Minimize the day.

We all have homeschooling days that start out with the regular routine.  Today is just one of those crazy days that we only had two things on the calendar, 48 hours ago; ballet and piano lesson. The morning would be “at the kitchen counter” school time, and the afternoon would be out of the house for errands and lessons.  Then like the chicken pox, the schedule exploded and everything has popped out, spreading throughout my free Friday morning.

Homeschooling lessons for caring and learning about "our" CSA farm animals.
Homeschooling lessons for caring and learning about “our” CSA farm animals.

The dishwasher part has arrived. Our CSA farm share pick-up was moved from Thursday to Friday.  Our son’s Eagle Board of Review was scheduled for this evening, as they had an open spot now, or wait until after Christmas.  Now we have to pick up the key to the church that we will be meeting for his boards.  We need to make a batch of cookies, wash and iron his uniform. (Scouts never wash their uniform until they are really dirty or it is the day of the event.  Yet, other clothes can be worn for five minutes and end up in the wash.  Go figure!)

My first plan was creating a schedule.  Schedules are neat and orderly, they mean I get things done.  They also mean I run things like a drill sergeant.  I started lining up the events in that orderly manner with the times posted for each event and the allotted time allowed.  Then I stopped.  This is how I would have handled the whole day in the past.  By golly, we COULD get it all done.   And we would.  Crazy, I would have been grouchy through the whole process, but it would be wrapped up on time.

Minimizing our homeschooling has started to expand for me.  I seek peace with the order, to build relationships, not destroy them.  We homeschooled for many reasons, and living a supportive life in connection with our family members has been a huge part of it.  Minimizing is not just about decluttering our homeschooling stuff.  It is also about simplifying our lives and the events in our everyday schedules.  There is no reason that we need to do all of this.  Yet I feel some kind of internal monitoring blocks my ability to cut out the unnecessary and stick to the required.  Almost as if there is a Lazy Police, ready to jump out of the closet and catch me for eliminating things off my to-do schedule.

My personality is to be accountable and commit.  When I say we will do something, we don’t cancel at the last minute, nor would we ever “not show up.”  Sometimes it can be a real hinderance for our family, as it really bothers me when I back out or “let someone down.”

Minimizing the Ballet lesson doesn't mean we can't practice at home.
Minimizing the Ballet lesson doesn’t mean we can’t practice at home.

Looking at the calendar, daughter will just have to do a make-up ballet lesson tomorrow.  I can’t make the drive out there, and get son to his Eagle Board of Review, unless, I spent the whole time driving and missed his boards.  Piano must stay.  Getting the key and making the cookies are a must.  Doing school work at the kitchen counter, might have to be done from a backpack as we drive to the farm and to the church.   We can create spelling word sentences on the trip, listen to our Story of the World lesson on the CD, and daughter can work on math problems from a clip board.

I still have a schedule for the day.  The chores might get pushed off until tomorrow.  Dinner might be soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Everything will eventually get done.  I have friends that could easily, with a shrug of their shoulders, scratch the whole day’s events, go out for coffee and show up for the Board of Review.  The balance for me is shifting the required and adjusting my expectations.

Minimizing our day also means that the little requests that will pop up when I leave my writing desk will probably get delayed action.  I won’t exactly say “no”, but the answer will most likely not be “yes”, until tomorrow.





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