Tag Archives: routine

More Often Than Not—The Secret to Consistency Without Defeat

More Often Than Not: The Secret to Consistency Without Defeat

Earlier I introduced Gregg Harris’ “attachment” principle for doing the many things that are important in our kids’ Christian upbringing. (Read Attaching Important Things To Your Schedule here.)

Today I want to introduce another paradigm that has kept us going in all of the myriad Christian training endeavors: If something is important to you, you will do it more often than you do not.

Simple, really. But it has kept us going when we felt defeated, overwhelmed, or unsuccessful in our parenting. No matter what was happening, we tried to follow that principle. When one of us got discouraged, the other would remind the first that we were, indeed, doing what we were supposed to be doing.

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Ways We Made Homeschooling Fun

Ways We Made Homeschooling Fun!

If you have read my article about the Fun Factor in Homeschooling, you know that a lot of our homeschooling was hard work. Perseverance. Stick-tu-i-tive-ness. The daily grind. The day-to-day in’s and out’s. Teaching our kids contentment, work ethic, and study skills.

But we also had fun. A lot of fun. Not every subject. Not every hour. But in balance, we had fun in our school.

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The Fun Factor in Homeschooling

The Fun Factor in Homeschooling

We all want to raise children who love learning—and if they love homeschooling, too, well, that’s even better. I wanted my kids to love learning and homeschooling so much twenty-five years ago that I wouldn’t teach a child to read unless he could learn within a few weeks with no tears. (Otherwise, we put it on the back burner for a couple more months.) I was serious about this love for learning stuff!


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Podcast Roundup: Chores & More

Podcast Roundup: Chores & More

Welcome to another Wondering Wednesday!

Because we are swamped writing and editing our new Peter Pan and Jungle Book writing books. And because we have had a lot of great posts, freebies, etc., about chores, I thought I would do a sort of round up for you today of podcasts that might help you with chores, schedules, home management, and more!

So here you go....


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Podcast Handout For ” How Can I Turn My Day From Chaos to Control? From Rowdy to Routine?”

How Can I Turn My Day From Chaos to Control? From Rowdy to Routine?


Listen to the podcast HERE!


(1) Don’t think big—don’t try to do it all tomorrow! Start small. Solve little problems one at a time. Fix things in certain order that will bring you control.
(2) You can get better and better at organizing, scheduling, prioritizing, and home management


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Podcast: How Can I Turn My Day From Chaos to Control? From Rowdy to Routine?

Podcast: How Can I Turn My Day From Chaos to Control? From Rowdy to Routine?Donna Reish, author of Meaningful Composition, Character Quality Language Arts, Character Ink blog, and Raising Kids With Character parenting seminar, brings you another episode of Wondering Wednesday. This week Donna answers a homeschooling mother’s questions about turning her day into one of routine and control rather than rowdiness and chaos. Donna gives her two important tips—think baby steps and consider how you will get better and better at home management through the years. Then she delves into things to consider for you personally—situations and scenarios that affect your day and follows that with a systematic order for managing your school day. Finally, she leaves listeners with lots of tips for morning routines, chore schedules, tutoring blocks, and more—along with tons of links from previous podcast episodes and blog posts!

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Getting Ready for School 2015: Develop Good Schedules

Getting Ready For School 2015-Develop Good Schedules

When homeschooling moms hear the word “schedule,” they either cringe or celebrate. It seems that there is a division of camps when it comes to scheduling. While those who “celebrate” the schedule might be guilty of micro-managing their children and maybe even putting undue pressure on them, those who ‘cringe” when confronted with the idea of scheduling might suffer from a lack of productivity due to their disdain for schedules.

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Dishes, Laundry, and Trash–Twice a Day!

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Twenty-five years ago when I was a young mother, housewife, and homeschooler, I had trouble getting all of my work done every day–while teaching a young son to read, keeping a curious preschooler out of everything, taking care of a toddler, nursing a baby, etc. Truly the statement “the days are long but the years are short” was never more real to me.

I had problems that many people who are “self employed” have–plus the added “benefits” of having a lot of littles around making messes and needing seemingly-constant attention. (I really do think they are benefits–but when a man is self-employed, he usually doesn’t have to take care of a home, feed a crew, and provide constant care and supervision to little kids! He just, well, works!)

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Q & A: Story Time With Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Olders

I have a question about reading to my young kids! I have a 4, 2, and 1 year old. The 1 year old hardly sits still to be read to, but my question is specifically about the 2 year old. He is always asking me to stop reading as he has questions about everything on the page, or wants to ‘count’ something, or he is flipping back through pages wanting to talk about what we just talked about. Again. What do I do? Let him be in charge of how we go through the book and what we talk about – possibly never finishing the book? Or ask him to wait until the end of each set of pages and then not let him turn them back? OR tell him to be quiet the whole time?! Any feedback and suggestions are welcomed

Q & A: Story Time With Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Olders (Character Ink/Donna Reish)

Story Time Questions

I treated story time much like I treated unit studies (or “subject reading” as Joshua used to call it when he was five!). Here are some basics for that first:

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Delighting in the Dailies—Part II of II

Delighting in Dailies Part II (of II)


