One of the things that I learnt (the hard way) last week was that my days had no margin. Margin is that left over space in any area of our life – our time, our energy, our money, our emotions, our space. When we have no margins – we are totally spent. Last week I found myself ‘intense’ by 8.30am – that is ½ hour into our studies! My focus was on getting it all done – that is, on the product (a completed to-do list) as opposed to the process (discipleship / training my children.)

We can fill our days with good stuff, good curriculum, good projects, good books but is it the best for this moment in time?

This week has been different for me; partly because I tweaked our routine and partly because I have got my actions back in line with my beliefs (discipleship vs education).

  • Plan margin. When we swap from one activity to another (whether it is play-dough to dollhouse or moving from math to science) there is always ‘down time’. It takes time to pack up, put things away and get ready for the next thing. We need to plan for this. It is a realistic thing that happens all the time – we need to expect it and work with it. (The alternative is that nothing gets put away and that doesn’t work!!) On a study routine this looks like a lesson goes for 20 minutes leaving 5 minutes pack up etc, and 5 minutes margin. That margin is always taken up – someone will have a question, toddler needs attention, the phone rings, a mess is made, toilet stops need to happen. If we don’t plan on these things happen then we will get further and further behind our plan and we will feel guilty. This guilt will make us drive the kids harder or give up all together. There has to be a happy mid-way. It is called planning margins.

  • Use large blocks of time – when I micro plan my day (in ½ hour blocks) I get in a tizz real quick. I prefer to work in 1-2 hours of time and have a list of what can be achieved in that time. My list may well be 4 things making it appear to be 4x 1/2hours but there is a difference going on in my heart. When I have ½ hour blocks I’m inclined to be driven by the clock. When I have a to-do list to achieve in 2 hours I flow from one activity to the other. Because I make my plans realistic as possible most times I plan 2 hours worth of work. Sometimes we go over, sometimes we finish earlier. This doesn’t mean I’m not aware of time (we need to use our time wisely) but I’m not driven by the ½ hour.

  • Be flexible – When stuff happens, either interruptions or when things don’t go as planned, we need to hold our plans lightly and be flexible. The first thing to being flexible is to know your priorities. When interruptions come, or plans need to change we can make room for the priorities and let go of the other stuff. If we don’t know our priorities, everything becomes important – or worse – urgent!! One reason we do our Devotions and Bible Study first up in our day is if stuff happens, we have already worked on the important things on our list and we have the freedom to be flexible.

Two days into this week and we have had to make changes each day. But I can reflect back on both Monday and Tuesday and say they were productive, successful days. How come? Because

  1. We maintained peace and harmony in relationships (top-top goal)
  2. We were able to achieve, on both days, the top priorities in both life skills and studies and accept that there were things left undone.

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

Thank you for joining me. You have successfully subscribed and will receive an email from me shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest