Friday, August 29, 2008

Scheduling My Day, Perks and Pitfalls

We've completed our first week of homeschool first grade. My much labored-over schedule, fashioned from the book Managers of Their Homes, A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families, by Steven and Teri Maxwell, worked like a charm. Remarkably, thanks to the schedule, I exercised five days in a row for the first time since becoming a mom (2002). Awesome. Feels really good to have done it, finally. I ran cross-country in high school, did traditional aerobics in college, followed by step classes for years. Then along came parenting. It changes everything, doesn't it? Two days a week, with perhaps more in the spring and summer hiking months, was about all I could manage, without a schedule to control me - to propel me through the day.

Every morning at 9:30, right after breakfast and reading, we take a 35 minute family exercise break. It is comical in a way to call it a family thing, because while we start down the road together, it quickly turns into me walking briskly alone, with Emily in the stroller. Thank goodness she loves stroller walks! The boys ride their bikes, while Daddy sprints along beside them, quickly leaving my pregnant, hot, compression-stocking-wearing self in the dust. Our neighborhood roads were just redone with two coats of the black stuff; it's all smooth and nice. Sure beats the months and months we went through with deep potholes, although it means that poor Daddy needs to get a bike. The boys are riding a lot faster thanks to the smoother roads.

Another great perk of the schedule is that I allow myself thirty minutes each to fix both breakfast and lunch. With Don home until 2 pm, it all works out great. He keeps the troops out of my hair, so I can prepare more well-rounded, complete meals. I actually have time to cut fruit for each meal, and thaw or wash blueberries for our oatmeal. I love that! Before it seemed I was always rushed, so I relied on dried fruit a lot, or fruit that needed minimal peeling or cutting. Dried fruit gets expensive and probably sticks to our teeth more. We'll see what effect that has had, at our dentist appointments next month.

My schedule included time for laundry and dishes, and one other housekeeping chore per day. The problem is, when it came time to do my one other chore, I was all out of robotic enthusiasm. I'd forgotten to put in any down time. Big mistake. It's Friday night and the house is a mess. Only sweeping got done during the week, in addition to the laundry and dishes. Oh, and of course the disinfectant wiping of the bathroom, which is essential in a house with three boy-men. That's another reason I rejoiced when the ultrasound tech gave us our girly news. Less oops-I-missed pee to wipe up! Hallelujah!

First grade requires more hours than kinder, so it looks like I have to either get better at robotic behavior, or wait until Saturday to clean my house. I might be able to find a silver lining in that. Daddy could be enticed, due to our obvious mess, to take the kids out of the house for three hours, giving me time to not only clean, but have a much needed break as well. Pretty pitiful when solo cleaning feels like a break. LOL

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