Welcome back to Return of the Routine. Did you allow yourself some rest? Well today, while we are still resting, we are going to plan. Because every big game needs a plan. And we can be excited about the possibilities of the new year!
Now I am not going to tell you how to plan. I’m not saying you have to plan out every day of your year. I’m just going to share with you what has blessed me the last several years.
One week over the summer, I have a short time of planning and goal setting. I set aside some time each morning. Just about a half hour of my quiet time. Some mornings I may only get 15 minutes because little ones rise with the sun. I have to get up really early. Maybe you would prefer a late night planning session. For me the predawn time is golden. And the investment is ripe with rewards.
“We should make plans – counting on God to direct us.” Proverbs 16:9
My annual planning and goal setting time takes place at the beach. But I have also practiced this habit mid-year – at home – after the Christmas holiday. I plan for each child – that’s five week days. Plus I spend a morning on goals for myself. And another for marriage goals. That makes seven days.
So, to recap, on Day 1 we started with the foundation of Rest. And # 2 today is…
2. Planning and Goal Setting
I start blank. A new spiral notebook. I ask the Lord to guide me. And I write. Sometimes I list the obvious first. Math, that science curriculum, a period of history. But I also think of the age and stage of each child. Driving practice for the eldest. Learning to tie shoes for the youngest. Here’s the best part – I am always pleasantly surprised at what else He brings to my mind. Maybe it is a character issue that needs attention. Maybe a new idea for afternoon quiet time.
I’ve shared a detailed post on this topic. And I invite you to read it if you’d like more information on how to tailor your planning time in this fashion: Mama on Vacation: Planning and Goal Setting
Before the return of the routine begins, before the new starts, it’s time to purge. Time to prepare the field – the workspace. For me, that means I declutter, go through stacks, recycle papers and cull. Assess the learning centers. Do they work for growing children? Do they need to change with the needs? This is the stage I am currently in. We just finished a school room update I will share more about with iHomeschool Network’s Not Back-to-School Blog Hop. Here are the helps I turn to for purging:
- For the long-time habit development of decluttering, I have learned from Flylady: Tools Not Rules
- Time to Purge – how I do this annual habit, including things for the children to do as well.
- Lisa at Chaos Appreciation is hosting Five Days of Decluttering!
- We have been slowly, frugally doing a homeschool makeover. We’ve added vertical storage with IKEA shelving and are organizing with baskets.
Then there is the readying of supplies. Gathering of equipment for the game:
- Preparing for a New School Year – Can you handle half an hour of school prep a day? This post explains how to spend just 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon prepping for a new school year. “So, I remembered a habit that both motivates and accomplishes. Fifteen minutes. Just fifteen minutes a day. It originates from helpful Flylady and household management. “You can do anything for 15 minutes.” Well, last year I took that and I decided to apply it to school preparation.”
- Preparing for a New Preschool Year “I also spend some time over the summer refreshing preschool activity bags. Activity bags are simply a zip top storage bag filled with a ready-to-go activity. The concept is very much like workboxes. Here are a few examples of favorite activity bag fillers…”
Let me stress that each of these concepts I’m sharing could ideally stretch out for a week: 1. Rest for a week. 2. Plan for a week 3. Prep and purge for a week.
Return of the Routine:
- Day 1 – Rest
- Day 2 – Planning & Prep
- Day 3 – Feeding the Family
- Day 4 – Game Day – The Routine
- Day 5 – Punt or Touchdown?
I hope you’ll be back the rest of the week. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about fuel. We’re building up to Game Day – the routine…
Five Days of Summer Series brought to you by iHomeschool Network. Be sure to check out all the really great topics. Pin them for homeschool encouragement throughout the year! The summer series is sponsored by BEECH Retreat: Blogging. Learning. Growing.
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So, what stage of return of the routine do you fall into right now? Are you resting, planning or prepping?
Kim A. says
This is inspiring! So often I rush through life, with not as much planning as I’d like. Middle child needs some extra attention this year… I am determined to take the time to think it all through, and most importantly, LISTEN to Him! Thanks for all the detail on how you do it… gives me some ideas.
I’m so glad Kim. That is exactly my hope – to give others some ideas. And making the time to do this planning used to be such a huge deal. But knowing I have that time set aside for each child – even just 15-30 minutes, makes a big difference.
Excellent words of wisdom. We began school two weeks ago, and I neglected to purge first. An act which I am sorely regretting, I might add. I also loved the idea of a goal notebook. I always run out of room on a single piece of paper and give up.