focus: we do a lot

February 7, 2014

family lifefamily lifefamily lifeI’m sure every household is filled with lots of doing. I’m constantly hollering from one activity to the next, and the girls are troopers and jump from one activity to the next. They finish breakfast, and I clean up, then it’s about time to start school and they say, “But we just started playing.” Um kiddos, school is first. We finish up school and then we jump to lunch, then jump to piano practice, ballet, swim class, more reading, dinner prep, family chatting, and it’s just a constant barrage of doing. I think I need to schedule in some stop and freeze time or something! I’m going to try and work on that next week.

Anything you do to help slow down the busyness of the day? Tips and tricks appreciated because I for sure can always make room for improvement.

14 comments on “focus: we do a lot”

  • nikki says:

    for me, when i’m at work, i just try to get outside for some fresh air each afternoon. it’s a nice break from staring at a computer screen all day!


  • Heather says:

    What if you schedule a “break” in like they would at a traditional school such as recess. It is typical 25 to 30 minutes. The girls could go outside and play or if the weather is bad, they can do “indoor recess” such as coloring, board games, reading, etc. Just a thought! Love reading your blog – I think you do a great job.


  • Candice says:

    We home school as well. Our schedule has been like yours from the beginning. My son and I both got so burned out we just this week quit everything we had been doing. I have seen him do things this week that not only should he be doing but that I should have allowed time for. As I type this, he is outside with his little sister playing in mud, creating traps, making up stories and games. Its easy to get sucked in to doing a lot- just makes sure it all matters 🙂

    • Rubyellen says:

      You’re such a good mom! It is definitely important to know when to say “Stop. Screw this. Go have fun!” I have to remember to say that more often. I love all the suggestions you all have left here!

  • Chelsy says:

    We homeschool too, and I feel playtime is priority for children. To make more time for play sometimes we answer questions orally instead of writing them down, or do a pretest for the new spelling list and any words they get right, they mark those off and don’t have to practice them during spelling until the real test. I think playtime is vital for a child, more important than any facts I could possibly cram into their creative brains. I believe children will learn the necessary facts, well before college, even if imagination and creativity are priority. I know what some are thinking- “but what if they don’t!?” I have those fears too. And on those days we cram in knowledge in an intense day of study. I think balance is key, but logic and facts outweigh play and creativity in a traditional classroom. It’s easy to buy into that way of thinking. With an attentive adult by their side, children will learn. And with adequate playtime, they will thrive.

    • Rubyellen says:

      I definitely see how this might work well. It definitely takes a lot of intentionality. My girls get plenty of play time and typically I’m cooking when they’re doing so, and if we’re done with school by lunch, they have the afternoon to play and read. I think since we homeschool, they get more play time than the norm because we don’t deal with homework. Also we do the mostly follow the classical education model and so we do learn a lot of facts and for us, it works well, and really meshes well with how they learn and how I teach. We definitely insert more creativity than the classical model typically allows, so it’s more balanced learning because though there are a lot of facts, we do a lot of creative projects that help reinforce those facts.

      I will need to remember to intentionally ask them learning questions as they play or have them recite their poetry. I think that is very wise of you!

  • Bianca says:

    Don’t do much of anything outside of the home:).
    We homeschool also, and when we have a lot to do away from home, our days are chaotic and way too short.
    Although, sometimes when we don’t go anywhere, I’m like, “Is this day ever going to end?!!!” Just kidding…kind of.
    I know many families who go, go, go, and I wonder if they get to spend any time together.

    • Rubyellen says:

      Are the kids involved with outside activities? I know we bustle around from ballet to swim and piano. I’m sure if those things are eliminated, then it would be a little easier.

      • Bianca says:

        We do art on once a week and I “schedule” play dates with other kids for specific children in our home(my daughter is 12 and just had her 2 best friends over for the day). Maybe you could designate 1 particular day for the classes. On Mondays I drop the kids at art, then run some errands. Then I’m not stressed trying to run out the rest of the week. It has helped immensely. Then just one day is harem-scarem:).

        We have 6 kiddos(12-3months). They never lack a playmate.
        It is bittersweet. Most off the time they play together well, but daily we have to separate and discipline for bickering/hitting issues. I do feel it is important to do things with others outside the home, I just really try to limit it during this season of life.
        Hope that helps!

  • Candice says:

    I have been thinking about your family this weekend! I have been following your blog for a while and meant to mention in my previous comment a couple things we do outside the home that we do no matter what 🙂 Church is something that we do every week. We have small groups one night a week and church on Sunday. My kids and I also attend a bible study on Monday mornings with other home school families. On Wednesdays we meet with our co-op group. My son he thrives on being around people- it energizes him. I am quite the opposite 🙂 We are just about to start soccer season here in Al and that will take up an evening or two a week. I have to say that this is a lot for us. My husband and I have decided that when our daughter (now 2) is a little older and more involved in outside things, we will be very careful about not overloading our family. It just takes prayer- we all need different things. Isn’t awesome to have a God who not only knows that but gives us the ability to adapt and change with each child. Ahhh the creator. So know that as I read your blog I pray for you!!!

    • Rubyellen says:

      Candice, I truly thank you for your prayers and the encouragement you have left. And you are so right, it really does take a whole lot of prayer and dependance on God. Thank you for this reminder and taking the time to encourage me. It means more than you know!

  • Oh wow. That is so great that you are going through The Canterbury Tales. I didn’t learn about them until I was in 8th and 9th grade myself!!!

    As a homeschooling mom I can relate completely with you. We made a rule that they are NOT allowed to play with their toys until after school (which ends at about noon and begins at about 7 or 7:30 anyway). They started to get so wrapped up in their toys that they didn’t like doing school or couldn’t concentrate on it because they were thinking of what they were last doing with their toys. It is a tough day when they start it out disobeying the rule set. :: sigh ::

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