A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ Amanda Soule
Photo taken in March, it's much greener out there now!
Good morning! I'd like to follow up last week's post, Calling All Working Homeschool Moms, to say thank you for your support and encouragement, and to share how I've shifted our routine to better meet our family's changing needs.
You are such a wise group of ladies. It was helpful for me to read about what your schedules look like... I tend to be the type who gleans inspiration from taking a peek into other people's lives (that sort of sounds creepy, but it's also why we love blogging, yes? I bet you understand!).
Among the goodness I took away from your comments, three things that really stood out for me were:
1. Don't try to work in bits and pieces.
2. Save my daughter's independent work to be done during my work time.
3. Stay open to changing needs. Frequently assess the routine.
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
So, what have I done to improve my current balancing act?
I've given myself a work schedule!
Basically, Monday through Friday, the hours of 1:00 - 5:00 are mine for working. It doesn't come close to the full time hours I could certainly fill these days, but it is so much more than I was scheduling before. And that word, scheduling, is key for me. I need to make it an appointment or before I realize it I'll be in the kitchen baking a cake or something. My family is supportive (as always) and on board, so we will give this a go and see if it helps. As it stands, in the morning for about 2-3 hours I am full on lesson support (as needed). After lunch, Emily settles into her more independent work/activities of the day, and I work.
I don't lock myself in another room as that just feels kind of sad for how connected we are. One of our main reasons for homeschooling is to spend our days together rather than apart. Emily accommodates my need for relative quiet, and we each go about our work. By 2:00 or 3:00 she has finished up her independent work and will do as she wishes until 5:00. At thirteen, she's fully capable of occupying herself, or she may decide to get together with a friend.
There will be exceptions of course. Two afternoons a month I host home-ec, one afternoon I host a homeschool knitting group, and about once or twice a month Emily has a program at the library. And there will be the spontaneous outing or field trip. Like yesterday, Emily and a friend had an opportunity to be volunteer ushers for the Boston Lyric Opera, who performed at a local school. As a result, our day shifted, but what a good reason to shift. I am a mother, flexible is my middle name.
It feels really good, and all I had to do was say what I needed and my family was like "okay, sounds great, we'll support you completely." Guess I should speak up more often! (Just kidding, my family will tell you I speak up plenty.)
Again, thank you for listening, sharing your own experiences, and making a difference the way that you do. It is all very much appreciated.
We tried... we really did try. And it was a yummy, fun experiment indeed. In the end though, it took about four or five days for us to realize that it wasn't working for us at this time. Oh well, it was a tasty failure at least!
In theory it could have worked. Actually, more so at this point in our lives than any other. Emily and I are home (of course) and for the last couple of years Adam has had a more normal 9-5 type work schedule. There is no rush for us to carpool to school, he does not have an hour long commute, our family has seen both over the years. Yes, we could have indeed gathered each morning for a family meal.
However, there were a few factors that I forgot to consider.
It was great to try it out though. How would we have known it wasn't a fit otherwise? We've always been, and still are, big weekend breakfast people. Of course, we do that more as a brunch than a bright and early sort of thing. I guess weekend breakfasts might be about all we can handle for now, and I'm okay with that.
Do you have breakfast together as a family in the morning? If so, you might want to give these potato pancakes a try... you will be so glad you did.
So, it didn't work for us. That's okay, I'm glad we tried, and trying it out is something I would definitely recommend to other families. I'm always up for trying new things that might offer our family even more time together. That's always a good thing.
:: a fire inside all day on Saturday, a fire outside in the evening
:: a sweet and simple Easter morning
:: giving in to the nudge to go hiking before our family dinner
:: seeing him in his element
:: grateful for the flowing water that brings her complete joy
:: a beaver pond with mallards swimming across
:: the way he quietly and always picks up other people's trash, stuffing it into his own pack
:: the very first dandelion
:: patient baby chicks and curious little humans
:: a slow Monday morning with green tea and my people.
I hope the start to your week is lovely as well!
My talented business partner has many fine qualities, one of my very favorites has to be her high level of patience for a busy mama... I haven't been able to photograph too many vintage goodies for our shop lately, which is part of my job. She understands. But now I'm getting back into it which is such fun! These things will be arriving at The Magic Fishbone early in the week. I think we might be able to rustle up a few more delights too...
Now, before the Easter festivities get under way, I must go give that wooden box a good washing. I was so excited to take a quick picture of it, I failed to notice it really isn't showing it's best self here. Did you know that 9/10ths of running a vintage shop is cleaning items? Yes, lots and lots of cleaning, not too glamorous is it? But it's all pretty in the end.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!