During the year we find ourselves with different focuses.  During the Wet Season Peter is more available so our activities are more family based, either on holidays or working around the house and farm.  Then during the month of June (which is where we are at now) we have a time where our focus is on creative projects – getting ready for the local agricultural show.  Then we have crazy times when the family goes in survival mode and we just do what we need to do.  Then there are time we have visitors staying and our days look different same too at school holiday time not that we take school holidays, being that we don’t do school!!  But we do change our days around.)
These things can become distractions and interruptions or they can become a part of our learning lifestyle – depends on how we face them.  Some of these things happen every year and we can prepare for them other things come upon us and truly test our flexibility and priorities.

I have found either way, if I have a rough sketch of what I want our day to look like we can come to the end of the day and feel like we have achieved instead of being swept away.  (I am sure we have some days that are simply swept away but most days are intentional)  A rough sketch is another name for our routine but it is in disguise because there are no tight time slots neither does there appear to be a lot of different activities.

Right now we are in Creative Block – that is our main focus for our days are our creative projects – sewing, making, building, painting etc.  This is our rough sketch for the day:

6.00-8.00am

Individual Responsibilities – dress, exercise, food, bedroom, chores

8.00am

Family meeting (where we discuss our day) and family devotions.

Then

We get our creative projects ready – make sure we all know what is the next step.  Once we are all settled I will do a read aloud.  I will pause from the read aloud should anyone need help.  (we try to minimise this though)

The kids will continue with their creative projects – I will work on my to-do list or sit with them and work on a project of my own.

Lunch and Chores

After lunch

Everyone will have 1/2hour – 1 hour of reading time – and reading journaling.  This is the only ‘academic’ work the children will be working on this week.

The rest of the afternoon is their own….  They can continue with their project, continue reading, pick up any other interest study, play games, go outside….

So that is our rough sketch – there are some individual twists that work within that.

  • Josh doesn’t do creative – so he continues to study during this block.
  • Daniel needs to keep his reading lessons going so we will take some time before lunch to do that
  • The girls have piano practice daily – they will do that before lunch, and if they get carried away with their creative projects – after their reading time.
  • We have the occasional visitor, or other family-based activity which changes plans

Coming up with a rough sketch of your day helps when days are not going to be normal (my kids don’t believe in normal anymore!! LOL)

You start with your priorities – these must happen

  • personal responsibilities and chore time
  • family devotions
  • meal times

for us (at this time) the next priority is

  • Work on creative projects
  • Read aloud
  • Daniel’s reading lessons
  • I have office work / projects to work on (though I would dearly love to work on a wall quilt!)

It helps to have stable hooks in your day – things that rarely change.  For us, regardless of the season, these are

  • morning routine (though we can cut this short if we have to leave the house before 8.00)
  • lunch time
  • late afternoon chore time
  • dinner time

My hooks have always been meal times – right from when I was nursing my first baby – it was how I planned my days even way back then.

My hope in sharing these thoughts with you is that you will be able to see the benefit on those crazy, mixed up, not normal days that you can still be in control of how your family spends their time.  It all starts with a rough sketch of your day.

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 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.

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