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Weekly Routine: Managing My Time

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share different helps and tips for time management, scheduling, and organizing that have worked for our family. If you have a specific question, please feel free to ask! I’ll try to address it as best I can.

Homeschool Schedule

 

Keep in mind, some days are more productive than others. Others, we’re lucky to have 3 meals show up and get the basics of homeschooling done. Stuff happens, and we get sidetracked {I think perhaps you can relate?}

 

Budgeting Your Time

Have you ever had to create a financial budget for your family? Many years ago, our family needed to get our finances in order to get out of a big heap of debt that we had managed to accumulate. The first step in the process was creating a budget so we could see how we were spending our money.

After reading the ebook Tell Your Time: How To Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free by Amy Lynn Andrews, I had an ‘aha’ moment on the concept of budgeting my time. It had worked so well for our finances, and it made sense to apply the same principle to my daily time. While we already had a general routine in place, sitting down and laying it all out in front of us to see what we actually were doing, well – that was a little different.

One of the most helpful things for me was the Grid in Tell Your Time that helps differentiates between negotiable and non-negotiable things and also flexible vs. non-flexible items.

Non-negotiable: homeschooling, sleep, church, eating

Negotiable: reading a book

Once every and anything was listed out on the grid, it was plugged into a weekly schedule {or chucked out the window}. Keep in mind that the schedule is something that is ever-changing as our life changes and different things are added to our months. 

A Look at Our Weekly Schedule

Want a peek at my weekly routine? Well, before I share it, I want to note a few things….

  • This is not a ‘to the minute’ schedule. I am not a drill sergeant that yells at my kids when it is 1 minute past the allotted lunch time.
  • We are more routine driven {i.e. the flow of our day goes in a certain order}.
  • We are not slaves to the clock. Just because it is on the schedule, doesn’t mean it has to be done then.
  • Budget  MARGIN in your life! Leave wiggle room in your day {kids get sick and life happens}. There is white space, but that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around doing nothing. Inevitably something always comes up or spills over into that margin.
  • Just say NO. This is something that is hard for me to do. Just because an opportunity comes up, doesn’t me that we have to participate and be a part. Guard the time that your family has together and don’t overextend yourself.
  • Yes, it is color coded, but that’s just to help me visually see the different blocks. I am a visual person and it helps me pick out things quickly.
  • Homeschool Schedule 1

Click on the image to see a pdf of our weekly schedule.

Notice the white space? That’s margin, my friends.

  • Yes, we ALL have an afternoon rest time. It keeps the kids {and me} sane. Oh – I’ll be sharing more about that!
  • A typical school day takes us about 4.5 hours {less for the youngest, a bit more for the oldest – but she works independently}.
  • During the time that I am working or doing something around the house, the kids have free time. This typically means Legos or reading. Or making a general mess. Or riding bikes. You get the picture.
  • I do shower on Sunday, but don’t feel the need to remind myself. Smile
  • Our house is in constant clean-up mode, but we try to pick up and keep things tidy, so it is easier overall.
  • When you see ‘computer off’ the goal is to have the computer powered down from Saturday evening until Sunday evening
  • This is the overall routine – there are other activities that pop up during the week {like an extra co-op or a field trip}, but nothing consistent weekly like music lessons, etc.
  • And yes, our kids go to bed fairly early, because they are up early {and my sanity is rather important to me}.
  • We don’t have a lot of extra activities in our day – no sports, etc…because at this point that is an area we have chosen to pull back from. Our summers are busy with swim team.

Sit Down and Map Out Your Schedule/Routine

This week, I would encourage you to take a bit of time, grab the ebook Tell Your Time {and a cup of tea or coffee}, sit down and take a good look at your overall schedule. Track what you really do {or forget to do} in a week and try to map it all out.

The goal isn’t to create a perfect schedule/routine on the first try. You’ll have to tweak it and re-tweak it, but it WILL help you see what your time-suckers are, and hopefully help you avoid them a bit in the future.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Schedule

  1. Is it important and a priority for your family? In relation to homeschooling, does it align with your goals and purpose for your family? Again, not everything is necessary – guard your time!
  2. Is this the right timing? There are certain things that may need to be put on the shelf for a bit, and can be dusted off later and brought back out. For me, this was scrapbooking and crafting.
  3. Are you getting enough sleep? I can’t stress how much of a difference this makes in my life. Although I like to think that I have boundless energy, sleep is what helps me focus, be alert, and not nod off in the middle of the school day.

      But First – DO NOT COMPARE!

    Let me just take a moment to set the record straight on something. I do not have it all together. I am in no way a superwoman, and I do not get it ‘all’ done.

    The word ALL is a really misleading. We tend to get glimpses of what other’s lives appear to be and don’t see the entire picture – and then feel that we are in some way missing the mark in our own lives.

    It’s important to remember that…

  • We all have different family priorities.
  • There are different demands and seasons of our lives.
  • We are each created uniquely to be US.

If the comparison trap is something that you struggle with, I want to take a quick moment to encourage you – you are uniquely who God created you to be. AVOID the things that cause you to compare or discourage you. If it’s Pinterest or Facebook – shut it off. If it’s a homeschool blog – stop reading {even if it’s this one!}.

 

Additional Planning Helps

In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing other helps for planning out your day, so stay tuned. Do you have a question that you’d like to ask? Feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to get back to you!

