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Managers of Their Homes

Last month I enjoyed borrowing and reading "Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families" by Steven and Teri Maxwell. The Maxwells point out that mothers who are joyful are usually those who feel they can accomplish their necessary household responsibilities. They present an achievable scheduling system to help mothers stay on top of their tasks. First you are to write down all the things that you believe God would have you do in a day, and how long they take. Then you are to put them onto little pieces of paper in half hour time slots. The idea is that you can move these pieces of paper around until you find the right schedule for you. Only then do you create a final version of the schedule. The book comes with a kit with all the necessary materials, but because I borrowed it I did not have access to this. I made my own table and little pieces of paper to move around. I have not yet honed my schedule as suggested, but I have found it helpful to think about my days carefully. 

Good points about this book

* Teri continually encourages women to seek God about their days
* There is a chapter for husbands, and Teri does a good job of honouring the role of the husband in scheduling decisions (including whether or not to have a schedule) 
* Addresses the dangers of over scheduling or being inflexible
* Chapters on laundry and meal preparation
* Ideas for scheduling babies are presented but the Maxwells do not present these as biblicaly mandated or necessary for the family to have a schedule.
* Helpful ideas for weekends and holidays (options include not scheduling, or having a different schedule).
* Ideas and schedules from women in lots of different family situations and stages of life.

Personal reflections

I want to be a joyful mother, so I want to take advantage of systems that others find helpful and see if they work for us. I only have one baby, but I still think it is helpful to get into the habit of structuring in my days in ways that help my family. I struggle with guilt about whether or not I'm using my time well, and since beginning my schedule I feel much better. I now know that I am devoting the right amount of time to various things, or if I feel that I am not I can look at the schedule and think about how to change it. I am still finding it hard to change activities at the set time, as I am always tempted to do "just five minutes more" and then cut myself short on the next activity. I have found that the Maxwells are right when they say that having a schedule can actually help you deal with interruptions or unusual situations. This is because you know that tomorrow or next week you have time allotted to continue with the interrupted activity.

Have you tried scheduling your days? What works/doesn't work for you?

Faith  – (February 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM)  

Hi Sherrin. Well I am totally a type A personality and anal to boot so of course I am super organized and thrive on schedules! I have a schedule of sorts and always did when was a full time SAHmommy too. The only thing I don't believe in (just my own opinion and what the Lord wanted for my own family) was to schedule nursing feedings. I nursed "on demand" altho both my girls were kind of on their own schedule meaning they both had preferred times of nursing. I have had lots of structure for them when they were is so ingrained in them that to this day, altho they are now 16 and 11 they both come home, wash up, have their snack and start their homework....when they were little we did errands in the a.m., followed by some learning time or educational type activities or "field trips" like free museum days, library, hikes, beach days, etc. Then lunch, quiet time or nap, books and puzzles with perhaps a learning video and then free play while I cooked dinner. Bedtimes were ALWAYS a schedule...i am most strict about that...even now. As for housework, I had certain days for certain tasks like laundry days, mopping, bathrooms, groceries, etc. Weekends were mainly ministry duties and family time. I believe housework should be done while hubby is at work if the wife is a fulltime SAHM....then again I was not called to homeschool might be different for women who choose that option. You sound like you are excited about managing your home...I LOVE being home but I also enjoy my time at my teaching job. So...yes...I have schedules! It definitely works for me....

Lisa  – (February 27, 2010 at 3:26 PM)  

I've just recently started reading your blog and I'm enjoying it so much!

We've various schedules and they are really helpful. I like "framework" schedules where each minute isn't necessarily planned out, but general patterns to our days/weeks/months. This goes for my housework as well as for the kids.

Its been helpful to be flexible. In the past, I've tried a more rigid structure and if I ever fell behind, all was a loss. That didn't work too well for us!

Looks like a fun book--thanks for reviewing it!

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