Monday, February 15, 2010

The creation of a routine

Our routine is in a constant state of evolution. Every time things start running smoothly, someone drops a nap or schoolwork needs change or we have a baby or I get pregnant and need more rest than usual... You get the picture!

I have gained a lot from peeking into the routine planning of other Mums - especially homeschool Mums - over the years and I thought I would walk you through ours - What! Why? HOW? style.

WHAT is a routine?

For me a routine is the habitual sequence of steps our day follows. In my mind a routine differs from a schedule as a schedule is more clock oriented, a routine is more goal oriented.

WHY plan a routine?

All human beings have a routine of some sort. There are times when our routine is to float around in the morning until we get so hungry we eat breakfast, do some school work, have some lunch mid-afternoon, fly around and do some housework, get distracted and do a craft before packing up just before Daddy gets home (or after), eat tea FAR to late and get to bed even later. Generally though, we try and be a little more deliberate than this! Sitting down and planning a routine means we can put our priority things in first (worship, naps, meals, cleaning) then plan extra FUN stuff around them and not have to feel guilty when we are doing extra fun stuff because we know the important stuff is done or will get done.

HOW do you plan a routine?

I open a document in WORD and make a table with a column for me and each of the kids and a column to show the time chunk.

I chunk our days into periods of time then list the things each member of the family do during those time chunks, starting with priority or time sensitive items such as naps, meals, worship, cleaning etc.

The reason I do time chunks rather than specific times is because I find chunks more flexible. It means I can stop and deal with our latest toilet training accident or to kiss and cuddle a hurt child without worrying about how it throws out our day too much. Follow this link to an example of our routine I have drawn this one up recently and have yet to work out the bugs. I will revisit this and 'tweak' it several times before I am happy with it. Then, I'll have a baby and we will begin all over again!

For more ideas in creating routines, try these websites:

FlyLady (Especially Here)

Large Family Mothering (especially Here and Here)

Large Family Logistics
While this lady has moved to a different blog now, this one is still a treasure trove of good advice!)

The Lockwood Family (especially Here and Here)

How about you? Do you have a routine? What does it look like? Do you have any tips or links to do with routines?

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