The ladies over at iHomeschool Network were challenging us to think of what we’ve learned from homeschooling. Well, I’ve learned ways to work on my flaws. God is working on me through homeschooling to create a better person. I’m not arrived yet, as is evidenced by my bleary-eyed glaze this morning as I finish typing, but I’m making progress
I am great at setting up organizational systems. I can make things look pretty. I suck at sticking to them.
How I fixed this, honestly not completely yet. The two big things that have been helping: 1. getting rid of SOOOO much stuff (less stuff means, less to make a mess with), and 2. Putting more responsibility on the kids now that they’re older. If they have to put away the dishes they think a moment before getting out that third cup.
2. Follow Through
For the past 2 years I have gotten 90% through our history and science curriculums. Why? Because I’m so excited about the new one that I can’t wait to start working on that one. I reason it’s okay because they’re so young, I’ll cover it again. (I will say this can cross over into other areas, as evidenced by my 6 different 90% done sewing projects).
How I fixed this: setting clear schedules and goals. If I’ve got a written plan, I stick to it better. I can slide it around a little, but I know what to do and when. I also am reminding myself that there are some great things at the end of the books. That, and I’m planning a big treat for myself when I get it done…….
My personality is to throw myself whole-heartedly into something for a time, and then drop that and throw myself into the next thing. When I’ve found that new overwhelming passion, my house tends to suffer.
How I fixed this: Having people over weekly. If I’m having people over on a routine basis for Bible study, I want my house clean so I don’t feel embarrassed. This usually means a frantic afternoon spent cleaning before they come over. If I have a reason to clean, then I will get up.
4. Getting up early
I firmly believe we were not meant to get up early. I have been heard to say, “That ungodly hour of anything before 7:00.” I’m not all that sure 7:00 is godly. More, it’s not outright evil.
How I fixed this: I grudgingly set an alarm for 7:00. I know for most of you this is not early, but for me it is, especially since that still requires an hour or so for me to not blink at people after getting up.
5. Corollary: Going to bed early
Left in my natural state I will go to bed between 1 and 2 am. Any time the kids are not here, and on many weekends that is when I go to bed. That doesn’t work if your goal is to get up at 7 am, and your kids will get up then no matter what.
How I fixed this: Yeah…….. I’m still working on that. I’m getting to bed between 11 and midnight, but I still read in bed for another hour or so.
I am not naturally patient, hate to burst your bubble. But, there are times when I’m being talked at by the kids, and I just want to scream, “GO AWAY! I WANT TO SIT AND BLINK AT THE COMPUTER IN SILENCE.” That is not the right response.
How I fixed this: Taking a deep breath, and praying before I respond. Then God stops the wrong response and I give the right one. This also works for the millionth repetition of the favorite show the kids want to watch with me. In that instance, I sit and read a book with them, they just want me there.
There are times when left to myself, I will leave the kids outside and read a book all day long, or sew. IN case you were wondering, this is not the appropriate response.
How I fixed this: giving myself mini-rewards. If at the end of the day, I’ve completed all of my tasks, and the kids are in bed, and the house is not a disaster (note I didn’t say clean), then I reward myself with a hot bath and a book. Or some time spent sewing (but that can lead to my not going to bed, so that has to have a timer).
8. Time management
I am not good at using my time wisely. Left to myself everything would happen at the last minute, and I’d be late to everything.
How I’m still fixing this: calendars and timers. First I put everything into the calendar on my phone now, I also have a paper calendar to help me plan out steps. I set alerts to remind me of things I need to be doing and when I should leave for things (for our family I build in a 30 minute window to get ready, and we’re still leaving a few minutes later than I’d like). I set timers for most things. This helps keep me on track, because if I have to stop at 30 minutes, I am more focused.
9. Putting first things first
Did I mention that whole spending the day reading thing? Or any number of things I want to be doing, but shouldn’t.
How I fixed this: Keeping a mental priority list and prayer. First, I pray about any big decisions and about adding things to my schedule. Left to myself I will over commit, and leave Jeff with a tired and stressed wife, and the kids with a grumpy mother. I try to run any decisions that will make an impact on my time past Jeff, I don’t always see all the steps involved, and having him look at this helps me a lot. I also don’t start reading new books or accept deadlines when new books come out. I know I’m useless until I read the new book.
10. Not getting distracted
And I write that last one after having spent the last 20 minutes being distracted by the shiny internet waiting on the other tab on my computer. So, this is obviously not fixed yet.
How I’m working on this: Many different things, this could be a post in itself. The quick list: removing visual distractions, anything that needs focus I go into a room by myself for. Keeping the equally distractible kids on task: again removing visual distractions and any toys (for them it’s literal toys, for me it’s often my phone…. or a book, or a book on my phone). On the computer I have to close my web browser often, I know it’s just a simple click to start it again, but that simple click can often keep me off.
For the next 10 Weeks I will be joining with many other fabulous ladies to create 10 in 10, 10 different lists and ideas for the next 10 weeks. I am really looking forward to some of these topics to see what everyone else comes up with. Come join us with your own interpretation of the 10 in 10.
Then after you’ve checked out the blogs listed there head on over to Angie’s for the Top 10 linkie.