WFMW – Backwards Day

wfmwIt’s Backwards Day again on the Works for Me Wednesday post!! What shall we talk about? I was planning to write about our new school schedule and daily routine. After all, it’s been two days and it’s going great. :) Instead, I’d love to take advantage of Backwards Day and get some help on maintaining and keeping our new routine. My oh, so optimistic oldest son has given me two or three weeks before the whole thing falls apart. This is how he and I figured it would go:

Week One:

Struggle through the new routine. Claw and fight to get up early. Try desperately to stay on track with our intense school schedule. Check the new Schedule regularly. Fuss and whine about all the work and lack of fun. Admonish children NOT to follow mother’s bad example of whining and fussing.

Week Two:

Get in the groove of things. Tired but cheerful in the morning. Hardly any complaining as everyone begins to accept the structure and higher level of work expected of them. The house is clean, meals are nourishing, and school is accomplished. The Schedule Printout is well-worn and nearly memorized.

let's read!

Even late at night, in their pj’s, the children continue with their studies.

Week Three:

The newness of plan begins to fade. Slowly bad habits slide back in to our routine as the Schedule is “set aside”. Surely we don’t need to look at it all the time. We’ll just do a little adjusting here and there. The snooze button is pushed two or three times and the alarm turned off all together one day, a little bit of movie watching happens over lunch, email and blog stats are checked mid-morning, chores are pushed later and later and then forgotten.

i just need to check a few things

Let me just see if anyone left a comment on the blog.

Week Four:

No one bothers to even set their alarms. The Schedule is permanently “lost.” Mom decides to take a few days off to refocus and catch up on her blogging. Kids spend more time playing educational computer games than doing any real school.

a game, anyone?

Anyone up for a quick board game?

This does not look good, people! Help me out. Tell me your best ideas for staying on a disciplined schedule. How do you keep to it day after day, month after month? Do you use rewards or consequences? Are you an Excel expert? Do you post charts around the house, use a calendar, day timer or Blackberry? How do you get up early every morning? I am NOT a morning person and I need all the help in that area that I can get. I know there are gifted, organized people that stop by here now and then. Share with me your words of wisdom!

Stop by Works for Me Wednesday for other desperate souls needing help.

a good book is hard to resist

Project 366 – Day 8

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18 thoughts on “WFMW – Backwards Day”

  1. With God’s help! That’s my bottom line. And Nike’s “just do it” helps a bit, too. Just do it because the Lord has asked it of me, not because I came up with a cool system (because I never have). So when the alarm goes off and my head is hurting and it’s cold outside those covers and really it was a late night last night and just 15 or 30 more minutes won’t hurt… I try to remember that this is my “mission from God”. And I know that once I’ve had my shower or coffee and quiet time I’ll be fine. That quiet time is crucial! Get my head and vision and priorities in line, beg for the Lord’s enabling and wisdom and help for the day, etc. He is faithful and strong, and He helps us do what He’s asked us to do, glory be!

  2. Thanks, Liz! Tim was sure you would share something helpful. I really appreciated what you said yesterday as well.

    I think I’m just a little bit worried about how productive I feel. We’re getting a good bit accomplished AND keeping up with the house. Surely it’s too good to last. :)

  3. I’m NOT a morning person either. I don’t keep the typical morning school schedule … that’s one of the joys of homeschooling! We generally don’t start before 10:00am. DH isn’t home until after 6:00pm, so that gives us plenty of time to get school finished, supper fixed, etc. Unfortunately, our house does suffer at times, but think of homeschooling as a full-time job. If you were a public school teacher, your housework, cooking, etc. would undoubtedly suffer even more! The nice thing is that your children are getting the best education possible. Their teacher loves them more than life itself and they get tons of one-on-one time and real-time character training. If God has called you to teach your children, it will all work out to His glory!

  4. Well I agree with Liz about her thinking in the morning, but also it has been said that it takes 3 weeks to create a habit so just really try to give it an extra big push on that 3rd week. Remember back to college days that first class was the hardest to miss so just try not to miss class for the first 3 weeks. Good luck! I will be trying the same thing on the 16th of January until then we are on exteded Christmas break, read that as family that loves us too much to leave until then. Good luck.

  5. Good advice, Liz. BEG God for His help.

    You can do it, Katherine!! I KNOW you can.

    I love you dearly!! Credits for knowing you need help, for asking for it, and for putting forth an ambitious schedule for your family. Now don’t panic, stay in today, and lean hard on the Lord (and Timothy).

    Love, Aunt Kate

  6. It’s good to know someone else has problems sticking to a routine. It really is just about doing it and forming habits. Once the habits are formed, it’ll become second nature and getting up early becomes easier and easier as your body adapts. Good luck!

  7. Adorable post! You look like you’re doing a super job! I teach in a public school, and my class loves routines. I was the one who got tired of them, but I’ve learned to love it. It’s nice knowing that every day at 11 am I’ll be teaching reading, and sticking to a schedule has freed up a lot of brain space over my teaching career.

