Thursday, November 19, 2009

Managing Your Busy Homeschool Activities!

If you did not get a chance to read the article on Tuesday entitled, "Tis The Season, For Homeschool Burn Out" won't you please take a moment to read through it, as it truly sets the stage for today's article.

Two years ago I had so many new and exciting things taking place in my life. My children were getting older and I was able to get out of the house and serve in area's that had been off limits while I had little ones. I had taken on the role of chairwoman for our homeschool support group, which was a big undertaking for this mommy of four who had been homemaking and was a little out of practice with the business world.

I felt like there were so many responsibilities and felt guilty saying, "no" to some things, and so I said yes too often. I began to realize that the busier I got, the less I enjoyed anything. My plate was too full and nothing tasted good. Things I would have normally enjoyed, lost it's flavor. As I was preparing for my first big board of directors meeting I cried out to the Lord and asked for direction. How should I open the meeting? What should I say? What do I commit to and what do I say no to?

As I was sitting at my dining room table one morning sipping coffee I happened to glance over and saw a stack of styrofoam plates sitting on my dining room table and an idea came to me. Using a black permanent marker I wrote out everything that was currently on my plate of responsibility. It became quickly apparent “why” I had been feeling overwhelmed. There was so much black ink that you could not make out some of my writing. Throughout the week I would take out my plate and work on it. I began to ask some important questions:

How does this line up with my families standards?

How does this line up with my families worldview?

What do I "HAVE" to do? (school)

What do I "LOVE" to do? What fills my cup?

What am I good at?

What am I NOT good at?

Slowly, but surely I began to put lines through some of the activities and by the end of that week I had a more workable plan. I believe it's important not to work every single second of every single day. We need margin in our life for spontaneous, enjoyable opportunities.

It’s good to make a new plate once a year or even twice a year. Some things are taken off while new things are added. My rule of thumb is that to say yes to something new I have to say no to something old. (there are exceptions if it’s a short term project)

Remember that seasons often determine what our plates are going to look like. When I had all young children my plate was heavy with responsibility and I had very little time to engage in those things that filled my cup, such as scrapbooking, blogging, etc.., However as my babies got older I was able to add those activities to my plate. So what you say, "No" to today could be tomorrow's (next years) YES! Remember Keep It Simple, Leave Margin in your life for spontaneity!

What's on your plate right now and how are you feeling with your level of commitment?

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