Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Management Skills

Time management skills. 
Somehow I missed the class on this!
If I took the class, I failed miserably.
Most of the time I fly by the seat of my pants.
When it comes to homeschooling, people have told me I need to schedule everything.
To me, part of the glory of homeschooling is not having to have a schedule.
I understand the value of a schedule, but since having kids my life has not been scheduled. 
Actually, our lives are normally scheduled around doctor appointments, and just life in general.
The problem, for me, comes with cleaning and schooling.
You see, I will tend to explain something to the kids, then as they get busy, I get busy doing housework.
Often though, I get sidetracked by the housework and it takes me a while to get back to the school work.
The funniest thing is you really can't tell any of that by the looks of my house.
Lately though, I've changed things up.  Gone are the workbooks.  Gone are most textbooks.  We are learning by living life.  OK, I'm using unit studies, but I can see us veering from prewritten studies soon. 
For example, we are currently learning about gardens.  Involved in this study is learning about Monet, George Washington Carver, and different types of gardens.  That's just been this week, and it's a four week study.  Anyhow, today I took the kids to the arboretum.  We sprawled under the crab apple trees and the kids did their copy work (vocab words and words of wisdom).  We discussed different types of gardens, and I read a chapter of The Secret Garden (our current read aloud).  We then spent the afternoon tromping from the rock garden, to the rose garden, to the water garden, to the shrub garden, to the edible plant garden, and on and on.  Matt met us there after work and we went to pizza and discussed what we would need to grow in a pizza garden. 
It was so, so great, and I'm sure the kids will remember more about this than reading about gardens in a book.  We have made plans to go back throughout the spring and summer to watch the plants grow and change.
All of this is to say, it was really hard for me to leave the house.
I knew if we left, I couldn't switch the laundry.  I couldn't do the dishes.  I couldn't pick up anything.
I'm learning that the housework isn't important.  The relationship with my kids, and them learning is far more important.
The problem is, while everyone has chores, the house has been pretty neglected this week!
I just really need to get my time management skills polished!
Love this poem, though, because it is so true.

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth

empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

hang out the washing and butter the bread,

sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew

and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo

but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

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