All posts by Teri Maxwell

Teri Maxwell is wife to Steve for over 40 years, mom to eight children (three married), and grandma to eight. She loves keeping her home running smoothly and sharing with women in the vein of Titus 2:4&5. Teri homeschooled for thirty years, and she's graduated all her children. In between her other responsibilities, she manages to squeeze in writing time. She is co-author of the popular Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores. In addition, Teri's written three books just for ladies Homeschooling with a Meek & Quiet Spirit, Sweet Journey, and Sweet Relationships. She has been writing monthly encouragement articles for homeschool moms for 25 years. Find more information on Teri Maxwell and her books.

The Wake-Up Call

Recently I had a health wake up call – blood glucose numbers approaching pre-diabetic levels. The Lord had been putting concern on my heart about my food choices, but I didn’t want to listen. Instead, I justified what I was doing with thoughts like these: 
I enjoy my treats. 
I deserve a treat. 
They aren’t so bad. 
I eat plenty of healthy food. 
My family loves me with treats and brings them to me. What can I do but eat what they give me?
My weight is okay. I can manage it all well enough.

What Is My God?

In the midst of those excuses was a nagging sense of guilt about the opposite of those excuses – the fact that they weren’t healthy, that I could make better choices if I needed a snack, and that my weight was going up. Along with the guilt were some verses that seemed to always stand out to me as I read Scripture with this one being the top, which talks about the enemies of the cross of Christ: “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:19).

I would wonder if my belly was my god because of how much I loved my treats, but again I could quickly send it away. No, I thought, Christ is my first love, not food. I reminded myself that everyone enjoys treats. That doesn’t make their belly their god. Then I would decide I should prove that by setting the treats aside for a time. Despite my best resolves and asking God to help me let go of the sweets, I was back at it fairly quickly, along with all the excuses.

God’s Chastening?

God answered my prayer, and He did it with chastening. “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12:5 – 6). I received those glucose readings as chastening from the Lord – a gentle chastening from my loving, heavenly Father while I could still do something about it – a nudge to move me to what I wasn’t choosing before.

Now I have been three weeks without sweets and other carbs in order to bring those glucose numbers down. At first, it was hard, very hard. I didn’t have any energy. I thought about the Mother’s Day treats I had been gifted with but hadn’t yet eaten since I askedSteve to put them somewhere I didn’t know. I planned when I would bring them back into my diet and how I would be much more careful eating them. I decided I could not continue eating this way because I felt so badly.  

I am past that, now, however, and I feel much better. Those thoughts about the goodies I am not eating aren’t filling my mind, and I am happy to be where I am.

What’s Being Excused?

I share my story because I wonder what there might be in your life that you excuse before the Lord but know in your heart isn’t pleasing to Him. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Maybe for you, it is food like me. It could be not exercising, wasting time on social media, not going to bed at night to get the sleep you need, or not spending time in the Word. There are unending possibilities. May I encourage you to surrender before the Lord brings chastening to your life? Even though I miss my treats, my heart is happier this way, feeling that sense of joy that comes from obedience. And by the way, my glucose numbers are down where they need to be! I’m committed to keeping them there. 

Expedient and Edifying

A common problem for Christian women is feeling too busy. We express concerns about being pushed, stressed, anxious, and worn out because of all we do. Is it possible we bring some of that on ourselves through the choices we make concerning our time usage? 

Scripture gives us practical guidelines to help us. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23). Might we evaluate our time usage by seeing whether what we are doing is expedient or edifying? The word “expedient” in the Greek means “be better for, good, profitable” and “edify” means “to build up” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

Computers/Media

Let’s start by looking at an area that is part of our 21st century lives – computers and media. Our mothers might have struggled with spending too much time on the phone, but with media, we moved into a realm where the other person doesn’t even have to be available for us to engage. 

