Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Scheduling the Chaos

It's been a while since I've had time to write a post. This has less to do with actually being over-the-top busy (which is almost always the case), and more to do with being completely disorganized!

So last week I decided ( after we showed up over half and hour late to a gymnastics class) that I needed to put a bit of scheduling into our free-form natural-learning journey.

This week is our trial week. And so far it has been a success. So far.


One of the main reasons to create our schedule has not been to constrain what we do, but to remove the worry about 'things-that-have-not-been-done'. Which is something I and the kids all suffer through on occasion.

And it has been . . . freeing.

Not because we are necessarily doing anything different (and most of the kids schedule is 'free-play' which inevitably transforms into awesome learning opportunities), but that there is a definite time for each activity - whether that is handwriting, Japanese, or watching endless documentaries. More importantly, lunch is a clearly defined time that doesn't sneak up on us - as is the amount of time necessary to get out the door! We were only 2 minutes late to gymnastics this week - which for us was an awesome achievement.

It has also allowed me to schedule time for things I need to get done - whether it is phoning medical specialists (which eats a lot of time), or writing on my blog. I have figured out activities that the kids can do while I am doing my writing, rather than trying to carve out time in-between the many fun activities the kids engage in throughout the day.

One of the other motivating reasons to create a schedule is to help my kids learn to pace themselves when using electronic media. As a former IT person, I firmly believe that my kids need to be digital natives. But I am also aware of how addictive computer-use can be - particularly when you are trying to solve a problem. It can be all-consuming. Which is why when I was working full time, I would schedule my computer to lock itself every 2 hours for 15 minutes! This would force me to recognize mundane things like hunger or other bodily function, oh dear. So I know this addictive behavior intimately.

By setting up a schedule that allows computer 'free-play' but then sets up 'non-computer free-play', I am hopefully allowing my kids to learn good habits that they will be able to continue into adulthood. Fingers-crossed.

But maybe the most important part is being able to model healthy behavior myself (yes, oh my, I have a personal schedule as well). And freeing me of the crippling anxiety that wasn't allowing me to engage as much as I needed and wanted to in my kids learning, because I was always in-the-back-of-my-mind worrying about things that hadn't yet been done.

My worry is now on paper - not in my head, and scheduling my worries gives me a plan to tackle them, one small step at a time.

So, what has helped you deal with your worries?

2 comments:

  1. I've had to do similar things with our family to get us back into a good rhythm. Time gets away so quickly and I am left wondering what the heck I did all day! It sounds like you have a good plan!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Nicole. I often feel like that ... the time just vanishes. The plan is on trial at the moment, but I'm already seeing some improvements. Fingers crossed it will keep working! Thanks for commenting, I don't feel quite as alone when I know other families are on the same journey.

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