Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The problem with schedules.

I am a lover of schedules.  I print them out in aesthetically pleasing charts and post them on my fridge.  I look lovingly at them throughout the day and pat myself on the back for keeping it together and staying on track.  Schedules keep me sane.  They keep me organized.  They keep me happy.

Until they make me crazy.

I have a bit of an obsessive personality.  If I'm not careful, I can start to take my beautiful schedules a little to seriously.  I'm the kind of girl who likes to make lists and methodically check off each box.  Sometimes I treat the schedule more like a to do list and leaving some of those boxes unchecked can make my eye start to twitch.

For example:  I have lessons scheduled for the morning.  We have always done it this way.  It worked beautifully last year and I had no reason to think it would be any different this year.

Of course, we had a small, stationary baby last year instead of the mobile, destruction loving toddler that we have now.  And we lived in our own house with lots of space and nothing interesting in it.  Grandmas house is much more fun...and distracting.  And we had daddy.  And I was getting sleep. Things are a little different now.

But the schedule says lessons happen in the morning.  So lessons need to happen in the morning.  Even if this means spending more time chasing the little tornado than I do teaching.  Even if it means cleaning up all the potatoes she threw out of the cupboard (she also took a bite out of each one because just throwing them isn't enough fun).  Even if it means wanting to rip my hair out every time it comes time to do school.

That's the downside of schedules.  They can't adjust themselves to changes in your life.

I've always said that our schedule is more of a guideline but I haven't been treating it that way.  The beauty of home schooling is that we are able to be flexible in the way we do things, tailoring our day to fit our current situation.  The problem is that you actually have to let yourself be flexible! I could see that what we were doing wasn't working but I was having a hard time making the changes that were desperately needed.  All for the sake of sticking to a schedule.

I'm stepping away from the schedules and check lists for a while so I have the time to re-evaluate.  It's hard to stay on track when you aren't even sure which track you should be on.  I need to see how our days unfold naturally.  To try a few things and see what leaves me with my sanity intact.  To have some time to remember that my schedule does not have to define my days.

Hopefully soon I will have found something that will work in our new environment (I'm going to take a wild guess here and say schooling should happen while the baby is sleeping) and I can put up a new schedule.  This time, I'll remember that it can (and should!) be changed as our life changes.


  1. I seriously laughed out loud at her taking a bite out of every potato. Ah, toddlers...

    1. Yep. They really are something, aren't they?!

  2. Yes, schedules go out the window when you have toddlers in the house...

    1. So I'm learning! You'd think I'd have learned that with the other two toddlers!


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