How many hours a day are you giving of your life to your computer or your phone? Have these actually become addictions for you? From Facebook to shopping to YouTube videos, many spend hours on their computers. These are often the same moms who are stressed by how busy they are. Are they wasting time on the computer while ignoring what is truly important in their lives? What about you? What would happen if you were to stay off your computer, phone, and iPad except for necessities? Would your time pressure ease? You might find out if you are actually addicted by trying not to be on your computer or other devices. 

Another gauge might be to compare how much time you spend with the Lord each day in your Bible reading and prayer – there’s no doubt that’s edifying! – versus how much time you spend with media. Ladies with time pressure might spend hours a day on their computers and phones while being unwilling and unable to get out of bed in the morning to meet with their Lord in His Word because they are so tired. 

Beyond time usage, what kind of example do you give to your children when you are on your computer or looking at your phone so much? Is it an edifying or expedient example. Is this media time edifying for you or for your child?

Is your computer/media time good and profitable? Does it build up?

Schedules

Could your time pressure be because you aren’t using the time you have available efficiently? Putting together a schedule and using it is a simple solution to that problem. It really isn’t that hard, and it is amazing how much more you will accomplish when you are on a schedule. 

Making a schedule helps you weed out activities that are not expedient or edifying. Seeing your activities, with their time usage, written down will help you prioritize what you do, while eliminating what isn’t expedient or edifying. What you do has to fit into a 24 hour day.

Here’s what Proverbs tells us: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:60). We observe that ants are busy, working, always doing. Is it possible that we have come to believe that we need “down” time, and we justify watching a movie or TV or getting on our computer as that? Could it be that the quiet, down time the Lord wants us to have is with Him, in His Word? “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).

A Lens of Expedient and Edifying

If you feel too busy and stressed, could I encourage you to evaluate what you are doing through the lens of being expedient and edifying? Then would you drop those activities that don’t fit? 

If you need help with a schedule, I recommend our classic scheduling book that has helped thousands of moms manage their time well (https://titus2.com/products/managers-of-their-homes/).

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Trying to Cool a Hot Topic

Teens and Cell Phones

With the age for kids to get cell phones moving younger, we are alarmed about those ramifications. Families share with us heartbreaking stories about the negative, unexpected consequences of their children’s cell phones. These are particularly in the areas of time wasted on the phone, negative influences by others, and boy/girl relationships before the time is right for them. Once these addictions, texting, and social media relationships are established, pulling them back is at best, difficult, and at worst, impossible. 

From our perspective, as we evaluate these stories, the parents didn’t anticipate the potential problems, prepare for them, and communicate well with their children about them. Things were good in their home – solid relationships and children who were obedient. The phone was given as a practical tool but soon morphed into an engaging allurement that pulled the child’s heart into anything from many wasted hours to other untold evils.

In the past, we were concerned about the influence of TV, movies, and videos games in conservative, Christian homes and shared warnings with you about that. Now an even greater danger is trolling for your children. 

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Is there any way to avoid your child falling into the evil clutches that can come with cell phones? We aren’t fully sure about that, but we think Proverbs encourages an attempt. Sometimes it seems hopeless, but if we were parents with children at an age to get a cell phone, we would sure try. Here are some thoughts about it.

Need?

Does your child really NEED a phone? We remember the years with our children growing up and how they didn’t get driver’s licenses until they truly needed one. At that point, they were earning income to either buy their own car or pay their share of the insurance and car maintenance. While this wasn’t the norm for teens and driving, it sure protected our children in many ways. Just because everyone else has a phone does not mean it is the right or best choice for your child. 

Plan

Think through the boundaries and parameters for your child having a phone and set them out clearly, even in writing. If you don’t want your child texting or communicating via the phone with friends of the opposite sex, let them know that up front. If there are apps you don’t want them to use, state that, or perhaps simply state what apps they can use. What about how much time can be spent on the phone? 

Research and consider installing protection and accountability on your child’s phone. We like Accountable2you, and our adult children chose to use that while living in our home. However, it is accountability not protection. We tried several protection plans but couldn’t find one that was reliable and didn’t lock our children regularly from the Internet. Our children were young adults at this time and needed the internet for their livelihood. So we moved from protection on the phone to accountability. 

