Welcome to the first edition of the new weekly series of 4 Moms, 35 Kids - How Moms of Many Manage!
The topic under discussion from all 4 moms today is scheduling in a large family.
When I taught in the public school system, if a child felt ill or had a cut, I would send them to the nurse. Former best friends bickering? Off to the counselor. A child in need of disciplinary action? Go see the principal. Time for lunch? Line up! The lunch ladies have your lunch waiting for you!
Even though I dealt with these kinds of interruptions on a daily basis, I was still able to stick to my classroom schedule because I was able to delegate.
But now, as a homeschool mom? Not so much.
I AM the nurse, the counselor, and the lunch lady all rolled into one. And if I have to call the principal and he makes a "home visit", well that pretty much takes a chunk out of our day because he usually ends up spending a fair amount of time addressing the issue at hand. Plus, he may or may not want me to make him a sandwich after that. There's that whole lunch lady thing, ya know.
Which reminds me. Do you know what I need? A staff. I need a few employees and this whole gig would be much simpler.
Wait a minute. You have to pay employees, right? Never mind then. As you were.
My point is that even though we have a schedule, it is more of a target to shoot for because there has NEVER been a single day without interruptions.
One thing I have learned in the many revisions I have done to our schedule, is to pad it with extra time. Even though it doesn't take a full 30 minutes for me give a dictation test, I assign a 30 minute time slot to give room for interruptions.
Another lesson learned is to schedule the readin', writin' and 'rithmetic early in the day and leave the other subjects for the afternoon. That way, if our day goes seriously haywire, we will have (hopefully) knocked out the *most important subjects.
*Don't be gettin' all up in my grill, science geeks! I call 'em like I see 'em.
We have our most critical chores scheduled after meal times because no matter what happens, we'll still be eating, right?
Even with all the scheduling, though, there are always things that get left undone. The trick is to arrange and rearrange so it's not the same thing that is constantly being left undone. Everybody likes clean underwear, so if the laundry is left undone one day, we scramble to make sure it gets done the next.
We are constantly revising, rearranging, reevaluating. We are a work in progress.
For more on Smockity scheduling see the following:
- Scheduling Chores  (video)
- Managing Multiple Homeschool Schedules 
- Scheduling Kids in the Kitchen 
- More on Scheduling 
Now, be sure to go visit the rest of the 4 Moms to see what they have to say about how they manage their schedules! (Do any of them use the term "up in my grill"? Just curious.)
Life in a Shoe 
Raising Olives 
The Common Room 
And by all means, you won't want to miss our next installment, next Thursday, when we will each be live blogging our schedule with multiple updates throughout the day!