So now that you are convinced that “delighting in the dailies” will help you accomplish your goals, how do you get them started (and keep them going) during the initial stages—when there isn’t a lot of fruit to show for your efforts, and you are convinced some day that you should just forget making dinner and go play solitaire or buy some sort of farm equipment (on the computer…lol)?
Here are some tips for learning to truly “delight in the dailies” and make those dailies a long-term reality in your home:
1. Start out with a few of the very most important dailies—and make these things happen every day for a couple of weeks. (See “Delighting in the Dailies—Part I of II” here.
Don’t make a huge dailies list and wake up on Monday morning assuming that the magic list will all happen on that day. At times, my “dailies” (not including the children’s daily chores) could be thirty tasks long. If you are not used to doing certain things every day, this can be very overwhelming.
There are two ways to start tackling your dailies (which will eventually lead to your delighting in them):
a. Start with the four or five most important dailies for yourself and one or two per child and tackle these. Attach them to something that you already do every day (get up in the morning, eat breakfast, eat lunch, etc.). And start carrying them out over and over again. Once this is going well, add more. See my post about making a change a week or a change a month here
b. Start with the first thing in the morning—and do your morning dailies only (for everyone in the family). (You might do others, but focus on making sure the morning ones are done consistently.) I often give the advice that when you want to change the way your days are going, start with the first hour of the day. Get this hour looking exactly like you want it to look (constantly!). Then move on to the next hour, etc. I personally like this approach because I love to make my day great by getting my morning started right.
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2. Find someone who “delights in her dailies” and get a vision for this way of life from her.
Believe it or not, I actually knew several moms (either in person or through seminars/conventions) who were “delighting in their dailies” as many as thirty years ago! And this prompted me to make this a way of life. I could see the fruit of their daily disciplines, and I wanted that in my home as well. A well-run home is a beautiful thing, and we older moms need to teach and help younger moms learn these vital skills.
3. Believe in the daily approach to life.
Additionally, as an incremental type of teacher, I knew that “precept upon precept” and “line upon line” was the way that my children would master their subjects—and that incremental learning comes through dailies.   I also knew from past experience that skipping things that needed done all the time in favor of things that either didn’t HAVE to be done or things that needed done less frequently didn’t work.
I had to believe in this approach in order to really carry it out. If you are waning in your ability to carry this out, make a list of all of the benefits to doing the dailies on your list (i.e. new reader will blossom through daily reading aloud to Mom, no more five o’clock scrambles for dinner, etc.). Pull this list out to help you “believe” when your faith is weak (and, once again, Farmville is calling!).
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4. Notice the fruit (the real fruit!).
After a very short while, you will notice that something (or more than one thing) you have developed as a daily in your life is REALLY benefiting your family. Note this! If your struggling mathematician suddenly knows his x8’s because math drill became a daily for him,  you have some juicy fruit! If your husband happily puts on his clean dress shirts in the morning (instead of the former morning clothing scramble!), then you have fruit. If you don’t dread four o’clock any more but actually sit down and read online articles for a while until sweet angels wake up from their naps, you have an entire fruit bowl! Notice it. Enjoy it. And realize that this fruit is there because you learned to delight in your dailies.
5. Believe that these dailies are truly the most important parts of your ministry to your family right now.
Anybody can swoop in and be a hero once or do something big here and there—and those have the potential to be ministries to your family too. However, when we understand and truly believe that what we do when we get up first thing in the morning is truly a ministry to our family, we will look at our dalies differently.
I know there are entire books written about the ministry of magic of motherhood. And they are right. But we have to do more than believe it in theory. We have to have it deep within us that when we consistently cook with our ten year old every day for lunch, we are doing God’s work. We have to breathe it in, take it in, and know it at that moment. When we lie down at the end of the day, we have to feel, believe, and KNOW that we have fulfilled an amazing calling on our life that day—because we did our dailies, God’s task list for us at this time in our lives.


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6. Realize that you have accomplished a great thing.
Have you ever heard about the research for mastery in life? Some studies show that it takes repeating an action ten thousand times to become accomplished in it. Just look at each time that you do something (plan the next meal, do a reading lesson with a child, reach out to your preteen’s heart) as a step towards mastery. It really works. You will become so good at the things that you do over and over and over again!
It is rare to find a “work-at-home” mom who can juggle really well. How many times have you personally heard someone say that she could never do what you are doing—that she couldn’t spend all day with her kids or that she wouldn’t have the motivation that you have or that she can’t get organized without the structure of employment? What we are trying to do here—manage a home well, educate our children, and spend all day every day with kids—is not easy to do. If you continue to improve yourself as a home manager and a homeschooler, year after year, you will get more and more accomplished—and you will soon realize that you have done something very rare and very great.
7. But don’t get smug! 🙂
After delighting in your dailies for a while, and continuing to add more and more important dailies into your life, you will be amazed at the skills you have. Bask in that. It is such a great feeling to delight in your dailies. Such an awesome peace that comes with knowing that you are doing—day in and day out—what you are supposed to be doing. Actually, this feeling alone is enough to keep you going. (While I don’t advocate in living on feelings, there is a calm and peace that comes with doing what you are supposed to be doing—and THAT is a great feeling!) So enjoy it…but don’t be smug! Soon there will be someone else who wants you to help her learn to “delight in her dailies”—and you will be just the gal to do it!

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