If you want to look at your child’s phone sometimes, agree on the password, and then look at the phone regularly, so they expect it. Even if you are not concerned about anything at the time, if you wait until you are, it will be hard for your child to turn his/her phone over to you for your perusal.

Communication and Relationship

Ultimately what your child does on his/her phone grows out of your solid relationships and hopefully their desire to please the Lord. They will not want to follow your rules and counsel if they don’t respect you and your guidance. That’s part of a heart relationship with your children. 

Communication is key in those relationships. Don’t assume your child knows and understands your concerns and the dangers of the phone. Communicate clearly and often what the phone is for and what your concerns are about it and its dangers. 

Please dear sister, the potential evils are so big with teens and cell phones. Don’t think it will all be fine and then be blindsided when the unthinkable happens. Be proactive if you allow your teen to have cell phones. 

Soul Nutrition

The Word

How would you fare if you were taken hostage or in prison without a Bible? The recent Christian Aid Ministries hostages in Haiti, held for two months, had no Bible. Darlene Deibler Rose, American missionary POW in New Guinea during WW2, had no Bible during the 6 weeks she was being interrogated while imprisoned on death row. To draw comfort and strength from the Word, these all had to rely on Scripture they had memorized. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

What about when you lie awake in the night and can’t sleep? Do you have Scripture in your mind that you recite mentally and think about? “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalms 1:2).

Do you have verses you can immediately pull up when you face a tough situation, are fearful, or want to respond in anger? At those moments, it isn’t always possible to run and get a Bible. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalms 119:11). 

The Excuses

Perhaps we relegate Scripture memory to our children, while we make excuses concerning it for ourselves. We might say, “I can’t memorize!” I remember hearing Jim Berg address the “I can’t memorize Scripture” excuse in one of his Quieting a Noisy Soul sessions. He said to his audience, “What is your phone number? What about your address? You all can memorize!” Our other excuse goes like this, “I am too busy. I just don’t have time.” We make time, however, for what is a priority in our lives and important to us.

The Plan

There is a simple way to begin memorizing Scripture. Pick a verse to memorize. Write it on a notecard or two (to keep different places) so that you can reference it easily. Take just five minutes a day to work on it. It takes me seven minutes a day to blow dry my hair. That is a good time for me to memorize Scripture.

Read the verse out loud several times. Then close your eyes and try to say it without looking. When you get stuck, look at your card. The next day, try to say your verse without looking at the card first. Usually, I can not do that the second day because I can’t remember the first word. So I check the card, get the first couple of words, and see if I can say any more of the verse. If not, I do what I did the day before. Usually it takes me several days before I can start the verse myself, but it does come. Practice it anytime you can through out the day. Even better use it when applicable in your daily life.

Once you have one verse down, keep reviewing it, and start on another one. It might be the next verse in a chapter or passage or from a completely different place. If it is a continuation verse, work on it like you did the first verse, while reviewing the first verse. When you have the second verse down, say them together when you work on them.

If you need an idea of verses to start your memorizing plan, consider these:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore. 
17 Pray without ceasing. 
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The first two verses are extremely short, and the combination is a joyful, peaceful, and powerful way to walk through each day.

Start Now

Could I encourage you to set excuses aside and start memorizing Scripture? Think of the potential value in your life. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). This is the beginning of a new year. Make it the beginning of a new habit as well. Start with just one verse – one that will be helpful to you on a daily basis. Work on it until you know it and then use, use, use it so that you don’t forget it. Move on from there.

Joy in Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

With Christmas on the horizon, our thoughts usually shift toward what that season means to us personally and then how to draw our children toward Christ. Perhaps a glimpse into our personal Christ-centered, family Christmas traditions might spur you to pray about what the Lord wants your family to do during these weeks. 

