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:
If you have heard us speak or read any of our blogs, you have probably heard my stories about how I used to be a “closet lady.” That is, I always cleaned out closets, organized toy cubes, shelved books in order, and made one hundred freezer meals in one day—instead of doing the dishes, laundry, trash, and other “dailies.”
It took me a while as a young mother to get to the point where I could set all of my projects aside—all of the more “creative,” fun, and cool things–in order to do the things that I needed to every day….the dailies.
But once I did, my life was forever changed. You see, it is the daily ins and outs that truly make us successful in homeschooling (and in life!).
We are two weeks into my grocery fast (see the intro post here), and I already have unique situations and “special” circumstances to navigate. But like I always told my kids as I was raising them to do what they had to do every single day: “Every day is special, but every day can’t be a special day!” In other words, when we look at everything that comes up as an occasion to skip our school plan, not do our cleaning, or eat sweet treats, we will not be successful.
The same is true with my grocery fast. I could easily say a week or so in that I can’t keep it because we’re having movie night with the kids; I need to spend more because some of the kids are coming for Sunday dinner; I need to take some food to my step-mom; I need to make something for our ballroom dance; and on and on….
I am not big on “New Year’s Resolutions since 93% of resolutions are thrown out by the end of January each year. I have kept resolutions before—doing something every day, like reading aloud to my kids or doing a daily cleaning routine, etc. (I prefer to make life changes a little at a time, like monthly, as described in my Productivity Series.)
However, I decided over Christmas that my freezers and cupboards HAD to be reduced. My husband and I raised seven kids for thirty-four years, twenty-five of those years on one income. I prepped, cooked, organized, couponed, sale-shopped, and cleaned like a madwoman during those years in order to stay on budget and “get it all done.” I had one deep freeze that was collecting ingredients for my next freezer cooking day and another was filled with already-made mega cooking meals. My cupboards were the same.
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.
I have found that you do not have to have a love-hate relationship with schedules, but rather you have to figure out which type of homeschooler you are—one who loves schedules and wants to follow one to the letter or one who doesn’t care for them and would do better with a looser type of schedule that still provides some sense of structure.
If you love schedules, then you will probably do better with a moment-by-moment, or at least hour-by-hour one to guide your day.
One thing that makes it much easier for children to learn chores and household upkeep is for the children to work with you on developing systems. We as moms have a tendency to create the systems that we like in freezers, refrigerators, pantries, toy shelves, bookcases, kitchen cupboards, and more. And then when somebody comes in to do a chore or unload groceries or put something away, it is not done correctly. And we wonder why people keep messing up our systems!