Thursday, April 10, 2008

Re-Examining My Home Management Binder

This week, Candy has been revisiting her Home Management Binder University. Back in 2004/05 when she first when through her binder, I created my own. I followed some of her leads, as well as some from many other ladies who also had similar binders. (I believe Kim from Large Family Logistics had a wonderful section on this also, but I think her website is no longer in existence. If anyone knows differently, would you please let me know?) I loved my binder and used it often, until life got the better of me and it got pushed aside. (Read my post here to see what I mean.) But now that Candy is going through it again, and Crystal has also been doing some very encouraging posts on scheduling/time management, I have decided to pull my binder out and put it back in use!

When I used my binder previously, I loved having everything in one central location. I would even just leave it open on my counter all day so that I could see at a glance what still needed to be done, what the children should/could be doing, what we were having for dinner, etc. I still have some of the lists I used in that binder here. At the time, Olivia was still just a baby, under 6 months. Life is even more full now so I know that re-implementing a binder system would be immensely helpful for me. So, in an effort to improve my follow-through, and now that I have gotten being a leader to my children pretty well in hand, I've decided to jump right back in and improve my home management!

We currently operate our days under what I consider to be a fairly loose schedule.

8:00am - Kids up
8:30am - Dad & Mom Up & dressed, kids get dressed, make beds, etc.
9:00am - Breakfast (Mom start lunch/dinner prep)
9:30am - Breakfast dishes cleaned up, start dishwasher
10:00am - Isabelle start school (Mom finish any dinner prep)
11:30am - Gracie nap
1:00pm - Lunch
3:00pm - Isabelle computer time, Alex & Olivia TV time
4:00pm - Snack time
4:30pm - End computer and TV time
6:30pm - Dinner
7:30pm - All kids in bed, Isabelle reads until 9:30
Eric gets home anywhere between 9:30pm and 12:30pm, and we usually go to bed around 1:00am so that we get to have some quality time together. (Hence, the reason we sleep until 8:30am)

Those are the only set/planned times throughout our day. I'd like to see quite a few more added in to give the children more structure and for all of us to make the best use of our time. Here are some of the specific things I am going to work on fitting into the schedule at set times everyday:

1. Reading to the children
2. "School" time with Alex and Olivia
3. Laundry folding/putting away time
4. Bible/prayer/devotion time as a family
5. Time to play outside
6. Chore time for the 3 oldest kids. (Alex and Olivia love to help out, and they are getting to an age where they can handle certain chores, so I really need to take advantage of this now.)
7. One-on-one time for Gracie and me to help her with sitting/standing/walking
8. Craft/project/table toy time for the three oldest

Some things I'd like to work in on a rotating basis:

1. Kitchen helper for the day
2. Specific day and time to go to the library and run any needed errands
3. Specific day to wash sheets, towels, etc.
4. Specific days to do major cleaning chores (like I had in my list from '05)

Now, I realize I'm a bit behind the trend here. Crystal is just about done with her series, and Candy covered this section yesterday, but that's ok! At least I'm doing it now, right? The first step for me is to show this list to Eric and for us to talk it over and see if there's anything he'd like changed, added, or deleted. Then I'll hand write it into schedule form, type it up, and put it in my old binder that now seems new again. (Oh, and I'll post it here. That's for my benefit. It helps keep me accountable.)

If you have any other organizing/binder/scheduling links, PLEASE share them with me. Sometimes I need all the encouragement I can get!


A Grammatical Disclaimer

I freely admit to consistently using improper grammar in the following areas:
1. I like run-on sentences.
2. I have a tendency to end sentences with a pronoun. (I really do. I can't help it.)
3. I always seem to use passive voice in my sentences. (See?)

I've been trying to break this habit, unsuccessfully, for years, so now I just accept that as my writing style, and since I'm not writing for grades anymore, I embrace it. (Again, see?)

Hence, I invoke Blogger Artistic License for this blog!

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