Decorating

Many years ago, we realized when one entered our home at Christmas time, the Christmas tree was the center of attention. However, we had a desire for the decorating in our house to reflect our worship of the Lord Jesus Christ and draw our hearts and our children’s hearts more closely to Him. So we replaced the Christmas tree with a beautiful, fireplace mantel arrangement with lights, a nativity, garland, and the names of God displayed. We also culled out Christmas decorations that were not Christ centered and only purchased new ones that were.

After our salvation, we eliminated Santa Claus. We didn’t want our children believing in Santa Claus only to find out later he was a lie. “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9).  Plus we desired to have Christmas be all Christ!

Christmas Caroling

Our family used Christmas caroling as a special way to share Christ. We carol in our neighborhood as a family, growing from Steve, me, and our eight children the first year (plus my dad and mom) to our current thirty (on a good weather caroling night) now that we have married children and grandchildren with us. 

We bake a delicious poppy seed loaf (recipe at the end of the blog post) to take to each home and include a card with note and a salvation Scripture. It is our heart’s desire that all of our neighbors would come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Gifts and Lights

Our children love to give gifts. Growing up, they grouped into teams of two or three and invested time, thought, and prayer into each gift. As adults, married with families, they figured out a name drawing system for a gift exchange between siblings, cousins, and aunt/uncles to nieces/nephews. We observed our children’s greatest joy through the years was what they gave rather than what they received.

We made a tradition of an evening near Christmas to take the family out to eat and then to listen to a powerful, dramatic presentation from Back to the Bible called the Twelve Voices of Christmas. As we listened, we drove around looking at Christmas lights. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). 

The Word

During Christmas week, Steve would divert from wherever we were reading in Scripture at that time, to passages from the Old Testament that are prophetic of Jesus’ birth and to the chapters in the New Testament that tell the story of God becoming a man. 

On Christmas Eve, we follow a Christmas program my dad and mom put together for their grandchildren and now their great grandchildren enjoy it. If you are interested in this original, homemade Christmas program, here is a link.

The Celebration

We had our immediate family Christmas on Christmas Eve day. This began when our children were little, and we spent Christmas Day with my parents, who were our next-door-neighbors. Now Christmas Eve day is when everyone one – my mom, adult children, and grandchildren – gather at our house from breakfast until bedtime for a day of fellowship, eating, gift exchange, and time in the Word. 

May I suggest that you and your husband evaluate what is important for your family during the Christmas season and make sure that your time is invested in those priorities? Be sure Christmas is purposefully utilized to draw your children’s hearts to Jesus Christ and serving Him.

CHOOSE TO DE-STRESS

Christmas is the last time of year when you want to be a stressed woman. This Christmas season would you choose to set aside Christmas stress and pick up the joy, peace, and rest of the Savior?

Here are four resources that I recommend to help you with holiday de-stressing or any-time-of-the-year de-stressing:

Managers of Their Homes
Managers of Their Chores
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

Simple but Strategic Ways to TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF CHRISTMAS

While most of us love the Christmas season, sometimes all the busyness, activities, and things that must be done put us into overload mode. Stress levels rise, and instead of a joyful season of worshipping Christ our Savior, we become crazy women running to and fro, impatient and frustrated. That sure isn’t my picture of a godly, Christian woman, and I don’t want it to characterize my life during the weeks that are so precious in my year. So how can we take the stress out of the Christmas season?

1. REST IN THE LORD

Perhaps the greatest stress reliever is to remember the words of Christ Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, are we truly coming to Him? Are we continuing in our daily time to worship Him through reading His Word and praying? 

2. WRITE IT DOWN

Write down what you want to do during the Christmas season. Often stress overwhelms us when our minds are trying to track, manage, remember, and juggle all that needs to be done. Our memory becomes so full of all the “stuff,” that we can’t handle it. When you write it down, relief descends. It is in a safe place to be retrieved and referred to. 

3. PARE DOWN

The third thing you can do to help relieve holiday stress is to pare down. Once you have that list, determine activities or duties that are no longer a priority. Just because you have always done it, doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it.
What Christmas activities draw your heart to Jesus? Which ones share Him with others? Which ones teach your children to love, that it is better to give than to receive, or to worship Christ? I would rather have a peaceful heart and do half as many Christ-related traditions and activities than to do the full measure of them stressed. 

