MOTH 2

Purple, Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow.  What in the world am I referring to?  The color-coded goodness that is my new schedule!  I followed the steps and am thrilled with the results.

I’m doing two major home-life upgrades simultaneously; schedules and chores.  The information regarding scheduling comes from Managers of their Homes while the chore information comes from the Managers of their Chores book.  I can see that some would find going through both of these books simultaneously would be quite overwhelming so if you are considering looking into this and are not at all scheduled or your kids are not at all doing chores, pick the activity you most desire changing and start there.  You may want to go ahead and order both books to save on shipping and the wait time but focus on one change at a time.  I already had a working schedule and a basic chore routine so I’m expanding both of those and making them much more detailed and it’s taken me a week to get it done.  (And notice I started the planning steps at the very beginning of Christmas vacation so I had a few weeks to work on it.  Be prepared for a little work and putting some deep thought and prayer into your schedule and chore plans, because this is heavy-duty stuff.  However, I would not be investing this time and energy if I didn’t believe fully it was going to be worth it.  I see how well my boys do on the mini-schedule we use for school hours and now I will be able to see that in the other hours of our days as well.)  They highly recommend that you don’t try to sit down and accomplish all the scheduling work in one session, which was really difficult for me!  I wanted to open the book, read it and START.  Right then.  But it was better to keep a list of things I wanted to change or add to our schedule/chores and then go back to the list when I had time to focus.

Okay, now for the good stuff.

I went through each step, one-by-one, and was very happy with my results.

In the picture above you can see that I was working on my own schedule.  The kit comes with three large pages that have enough columns for mom and seven kids.  At the top are places for color-coded names and along the left hand side are thirty-minute blocks of time.  In one of the steps you place your tasks into either thirty-minute or one-hour boxes, then cut them out, placing them on the schedule using tacky stuff.  That makes it easy to remove and rearrange when you realize you’ve double-scheduled yourself.

If it’s important, put it in your schedule!

Working on Hayden’s and Carson’s schedules…

Four columns done, one to go.

And Parker’s is done.

I think the hardest part is that on Thursday afternoons we have PE so it doesn’t fit the master schedule.  Same with Tuesday evenings, with AWANA and PWOC.  If you look at the orange (they didn’t have red and Hayden is always red… I had to pick the closest thing) “Nap” tag you can see that I have written MTWF, meaning that on TH we won’t be napping at that time.  (Parker’s should look like that, too, but I forgot to write it on his.)

All three pages in all their glory.

I went to Excel and created a rough draft of my list.  They sell an annual membership to use their program but I was willing to just make my own.  I may end up purchasing the membership but for now, I’m happy with my own version.

I’m going to show a picture of what I’ve got done so far, but please understand I’m in the very beginning stages.  These pages are not cut straight and will be taped down much more neatly once I have worked out kinks we are undoubtedly going to find.

Remember I mentioned that the hardest part was that on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have a bit of an alteration in our schedule?  What I did was create one master list that would be our perfect day with no breaks in schedule.  Then I created a separate Excel tab (same worksheet, different tab near the bottom) that was for the AWANA night.  I only needed to adjust those few hours, but it was important to create a different schedule since we will not do evening chores that night and we needed to begin dinner preparations earlier.  Same with Thursday afternoons for PE.  We completely miss nap and I needed to include a day for running errands, which the authors recommend doing on one specific day a week, to simplify your life.  Since we were already out and about for PE I added an hour and a half for errands.  If you look in the picture the four pages on the left (there is a fifth above that is not pictured) represent the master list.  To the right are the two “alternate” schedules.

If you were to replace me for a day you could use the Master list for any day of the week and then if it were a Tuesday or Thursday, just glance to the right for the alternate schedule during those hours.  I placed the alternate schedules beside the hours they replace… does that make sense?

Some really neat things I’ve scheduled that we’ve always just left up to chance are the boys’ bath days and washing clothes days.  My kids love baths but they always want to take them at the strangest times.  Especially right at bedtime.  So, to combat that I’ve got Bailey taking his during the school block I’ve scheduled him for Jonathan Park, which is an audio adventure Science series.  I can let him listen to that while he’s in the bath if I get the iPod dock set up in there.  The other boys will take baths MWF and TThS.  No more, “I get to get in FIRST!” or “But he’s been in there an HOUR!”

