Schedules vs. Routines…
Do you know the difference?
When I think of a schedule, I think of set times and little flexibility. A routine is more of a rhythm and there is some fluidity with it.
I definitely work better with a routine and I thought you may benefit from hearing about what that looks like in my home.
I am pretty strict with doing learning time and household chores during the morning hours, but it’s not a schedule with specific times. At one point, I was literally not turning on my computer during those hours and I was silencing my phone. That really helped to keep me from distractions. I don’t always do that now, but I still try to avoid the computer or phone in the morning (as I sit here typing this at 9:15 AM…LOL…but we’re going on a field trip in a few minutes).
From 1-3:00 PM, I work on the blog and business-related stuff. My youngest has an hour of reading time in his room during that time and knows he is not allowed to interrupt me. After that, he works on his afternoon chores. From 3-4:00 PM, I either continue to work if I’m under a deadline or I work on straightening up and organizing the house, then get dinner ready at 4.
We do family devotions at around 7-7:30. Then I get my youngest to bed some time between 8-8:30 and he can read for a bit. I’ve found that if I let him read as long as he wants, he has a miserable day the next day with behavior. But occasionally I still do that because I want to encourage reading. I just choose my days wisely. 😉 After he goes to bed, I often spend time with my daughter watching Forensic Files or similar shows. That has been special bonding time for us!
After that I usually do a little more work, then spend time with my husband, and take a bath and read before bed.
A Routine That Works is Flexible
I’m very happy with the pattern I’ve developed over the years. It works well for us. It’s loose enough to have flexibility, but strict enough to keep me on track. I try to stick with it, even during the busiest seasons, like planning for the conference, and God always blesses… things get done when it doesn’t seem like there is enough time and often I have my best brainstorming sessions while doing dishes or laundry. Being dedicated to this routine helps me keep my priorities where they should be: God first, family second, others third, then myself last.
A Day in Our Lifeschooling Life
So, what exactly does this look like on a “typical” day? Well, first of all, there really is no “typical”! 😉 It can be very different from day-to-day. But here is what it looked like on one particular day that I shared a while back with my newsletter subscribers:
This morning started with my daily devotions and I was so enthralled with one of my new books (the red one in the unboxing video here) that I didn’t come out of my room until 9! I hate getting a late start, but it seems to be common these days and when it’s for a good reason, it’s okay.
Then, we started a family conversation about said book as I got breakfast for myself and my youngest. It was one of those impactful conversations that needed to happen and it ended with prayer for God to continue to guide us on this interesting path we are on currently (I know I keep saying this, but I have SO much to share with you all when the time is right!).
At almost 10:30, Korban had completed his morning chores and we started officially with school. Because I’m relaxed with teaching him (young children can catch up later in very minimal time), it’s okay to start later…though I prefer to get started sometime between 9-10. I’ll be honest…I had NO idea what to do with him this morning! (Can you relate?) We have a basket of resources that we’re going through currently and the history timeline and lap book (see above video) looked compelling to me, so I started him on that.
There are no typical days…
Meanwhile, my daughter wanted something to do. She gets bored since reading is not an option on her sleep-deprived brain and drawing, despite her amazing gifts there (check out her recent drawing below), gets old sometimes. (We logged her hours the other day and discovered she has spent over 1,000 hours drawing since starting high school! What?! 🤩)
She is also trying to save up some money, so I said she could clean the refrigerator and get paid. (Home Ec class in session!) It’s a job my poor husband has been desperate for me to do (though I don’t know why…he has his own fridge! LOL.🤪).
But I really needed a shower. Lightbulb moment! 💡He needs to learn more independence and now is the perfect time! So I assigned the coloring and cutting project…something pretty easy that he enjoys…while I headed for a shower. BUT, detour… I had a sudden inspiration for the Lifeschooling Planner that I didn’t want to forget.
30 minutes later, I was still at my computer and still just as greasy and in desperate shower-need.
He hit a snag with his lapbook at that moment (good thing I hadn’t disappeared yet), so I helped him through it and found more lapbook items to work on. Off to the shower I went. When I was back out, he had completed the assignment and was ready for more.
Hmmm… What next? He quickly let me know that he wanted to watch his new math videos, so I put those on and came back here to tell you about my day because I was just struck by how smoothly it was going, despite a lack of schedule.
And here I am! 😊
He has been enjoying the videos for the past 30 minutes. My refrigerator is almost completely cleaned out and organized. Elleina loves to organize, so this gift was put to good use, and my refrigerator hasn’t looked this amazing in years!!
None of this was planned ahead of time. Just a simple following the Lord moment-by-moment.
A man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.
When I glance over all the bold text above, I see how many little things we were able to accomplish!
I continue to strive to become more organized.
But I hope this encourages you that God is always the one in control, not our plans.
No matter how scheduled or unscheduled you are, make sure you are allowing Him to lead. Be sensitive to His voice. In fact, I feel a prompting at this moment to get up and check on Korban and tackle some household jobs 💪
PLUS, my oldest called this morning about a job at a nice restaurant and now we need to gather together a resume! Prayers appreciated.