Do you have a time management tip that has worked wonders for your family? I’d love to hear it!

In the meantime, here are a few links for you that have really helped me out.

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .


Two choices of student planners from Homeschool Creations - help get your student on track

 

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Comments

  1. I am excited to read your next post. I really need to start budgeting my time. I usually dont get things done by the end of the day (including homeschooling). I just had a baby on February and homeschooling my seven year old. I dont know how moms with additional kids do it.

    • Hang in there girl! Having a little one can throw anyone out of whack for months and months! :) I remember frequently falling asleep when our oldest would be reading because I was so exhausted from the late nights!

  2. I love your schedule. I have been thinking of doing something similar to this for a while but I didn’t quite know how to start. We are hardly “fly by the seat of our pants” around here but I feel like there are wasted hours in my day. I have also considered homeschooling but I don’t know if I am up to it yet :) I have a question though, when do you do things like grocery shop, pay bills, clip coupons, make cookies for church groups and stuff like that? Those type of things seem to just eat whole days away!

    • Those are things that I typically do in the evenings or weekends – during different chunks of time. I typically only grocery shop once a month {I like to plan our meals a month at a time} and as for cooking for extra things, that’s usually done along with my normal every day things. I can pull together a batch of cookies and clean up something around the house while they are cooking. :) There are always areas that I can improve my time management skills {and not waste lots of time elsewhere}. :) And as for bills – my hubby typically takes care of that, but much is all automated to do online now.

  3. you are so sweet and helpful, Jolanthe! oh it would be wonderful to sit down and have a chat at your house sometime :) this is my third year of home-educating and somedays i feel i’ve found our groove and then i realize it isn’t working as well anymore….thank you for your uplifting and encouraging posts~ laura

    • Every time I think our ‘groove’ has been establish, something always changes. :) You have to love it! Our schedule last year flowed so well, and then this year – well, new subjects and so much more to do. But we’re getting into our new groove for the year and that’s a good thing.

  4. Jennifer Patterson says:

    That is great! Can you post a schedule for download that is editable? Love your ideas!

    • I’ll see if I can find a link to one online. I know that I saw one somewhere. :) mine is made using Excel so I don’t know that everyone could download it.

  5. Lori Gutierrez says:

    I have a similar schedule for our day. It goes a little crazy around 3pm on 3 out of 5 days we have baseball lessons/softball lessons/baseball practice/ softball practice….but for the most part it is a great guideline for them. I actually need to do a schedule like this for me regarding blogging,etc.

  6. Jolanthe, I am thanking God for answered prayer in the form of this post right now!
    I do have a question I’ve been struggling with for awhile. Since I homeschool my kids in Spanish, I am creating a lot of the materials. So I’d love to hear how you have fit in making all the printables, etc that you share on your website. At what time of day? Or how much time do you allot to that kind of project? Any tips for fitting it in! I can’t seem to find enough time to MAKE all the school materials, in addition to planning curriculum, setting up (I use a montessori-ish style), amidst all the other house/family responsibilities.
    Any insight would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks so much :)

    • I’ll share more in a post, but here are a few ways that I get time to work on printables, etc… Typically, my ‘work’ time is in the afternoon, after school is finished and before we have our dinner. Sometimes {depending on how our day has worked out}, there is time after the kids head to bed. There are nights that my husband is at church for practice, so that gives me additional time, or other times I might work while we watch a show together.

      Friday mornings during our co-op time, I do not always have to teach, so there is a precious 2.5 hour block of time that I have during part of the school year as well. Last year my hubby and I had also worked out a time for me to dedicate to ‘work’ on Saturday mornings. He would distract the kids and I had uninterrupted time to work {grins}. We haven’t had as much opportunity to do that during the summer and this school year, but will probably be getting back into that routine again soon. Then we have the entire afternoon to work around the house or do something together as a family.

      Essentially – I squeeze in blocks of time when I can {like the weeks that we have ‘vacation’ from school – one week after every six weeks of school}, but my creating time is the first thing that is put on the back burner when there are other things to do. :)

    • Thanks so much for the reply, Jolanthe!

    • And as for how much time – it really depends on the project. When I have something envisioned in my head, it sometimes comes together quickly, other times not! There are several projects that have been shelved simply because they have involved too much time on my part right now that I just don’t have. Time chunking has been a huge help to me {setting a timer and focusing on ONE thing} so that I don’t get distracted, but again..sometimes it comes together quickly, sometimes not! :)

  7. Time management is extremely important and you have mentioned
    some good points and tips. Sometimes it can be easy to say all this but
    difficult to implement. But it is absolutely essential to take need of this
    advice and really work towards managing time.

    I would like to share my experience; I’m managing my schedule
    with time management application. It is something that I started implementing
    recently and I get more done that way. The name of that application is
    Replicon.

  8. Krista Fast says:

    Hi Jolanthe, Thank you very much for all of the resources you have created and offered for free:) This is my second year of hs after having my two oldest in private school for three years. This post on time management is excellent. I struggle to find a routine/schedule for schooling and managing my home and life that I can stick with. That was my biggest fear with this journey, that I would have chaotic or unproductive days, ultimately failing at this task. My children are 11, 9, 7 and 3. Your weekly schedule does seem to flow closely with what our general routine is, and I love seeing it in writing! Is there a pdf version that I could use to modify a few things that would be different for our family and then blow it up really big and tack it to my wall :o) Thx, Krista

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