To say that it’s been a little chaotic around here would be an understatement. Between moving, celebrating a birthday, visiting sick loved-ones, two funerals, and balancing the needs of a family of five, it’s no wonder.
James and I were talking about how to get a sense of order and rhythm around the house and he suggested a schedule. I initially cringed at that word, but after giving it a bit of reflection into my own past experiences, I realized that I was happiest about the rhythm in my days when I was, in fact, on a schedule. As a camp counselor, I was on a very strict schedule with every single aspect of the day, from waking up to eating, to cleaning, playing, and time off. It was nice knowing exactly what to expect with each new day. And James was on a strict schedule in the military and flourished with it. So, why not try it with ourselves and the kids to see what happens?
James took it upon himself to do the morning routine and wake up the boys at 7 am. That seemed awfully early for Jackson, who is a very grumpy person when he’s tired, but I went with it for the sake of the experiment. James woke the boys up with the date, the weather, and an interesting fun fact as they climbed out of bed, Jack with some help. The boys got dressed with full supervision, made their beds, picked up their room with dad’s help and then prayed and did stretches with James before being sent into the kitchen to me for breakfast. I fed them and then we did some school work, reading, and crafts all before 10 am! I was shocked at all the extra time we seemed to have. Not only did it give us more time for homeschooling, errands, and playtime, but it gave us all a sense of peace because there was less yelling and fighting. I wasn’t upset because someone wasn’t doing what they should be doing and they weren’t confused or sidetracked because they knew what to do and had appropriate supervision to succeed at their task.
Lunch and dinner have always been around the same time, but the activities in between vary from day to day. We still have some work to do to build up to an afternoon and evening routine, but after seeing what happened with the mornings with the new schedule in place, I think it will be worth the effort.
Oh, and since Jackson is waking up at 7 am everyday, sleep easily finds him and bedtime seems to just happen.