily Planning Sheet is to know what I want to get done throughout the day, and helps take away the constant decision making process.
If I have the meals and snacks listed out, I don’t need to think about what we are going to have for dinner. Instead I can use that brain power for something else. If I know that we accomplished most of our schooling at the beginning of the week, we can just spend some time doing read-alouds, and not worry about having a big chunk of time for school during the day. It also helps me to have an idea about where and what I should be cleaning during the day.
There is a lot that I can say on cleaning; mainly that it doesn’t get done. Or rather, it does get done, but seeing as how I am at home with three kids, it doesn’t appear that there is ever anything tidy. I am working on it, and have been working on it since we brought our first baby home.
I try to tidy as we go throughout the day, but every time one toy is put away, another is taken out, and since I am a big proponent of open ended toys – that means lots of little pieces…everywhere.
I tend to do laundry every other day it seems, and it is typically three loads every time. It is a lot of laundry, part of that is having kids, and part of that is having a paper free home. We have rags, washcloths, cloth napkins, towels, and they are used frequently. I joke to my husband that we would have to buy cases of paper towels each week if we went back to paper.
There are loads of cleaning schedules out there that you can use. But, they never seem to work for me. I think that in this life stage, I am just trying to keep it together! Making meals from scratch, homeschooling, finding time to pursue my own passions (reading, writing, knitting), leaves little time for cleaning. As long as there are clean clothes, clean dishes, and my floors are somewhat swept, then I am happy – just don’t look under the couch!
I still keep lists of cleaning tasks in my home management binder, just in case I am in a cleaning mood and want to deep clean the house, it gives me ideas. But, mainly I try to take 15 minutes here and there, set the timer, and clean as fast as possible, so that I can get back to living.
I like to remember that no matter how much cleaning I do, it will never be clean enough; there will always be something else to clean. Instead, I try to look at what is good enough. Enough to make sure I am not driving myself crazy, but not too much so that the kids think that all I do is clean!