Thursday, August 20, 2009

The PERFECT Schedule!

The PERFECT Schedule?! That got your attention didn’t it? Well, if you’re anything like me it did. It doesn’t matter how long I homeschool I am always looking for the perfect schedule, the perfect planner that will bring life, peace, structure and purpose to our days.

Not only have I purchased the M.O.T.H. (Managers Of Their Homes) book twice. I actually had Steve and Teri Maxwell come to town and do a workshop for our support group. If you’ve not heard of M.O.T.H. or the Maxwell’s, they are the SUPERSTARS when it comes to helping homeschoolers organize their lives! However, no matter how hard I tried to implement their schedule in my home I could never seem to make it work for me?

Yet, I have a precious friend whom I love and adore. We are so completely different. Her name is Kim and I will never forget how she had the complete opposite experience......, She read the book, followed the instructions, put together her schedule and Wa-La.... PERFECTION! She has practically every moment, of every single day planned out beautifully and here’s the kicker, she actually follows it? (shaking my head in wonder and disbelief)

Then one day another girlfriend bought me a cute little To-Do List and I began jotting down things I needed to accomplish each morning while savouring my morning cup of Joe! WHOA! I loved it. A simple to-do list gives me a feeling of success like no other. Neither way is better or worse, just "DIFFERENT"! (smile)

Let me switch gears and talk about lesson plans? I LOVE lesson planners! I can't tell you how many I've purchased over the years. Always thinking that the planner itself was going to make me successful. Here's the problem...., no matter how many times I try to plan out our lessons ahead of time it never seems to work long term? I’ve tried doing a year at a time, (hee hee) a month at a time and even a week at a time without much success. OTOH, my friend Kim not only schedules her school in six week increments she actually follows through? (I know some of you are loving my friend Kim and others want to kick her to the curb!)

Finally years into our journey, I woke up one morning and finally realized that I needed to stop looking at KIM'S success and to begin looking at what works for ME! Plans make me feel smothered and take away my flexibility. However, I love the feeling I get when I jot down the things we've accomplished or cross things off my handy dandy daily to-do list. This brings a smile to my face and adds a bounce to my step!

Upon reflection I made a huge discover! I feel successful and productive when I record and my friend finds success when she has a plan in place to follow. Neither is better or worse, right or wrong. Just what’s right for “us”. It’s important to figure out what makes "YOU" tick by reading books that help to identify your strength’s and individual preferences. Then begin to observe how those findings line up factually with your life.


Recently at our homeschool convention in Orlando we had a speaker encourage homeschooling moms to take a test from Strength Finders 2.0 to find out who we were and who are children are. One interesting discovery I made was that one of my strength’s lie in Adaptability and my girlfriend Kim’s strength was Discipline.

Let’s take a look:

Adaptability - You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a set destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of adaptability allows you the flexibility to respond willingly to the demands of the moment.

Discipline - Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure on your world. You set up routines. You focus on deadlines and timelines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently.

When I read both of these understanding like never before took place. Kim is beautiful when she walks in her strength of "Discipline" and I am extremely successful when I walk in my theme of "Adaptability" Neither is better or worse, right or wrong, but they are different. Have you been trying to model your day, your schedule, your homeschool around a friend who is just gifted differently than you? I give you the freedom to let go and enjoy who YOU were created to be.

I love examples to illustrate points and coudn't help myself when I thought about two active posts going on right now over at the Time4Learning forums. We all use the same curriculum, we all LOVE Time4learning, but each of us finds success differently. I thought I would share a couple of topics which illustrate this beautifully....,

Scheduling Your Day

Which Lesson Plans Do You Print?

Have FUN homeschooling your children. Don’t let the details bog you down! Remember, "The death of contentment is comparison!" How about you? Are your a planner or a recorder? Do you err on the side of Adaptability or Discipline?

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