Each of the bigs is responsible for his own clothes and has been for years.  Now I’m just scheduling WHEN they wash.  I’m setting them up, for now, for a twice-a-week schedule.  If they don’t have quite a full load they can throw the towels in with their clothes and make a full load.  If, after a few weeks, I find that they can get by with only washing once a week, so be it.  But this way I can ensure that they have clean clothes rather than having to hear one say, “Hang on… I gotta get some pants out of (fill-in-a-brother’s-name) room!”  Oh, and I’ve also scheduled Hayden to wash Parker’s clothes once a week!  I’m down to washing almost NOTHING!!

I’ve already begun the chore packs and can’t WAIT to share that with you.  Stay tuned!!

To read the other installments in the MOTH series see these links:

MOTH 1

MOTH 2 – You are here.

MOTH 3

MOTH 4

MOTH 5

MOTH 6

MOTH 7

MOTH 8

MOTH Update – 2014

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in brothers/boys, family, homeschooling, MOTH. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to MOTH 2

  1. Jess says:

    My friend Kim read this book and did one of these schedules for her family (She homeschools her son in First Grade and her daughter in Pre-K and also has a nursing baby under a year old). She stressed herself out so much because the schedule didn’t allow for much flexibility and she was always behind. I think it would work for someone that does well with that much structure and routine. For others, not so much! (Like me!)

    • Jennifer says:

      I definitely think one needs to gauge how much scheduling needs to be done. For me, I was ready to add the afternoon/evening schedule since we were already scheduled in the mornings. It won’t be too much of a change to schedule in the evenings, especially as I took basically our current weekly routine and plugged it in.

      The authors also address the fact that the scheduled should be used as a tool not a rule and it if is creating stress, it’s not working. It needs to be adjusted so that it does work. It may be that a better idea would be to only schedule the school hours and not the rest of the day.
      Still, I don’t think scheduling is for everyone. If you’re feeling stressed without one, like you wish you could get more done but don’t seem to have the time and always find that, at the end of the day, you wonder what you accomplished, then it might be a good idea to create one. However, if you don’t have a schedule and don’t feel stressed or behind, then you might not need one…. Just my thoughts. I will probably add some of those thoughts to my post… somewhere. 🙂

      • Jess says:

        I totally agree with you 🙂 I think my friend had scheduled themselves down to 15 minute increments as well. For example, the son would do 15 minutes of science work, the pre-k daughter would be doing a puzzle for those 15 minutes, and the baby would be in her exersaucer. The stress came when none of those plans worked out!

        We have a loose routine we follow in the afternoons at our house. The order we do things matters more than what time we actually do them. So it works for us 🙂

      • Jennifer says:

        You’re a rock-star mom!

  2. Bug's Mama says:

    I’m very excited to see the chores stuff! I am very good at schedules…. (well at making them 😉 It seems like something is always coming up to throw things off, and I am not good at saying “NO!”) but chores, not so much!

  3. Ashea says:

    You inspire me!!!! I can’t wait to read more!!!

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  6. Bug's Mama says:

    So the more I think about it- How do you account for things you do on different days? Like we have Science we are doing twice a week, and then there are some things once a week- I retyped out the schedule, but ended up making a slightly different one for every day of the week. How did you fit all the information on one schedule for schooling- or do you do the same classes every day? LOL, I need a more detailed picture! (or to just get the book I suppose)

    • Jennifer says:

      It really is almost necessary to buy the book. The kit it comes with that helps you put the schedule on the large papers with tacky-stuff makes things so easy. I had to rearrange part of my schedule and it was so easy. I like saving money and sharing materials when possible, but this is one of those times it’s probably easiest to have your own set. 🙂

      • Bug's Mama says:

        I keep thinking about it. I’ve always had a schedule, but adding in homeschooling has thrown everything off. I have written and re-written it about 15 million billion times (yup, that many!) and its not working. We have a routine, but it isn’t allowing me to keep up with the house (there is still a pile in the middle of the floor in some rooms from when I “unpacked” by turning the box upside down), and I KNOW there is a way to do it all. I need to find a way to merge my cleaning routine, our homeschool routine (we always do work in the same order. Always), and my need for OCD perfection.

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