4. PLAN

Next, you take the pared-down, prioritized list of Christmas activities and write out steps needed to accomplish each one. Perhaps there are supplies to be purchased and gathered. Maybe a date should be put on the calendar to reserve the time. It could be that others are to be invited.

5. DEDICATE TIME

Even with the best-prioritized, planned list of Christmas activities, if you don’t have any time to do them, you feel stressed. How does a busy mom find time for doing more than she currently does in her normal daily life?

Start with just one hour per day in the month of December for Christmas preparations—a specific hour that you know you can consistently be committed to keeping. If you are a homeschool mom, shorten your school day by one hour for the month of December to accommodate. You will be pleasantly surprised with the progress you can make on things like Christmas cards or letters, online gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and make-ahead baking in just one hour.

With available time, look at your lists and steps, and choose what you will tackle during that time frame.

CHOOSE TO DESTRESS

Christmas is the last time of year when you want to be a stressed woman. This Christmas season would you choose to set aside Christmas stress and pick up the joy, peace, and rest of the Savior?

Here are four resources that I recommend to help you with holiday de-stressing or any-time-of-the-year de-stressing:

Managers of Their Homes
Managers of Their Chores
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

Posted in: Mom's Corner

What to Do When Siblings Squabble?

Is there anything more common or more annoying than siblings squabbling? We have only come across one family, with two children, whose children say they never fought with each other. For most of us, that bickering between our children was a daily battle. We moms then ended up involved, refereeing the battle, giving admonishment and instruction, and often handing out consequences. 

Don’t moms love this verse? “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1). That was the desire of my heart for my children, but it was not the natural reality of their lives. So we worked toward that goal. 

A Consequence for Sibling Squabbles

One consequence we instituted as our children grew beyond preschool age was to assign the fighting children extra chore work that they were to do together. This removed them from the context of playing, which was when many of the squabbles developed as each tried to get what they wanted. Extra team chores took them into another realm where in order to complete the task they had to work together. 

Benefits of the Consequence

We found this consequence helpful for many reasons. First it gave me a set consequence that was easy to implement. That was a huge benefit since when I didn’t know what consequence to use, I did one of 3 things. I either ignored it, gave a consequence too big or too small, or lectured. Those were all frustrations and disappointments to me because they weren’t effective, and then I was more likely to react negatively to the children. When I knew exactly how to deal with a problem, I was able to maintain that meek and quiet spirit that my heart yearned for in those child raising years. 

Extra work together as a consequence for bickering benefitted the family because necessary chores was accomplished. The children who were troublemakers, because of their consequence, then freed up others from needing to do that work. 

We often assigned dinner clean up to children who weren’t getting along. Generally dinner cleanup jobs were given to anyone who was not on the meal preparation team. When clean up was used as a consequence for the bickering children, then the children who got along well were released from their normal meal clean up chores. That seemed to make the consequence doubly effective since we ended up rewarding good behavior in the process of disciplining the bad. 

This consequence forced the children receiving it to be a team. The more they continued to oppose each other, the longer the task took to accomplish. It really didn’t matter to me how long it took them to do the chore, but it did matter to them. Through experience they soon learned how much more efficient it was to work together rather than against each other.  We liked the natural consequences built into this discipline.

Our Go-To Consequence for Sibling Bickering

I am not saying that you don’t share Scripture with your children, help them learn how loving sibling relationships look and work, and teach them to see their wrong and ask forgiveness. That is all an important part of it, too. But for the practical aspect of a consequence for sibling bickering, this one was a go-to for Steve and me. 

Now our children are grown, and two brothers in particular share memories of all the numerous dinner clean ups they did together. It was certainly a work in progress for them that wasn’t accomplished with the first, second, or even tenth consequence. I love to see them now as not just loving siblings, but brothers in Christ who love and serve their wives and children. And you know what? They are really good in the kitchen!

