Routine? Gulp…

I’ve been anxiously waiting to make this post!

Last month I went to the Teach Them Diligently Home School convention in Nashville, Tennessee.  While there I got to listen to one of my favorite bloggers, Amy from Raising Arrows, speak on large family organization and homeschooling.  She began to speak on schedule families and routine families.  I hate both those words.  Because I have failed at both those words.  So many, many times!

But as Amy talked, I realized why I failed.  First, let me summarize (my understanding of) the difference between schedule families and routine families,

Schedule families run on a time schedule.  They get up at the same time, eat lunch at the same time, eat dinner at the same time, go to bed at the same time, and most of the family members function well this way.  Timers are their friend.  If they set a timer it is motivating.  They take comfort in knowing at what time different things in their lives are supposed to happen.

Routine families don’t really follow a time schedule.  Instead of regularly waking at 6:00 am for example, they get up about 8 hours after going to bed, but that may not be the same from day to day.  Timers make kids in routine families freak out!  It is not all motivating, rather it causes them to freeze up.  Routine families tend to do things in a set order, not at a set time.  One day you may get up at 8:00 eat breakfast at 9:00 Shower at 10:00 and start school at 11:00.  The next day you may get up at 6:00 eat breakfast at 7:00 Shower at 8:00 and start school at 10:00.  The comfort is in knowing what is coming, but not in being tied to a clock.  As a mater of a fact, clocks tend to add stress to routine people.

For years I thought “routine” was a scary word.  I never seemed to follow a routine either.  But I realized as I listened to Amy, that I struggled with routines because I tried to apply them to a schedule, I tried to force times upon my routine style life.  And, because I’m very, um… shall we say easily distracted.   So I tend to get unfocused, change my plans and forget what I’m supposed to be doing.

Enter my new daily chart to help me focus!

Daily Focus Guide

Daily Focus Guide

The yellow poster is a list of our daily routines (and some I’m trying to encourage).  At the top I wrote Isaiah 30:21

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” 

I listed the routines by time of day.  Off to the right is a white paper.  That is my additional daily list of what needs done today.  I intend to also include the laundry chart and shower chart there as well.  I am now in the process of training my children, and myself, to use the Focus Guide to remember what is on the list for today.

And, now this is a big deal to me, I just sat down and hand wrote without any rulers, stencils, or other neatness enhancing devices, both the verse at the top and the list down the side.  I am learning not to let my perfectionism hinder me and disable me from doing anything! Yay me!

Amy has an ebook out that includes a lot of her suggestions for homeschooling a larger (four or more) family.  It just came out yesterday!  I am very excited to read it.  If you are like me, afraid of schedules and somewhat disorganized, or even if you have it all together, you will probably find some helpful tips in this book.  Oh, and I just signed on as an affliate here, so if you order through my blog I do get a percentage of the sale.  But really, I think you should order it anyway.

Large Family Homeschooling

Large Family Homeschooling


Raising Arrows E-book Large Family Homeschooling



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