Homeschool Schedules: How A Stressed-Out, Sleep-Deprived Mom Overcame Over Commitment

How many of us wish that we had 32 hours in a day instead of just 24?  Perhaps with that extra time, we would actually get eight hours of sleep, and never need a whole pot of coffee to get us to jump started in the morning.  Or would we?  If I’m completely honest with myself, I probably would try to cram in an extra four hours of work and still be as sleep-deprived and caffeine-dependent as always.

Homeschool Schedules: How A Stressed-Out, Sleep-Deprived Mom Overcame Over Commitment

Time.  It’s the great equalizer.  We all have the same amount of it, but how each of us uses the time we’ve been given, is so varied and diverse.  The use of this precious gift can often involve a certain degree of soul searching, but determining whether or not we have enough time to spend on a task or event does not have to be as difficult.

As a homeschooling mom, whether I say yes or no to something depends entirely on whether or not I have the time.  Now before you all say the collective “Duh!”, hear me out on this one.

How many of us have felt absolutely exhausted because of one thing? – Overcommitment.  Go ahead, raise your hand.  We all have! In our stay-busy, stay-driven society, saying “no” is something many of us cannot do.  We say “Yes, yes, yes!” and before we know it, we are stressed-out, sleep-deprived, and have turned into this slightly scary person that requires way too many cups of coffee in order to teach math to her second grader.  Sadly, I’ve been there so many times, and we all know that it just doesn’t end well.

For homeschoolers in Sacramento, who are trying to organize a day full of academics, sports, music, church, and other activities, knowing whether or not you have the time is essential. About ten years ago, I was struggling to try to create a schedule for my four kids, all of whom were nine years old and younger.  By this time, I had been homeschooling for about five years and we had recently adopted our youngest son from Haiti.  Everything I tried had failed. Then one of my friends introduced me to a wonderful resource entitled, Managers of Their Home. This book transformed the chaos and stress to days that ran more smoothly (not perfectly, but oh so much better!) and taught me how to say the magic and all-powerful word, “No.”

The book is written by Steve and Teri Maxwell who have homeschooled for over 30 years and have eight children.  What I really liked about Managers of Their Home is that they don’t tell you that you should schedule life their way.  After all, most of us don’t have eight kids.  Instead, they provide a lot of tips and advice on how you can make the most of your time as you homeschool your kids and do life together.  The other thing that is helpful about this book is that they provide sample schedules of other families and how they organize their time.  It shows readers how many people have successfully implemented the suggestions outlined in Managers of Their Home.

This amazing guide has been extensively updated since I made my purchase almost 10 years ago and has even more helpful advice on how you can take the stress out of your home and school.  They have also added an online option for organizing your schedule should you choose to purchase a subscription using their software.

Here is a little peek into what our Tuesdays looked like one year.  One thing I want you to understand about our schedule is that it was a guide.  We didn’t hit everything on this list at just the right allotted time or some days even at all.  Life happens, and it’s so important to remember that and be flexible.  That’s why we homeschool – right?

Instead, the schedule was a great tool for showing us if we actually had the time to do something.  As you can see our Tuesdays were really full.  So, I knew that this would not be the day to schedule something extra in if it wasn’t absolutely necessary (i.e. doctor appointments or a special field trip.)  The rest of our week was not always this hectic and allowed for a little bit more flexibility.

Since implementing this scheduling system into our homeschool 10 years ago, I now have one daughter who is a junior in college, a son who is graduating this May and will be attending college this fall, a freshman in high school, and a seventh grader.  I am truly grateful for how Managers of Their Home showed us how to get the important things done and to enjoy the many seasons of life together.