Try Harder?

I expect all of us have reactions of impatience, frustration, or even anger at times that we would rather not have. Here’s what likely happens after the reaction. We are unhappy with ourselves because it isn’t a reaction that is godly and loving. So, we determine that next time we will be more aware, more careful, and avoid that negative reaction. Try, try, try again. The reality is that such a plan simply doesn’t succeed because we are doing it in our own strength.

This scenario might even be upmost on the minds of the homeschooling moms who began their new school year recently and are in the midst of all the time pressure, child craziness, and stress that brings. 

If trying harder isn’t the solution, what might be? 

Really See It As Sin

For me, my wrong reactions had to become more than just something I wished I didn’t do. In my struggle with anger, I minimized it as sin and excused it as normal based on stress, lack of sleep, or perhaps being the other person’s fault. I had to view my sin as an offense against a holy God and another person and stop making excuses. 

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Psalms 51:4).

The remedy was to ask the Lord’s forgiveness, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And then also ask forgiveness of the person I offended.

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

I remember those years when my children were younger, and the Lord was teaching me this path. I asked their forgiveness when my response to them wasn’t right, and every time, the child said, “Yes, Mommy, I forgive you.”

Pray 

Next pray, yielding to Him, acknowledging need and inability, and asking for His help. God tells us His strength is sufficient and that His grace is made perfect in weakness. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

He wants to aid us, but if, in our pride, we tackle it on our own, He leaves us to that muddle, “ . . . and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (Peter 5:5b).

Find Scripture

Finally, use your daily time in the Word to find Scripture that applies to the areas you most often find yourself frustrated or angry in. Then write the verses out on a notecard that you can carry around with you. Review them regularly and pray when you do. When you hit one of THE situations, pull it out, read it OUT LOUD, and pray right away. This can become your new, good habit. As you practice, with the Lord’s grace and strength, it will replace your bad habit of the negative reactions. If you do this, you will be amazed at how quickly you memorize the verses you are using. Soon you no longer need to read the card. Instead the verses are there in your mind.

Simple but Powerful

You might tell me that this is simplistic. Perhaps it is, but that’s the beauty of our walk with Christ. In addition, simple isn’t always easy. I personally found these truths from God’s Word to be powerful in my life. They grew me away from those negative reactions. Could I encourage you to try them? 

If you benefited from this month’s Mom’s Corner, we have a couple of resources that will be of additional help.
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

If you would like to read about baby Maddy coming home from the hospital and our recent family news, go to our blog.

Blessings in Christ,

Teri

Schedules and Chores

August heralds the start of a new school year for most homeschooling moms. While your focus has necessarily been researching and choosing school books, there are two other practical foundations that play a major role in how successful your school year turns out to be. 

Those stabilizing pillars are a solid schedule and chore system. Without these, you both fritter and waste time that is critical to keeping up with school. You bog yourself down in daily household upkeep rather than having big chunks of time for education. 

The homeschool mom doesn’t have the luxury of starting through her day one task at a time, hoping it all gets done. She needs to hit the floor, knowing what should happen and when, not only for herself but for her children as well. With a plan, she can be as efficient as possible – with time and chores. She is no longer simply cook, housekeeper, and laundress, but also school teacher. That is a full-time job added on to another full-time job.

Some try to muddle through without a schedule and chore system, but they are usually the first to say that it is truly a muddle. I believe that the schedule and chore system is the undergirding to a powerful and satisfying homeschool year and well worth the investment in them on the front end.

The Schedule

“Schedule” may be an intimidating word and thought to you. It might bring back memories of your experience in public school with bells ringing and tardiness noted. Be assured that the homeschool schedule isn’t as rigid as that, but a written plan that is followed setting aside time for the vital parts of your day. 

If you don’t write your plan down but try to keep it in your head, it easily gets lost in all the other things you store in your mind. Paper and pencil or a computer – either works for documenting a schedule. 

