Moms struggle to keep the house running. We are COO’s. Meals, cleaning, routines, and if we homeschool, then school. There’s the all important husband-care and self-care, and mandatory hourly and daily snuggles. Don’t forget time for prayer, Bible study and deep thought which should happen at least daily, but sometimes multiple times a day, depending on your season. Add friendships, service to others, duties, and for many, good ol’ regular work. That’s more than a full time j-o-b! That’s life!
I’ve really focused this last year on trying to create a home that’s a sanctuary. This means a few things. Ambiance. Music. Orderliness. Great smells. Simplicity. Balance. Routines.
I read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, which I highly recommend. It breaks down the science of habit-breaking and habit-formation. The patterns of our lives greatly impact our success! Philippians 3:17 says “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” Duhigg’s book is secular, but God talks of patterns too!
I’m in a season of raising little kids – such a busy blessed time! They are my third priority. First is God. Second is my husband. But I have other assignments too. God has recently put it on my heart to reach out to my neighbors. So today I was able to deliver some of that yummy Cinnamon Sweet bread to a neighbor who’s been slow to warm.
I also had time to make homemade Chicken Pot Pie and some scratch apple pastry with leftover pastry from the former. Yum!
The good news is since my husband is fed lunch at work now, our dinners usually last two nights! I love leftovers! So this week I think I’ve only cooked meals twice, but they’ve been delicious! And I have two others ready to go, including one for a dinner party we are hosting Saturday for some new friends. This makes me very happy! I love welcoming people into our lives and hearts even though it means more work. This is the blessing of threading bonds together in the tapestry of a blessed life. And to not do things of obligation but of choice is a precious place to be!
Let me get down to some brass tacks. Here’s how to get more done. Most moms know this, but many don’t do it.
- Eat your frog first thing every day: do your three most critical tasks first thing every day.
- Pack lunches, prep breakfast (this includes shakes, teas, etc), load laundry, and set clothes out the night before. Prep dinner if you need to or can. Crock pot anyone?! Or thaw meat, scrub potatoes, etc.
- Have iron and magnesium with some nighttime reading.
- Turn on worship music as soon as your rise. Spend some time with God while you drink water.
- Work out!
- Everyone makes beds before breakfast.
- Start laundry.
- Have a shake (which you’ve prepped the night before) and take your vitamins or supplements if you do these important things.
- Have breakfast with the kids.
- Turn on the crock pot, which you’ve already prepped, or thaw meat.
- Flip laundry at lunch time.
- Fold laundry after lunch or early afternoon. A quick sweep of the house is amazing now too.
- A 15 minute round up before meal times and after dinner make all the difference!
- Put laundry away after supper or while you and your husband chat at night. No television.
- Oh, and clean dishes and put them away after each meal!
- End your day reflecting on the day, and then in Bible study and prayer. Do this as a team or individually, but do it. During this time determine tomorrow’s “frogs”! “This is what the LORD says—the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Jeremiah 33:2-3 NLT
As far as homeschooling goes, we keep it fun! We’ve learned 35 major historical events in order now. This week we’ve focused on the 100 Year’s War, Joan of Arc; the falling of Judah, Babylon, and Persia; Jews return; Roman Republic in the Golden Age of Greece, Alexander the Great, and the Peloponnesian War. We are skip counting by 9’s and 10’s. We know Ephesians 6:1-6 by now and added the Latin endings for first conjugation future tense to our memory portfolio. Adding to types of consumers and parts of the food chain, we have learned how animals react to environmental change. We’re celebrating what it means to be adopted, the fruits of the Spirit, good manners. We learned where five European cities are located. And by now Micah can correctly tell you where 5 Western European countries are, plus 6 rivers, and 5 seas. He also can point out the 7 continents and 4 oceans on the globe. He’s learned some good English basics with an emphasis on pronouns.
We play memory games. Today we played Jeopardy. We used beads as points, and graphed our points after we played to see which color got the most points, during which we practiced skip counting 5’s and adding. These comprehensive learning review games make it easy for me to track what we know and what we are still learning. Plus it motivates Micah to learn the newest material while feeling successful with the older topics.
Tonight, Micah focused on reviewing just the newest material by literally spinning in circles, tumbles, head stands, standing on one foot, spinning in a chair, hanging upside down and jumping like a frog.
Certain things we review in constant, such as the 10 Commandments and the Books of the Bible. These are things Micah knows that I just want to stick.
And other things we review weekly, like how to read a clock, and read a calendar. Some things Micah just picks up on his own, like counting money – he’s just learned this by exposure.
We are still working our way through “How to Teaxh Your Child How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and Singapore Math Kindergarten Book A. He can do the entire math book verbally, but we are practicing handwriting too.
No week is perfect, but I am leapyears ahead of where I was last year! I hope this helps someone else!!