  8. Well, since we are not homeschooling anymore we have no option but to get up when that alarm goes off :-) 7:15 am every morning. I wish I could make myself get up 30 minutes earlier to have “quiet time” but since the kids are in school all day I have my quiet time while they are there. I am not a morning person either but it always feel so good to get up and start the day . . .that is after a good cup of coffee :-) LOL

  9. It takes a good 40 days to establish a routine or habit. You need to purpose to do whatever it is you feel is for the best of your family for that long before you will reap the benefits. So…make that commitment, know that 40 days are in front of you and like Liz says, Just do it.LOL


    Lisa in jax

  10. When I wake up I immediately roll out of bed and onto my knees and pray. It’s just a short prayer for our day and to get our day going. I find that when I lay in bed to pray I fall back asleep. This just helps me keep my mind focused on God from the get-go.

  11. Well…. actually we are like Amy. We don’t have an early school day. We generally start around 10 am and end about 3 pm or so. This works well for us and I find that I am less stressed sticking to this “schedule”. We do follow a loose schedule for school, and we always get everything done… just in our own way and timing. You know, I have NEVER been a morning person – EVER. In fact, I still vividly remember when I visited Egypt and everyone ELSE was struggling with jetlag, *I* was the one who felt great and was finally on an early morning schedule! Since I can’t live in Cairo, I decided to just work within my natural schedule and not beat myself up about it. Plus, I have given up cleaning as my New Year’s Resolution. That is helping. :)

  12. hehehe…Every 3 to 4 weeks I “change” the boring schedule ;) Ya know what I mean? If you have it wake up at 6, get dressed, etc etc etc. Change it to get up at 7am for 3 weeks or something, do something different with it and it helps. Well, at least it helps me ;)

  13. I don’t homeschool, yet… but I like to dream about it…
    I was going to suggest that you find some music that keeps you going, and then during the day when you are moving from one thing to another put the music on– maybe that will help to keep you motivated?
    In the mornings, I put on a cd called Philadephia Chicken’s to wake the kids up– the lyrics are so funny that I find myself moving faster just to be in the room and see how the kids are responding to the music, sometimes dancing,some times singing… VEry funny, always!
    Then to keep me in good spirits while I am driving, I try to listen to Worship music in the car, that way I pray that the other drivers don’t… annoy me ! I may get annoyed, but hearing Worship music helps me edit what I might say! (That’s a grumpy driver, I wonder if her socks are too tight?) –instead of something not so nice!
    You get point from me for just taking the time to make a plan and stick to it, I don’t get plans made very often…
    Good Luck , I’ll be checking back to see how you do, and maybe that will prompt me to make a plan and stick to it!

  14. Well… sorry! Cant help ya! *Ãœ* Things for us always look good on paper…. the schedule… then life happens… we tend to just try and get it done…. Im sure I am not the best example for my kids some days… ( head hangs down) but I keep going!

    Just keep going girl! LOL You can do it!

    Hows that? *Ü*

    Lisa WA

  15. Got nothin’ for ya sister, but you just described my life! That is exactly how it goes for us and it’s through sheer stubbornness that we make it through four weeks and actually get anything done. I’ll be waiting for the genius to chime in that will give us all the answers!

  16. I need to go to bed earlier. I haven’t been able to get back to a “decent” schedule since we’ve moved. Maybe I’m still adjusting to the time change. (It’s all of two hours, and it’s been 5 months. And daylight savings time figures in there somewhere too, but I can’t tell if it’s too my advantage or not.)

    Keeping our daily schedule always depends on the first few hours of the day. If *I* can get ready for school by 8:30, I figure my kids should be able to. The all we really have to do is do our morning read aloud and math; even if the day falls apart for any other reason, they can always read. But if we start on time, we can get quite a few things finished up by lunch. Works for me, but maybe not for anyone else!!

  17. The best advice is to go to bed! Get them in bed at the same time every night. Have a bed time and then stick to it. If I get too tired the rest of the well intended efforts go down the drain.
    I stopped homeschooling because I was not able to do this well and keep up on the educational needs, social opportunities and such. I was not able to be their best teacher. I do have two special needs children and hit a wall after 10 years and 6 years of doctors appointments and such. Letting go of homeschooling was the hardest thing I had to do. I had to obey God on that one. They are really thriving with great teachers and the best school in our city. Gods provision again
    The bed time for school and for myself makes all the difference in the world.
    Was it Paul who said I do the things I dont want to and dont do the things I do want too. Who can help….:)

  18. spreadsheets and checklists and shutting off the computer during school…. remember back in the days when we used to shut off the phone during school hours because the phone calls always took too much time? Well… for me, now it’s the email that needs to be shut off during school or I can lose a lot of time in no time at all (LOL).

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