You could be surprised at how quickly making a schedule goes. Just sit down to the task and begin putting the various pieces in place. You are probably living a schedule already for bedtime, wake-up time, and mealtime. Write that down on your schedule. Next fill in personal Bible time, chores, and the details of school. Then see what time is available to plug in extras. Simple!

The Chore Plan

As a homeschool mom, you won’t have time for as many housekeeping chores as the stay-at-home mom whose children are in school. Plus it is critical that you have as much help as possible from your children. That means being purposeful, efficient, and delegating. A chore plan is your tool toward those goals.

To simplify your chore planning start by documenting what is already happening in your home as far as chore assignments. After that, figure out what other chores your children are capable of doing and assign them. Write it all down so that everyone knows what is expected of them and give chores particular spots in your schedule. Set standards for the chore work. Figure out consequences for not doing the work or not doing it to the standard. Don’t forget to inspect the chores. 

Starting with the End in Mind

Finishing a homeschool year having accomplished what you set out to do is extremely satisfying. Reaching summer with books unfinished is disappointing and discouraging. A schedule and chore plan will facilitate your homeschooling success. The effort you put into a schedule and chore system before you begin your school year pays off. You are likely to reach the end of the school year having achieved your academic goals. Make it your priority now!

If you need more help with a schedule or chore systemManagers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores is designed to walk you through those processes step by step. 

Schedules and Chores

August heralds the start of a new school year for most homeschooling moms. While your focus has necessarily been researching and choosing school books, there are two other practical foundations that play a major role in how successful your school year turns out to be. 

Those stabilizing pillars are a solid schedule and chore system. Without these, you both fritter and waste time that is critical to keeping up with school. You bog yourself down in daily household up keep rather than having big chunks of time for education. 

The homeschool mom doesn’t have the luxury of starting through her day one task at a time, hoping it all gets done. She needs to hit the floor, knowing what should happen and when, not only for herself but for her children as well. With a plan, she can be as efficient as possible – with time and chores. She is no longer simply cook, housekeeper, and laundress, but also school teacher. That is a full time job added on to another full time job.

Some try to muddle through without a schedule and chore system, but they are usually the first to say that it is truly a muddle. I believe that the schedule and chore system is the undergirding to a powerful and satisfying homeschool year and well worth the investment in them on the front end.

The Schedule

“Schedule” may be an intimidating word and thought to you. It might bring back memories of your experience in public school with bells ringing and tardiness noted. Be assured that the homeschool schedule isn’t as rigid as that, but a written plan that is followed setting aside time for the vital parts of your day. 

If you don’t write your plan down but try to keep it in your head, it easily gets lost in all the other things you store in your mind. Paper and pencil or a computer – either works for documenting a schedule. 

You could be surprised at how quickly making a schedule goes. Just sit down to the task and begin putting the various pieces in place. You are probably living a schedule already for bedtime, wake up time, and meal time. Write that down on your schedule. Next fill in personal Bible time, chores, and the details of school. Then see what time is available to plug in extras. Simple!

The Chore Plan

As a homeschool mom, you won’t have time for as many housekeeping chores as the stay-at-home mom whose children are in school. Plus it is critical that you have as much help as possible from your children. That means being purposeful, efficient, and delegating. A chore plan is your tool toward those goals.

To simplify your chore planning start by documenting what is already happening in your home as far as chore assignments. After that, figure out what other chores your children are capable of doing and assign them. Write it all down so that everyone knows what is expected of them and give chores particular spots in your schedule. Set standards for the chore work. Figure out consequences for not doing the work or not doing it to the standard. Don’t forget to inspect the chores. 

Starting with the End in Mind

Finishing a homeschool year having accomplished what you set out to do is extremely satisfying. Reaching summer with books unfinished is disappointing and discouraging. A schedule and chore plan will facilitate your homeschooling success. The effort you put into a schedule and chore system before you begin your school year pays off. You are likely to reach the end of the school year having achieved your academic goals. Make it your priority now!

If you need more help with a schedule or chore system, Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores is designed to walk you through those processes step by step. 

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