Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Attempting Some Sort of a Schedule

IMG_20150113_145916We are really fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of people. While we generally have routines for our days, we haven’t been strict at all. If there was something fun to go do, we did it. School for the kids was pretty loose and flexible. Some days we did a lot, some days we did none. This type of “schedule” has worked great for the last year or so, but lately I’ve been wanting slightly more structure to our days.

Mostly so I can have a regular time to exercise.

Selfish? Possibly.

Many people ask how I get any “me” time in. The short answer is that I don’t. Not really. Home school supervising in the morning, breakfast, lunch, activities outside in the afternoon, laundry, grocery shopping, dinner, and then finally blogging after the kids are in bed is a pretty full schedule. While there are hobbies and other interests I have put aside for now, I really need my workouts. Both for physical and mental reasons. I’ve posted a few times about exercising on the road (here and here), but the short is I have fallen in love with Beach Body workouts and Shakeology. I just needed a regular time to get it done.

My solution?

I bought a cheap paper planner from Target.

Gasp.

I know, right? PAPER. Inspired by a friend, I also purchased a colored pen for each person. Along with the purchase, came the excitement and encouragement to schedule our days a little better. My planner has three objectives: Meal Planning, Home School Record Keeping, and Workout Accountability. That’s it. Super simple and so far, I love it!

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We do school first thing after breakfast (usually starting around 8:30am) and I’ve designated 11am as “Recess” aka “Mommy work out time” and they have to leave me alone for 30 minutes and just play outside. After that I can mix up my shake, take a shower and we have lunch around noon.

We also designated a specific day of the week for certain subjects that we’ll do all together. Writing on Monday & Friday, Family Fitness & Science on Tuesday, Unit Study on Wednesday, and Geography on Thursday. By doing these all together, we’ll actually DO them, and I won’t feel so much pressure to come up with a science lesson at the drop of the hat.

We’ve also designated Saturday as “Make Up” day for the weeks when we go out exploring together in the middle of the week (which is preferable). If we explore on Tuesday, we’ll just do Tuesdays assignments on Saturday instead.

Yesterday, we finished up our last subject, Science, after lunch and then played games for an hour. It was perfect! The kids also had some tablet time in the afternoon, and I got a blog post written. Other days we could go on bike rides, exploring, or visit a museum in the afternoons.

Will this work everyday? Not likely. There are days will we be moving the house in the morning or days we want to spend all day hiking.  But as I told a friend just the other day, “We seem to work better if we make a plan and then just stay flexible.”

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  • Meg - This is great! We have to follow a schedule in order to keep up with brick and mortar public school but so much of that schedule is just in my head. On the rare occasion that I am sick and Tim has to take a day off work and be the stay at home Dad, he feels helpless and it is because i don’t do a good job of writing anything down. We have a big wipe board to help with some things but other things should be written down too. Looks like I now have a reason to swing by Target before school pick up!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - nice! I’m amazed at how liberated I feel just writing things down on PAPER and not having to have everything in my phone. I seriously get less headaches!ReplyCancel

  • Leesa - Jess – You are so inspiring! It really is hard to manage a schedule with this lifestyle, or at least that’s how I’ve been feeling since we’ve started. We’ve done such little school that it’s ridiculous. Granted, we’ve only been on the road for 2 months and there have been so many things other than school that have been on our minds – settling in, repairs, a dramatic change in lifestyle, balancing work and play…

    My husband and I have been talking about trying to get some sort of schedule together and this post is PERFECT! I love that you still have flexibility, which you need, with having Saturday designated as a makeup day.

    I also love that you scheduled in some YOU time!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Thanks Leesa!! It definitely is an ongoing battle. We did about a week of this schedule and then everyone rebelled and we took a day off! lol! Slowly, but surely we are getting into our routines though. It also helps to take a day off to earn a Jr. Ranger Badge, visit a museum or take a tour and count that as “school” for the day. It breaks things up!ReplyCancel

    • Melanie - When we first became a full-time RVing family, we enrolled our boys in a traditional curriculum for an online school called “Connections Academy. They have one for nearly every state. The problem was I spent 12-14 hours a day trying to keep up with their curriculum which was not accommodated for my special needs boys. And then, one afternoon after about eight weeks. I was exhausted and spent Saturday also in school–making my husband help two boys get caught up while I focused on tutoring my oldest son. I finally told my husband, “I have a Master’s in Education and I can see that this is not working any better for our boys than it did when they were in public school. Plus, the school does not account for a parent’s education level!” We were literally being blocked from continuing assignments until our paperwork was mailed to the school to be graded by their teachers or specialists. Also, they set our schedule requiring us to log in at this time or that for therapy, group lessons, chatting with their teacher etc. It was frustrating that we chose this lifestyle and school was hindering us from getting outside and enjoying the environment. I did a thorough search of parents who homeschooled and found a blog from a mother that made a very enlightening comment; “If the traditional did not work before, why would it work now!” I found Time4Learning.com. You have to pay for it but it’s affordable and it is designed to work around your schedule and the kids’ progress. I supplement with lessons a few times a week to account for writing and teaching things like cursive and typing. We also work on more reading because if they cannot read, they cannot progress themselves in life. Though space is limited, they get a brand new book of their choice to work on reading strategies and reading and they get to buy their replacement when they have “graduated” from their previous selection. I love this alternative and though I moved my oldest back two grades to get his skills and strategies where I felt they needed to be for him to be successful, in four months he has finished Sicence, Social Studies, Language Arts, Language Extensions, and Math curriculum for one whole grade and we “graduated” him this weekend. He is now returning to his 3rd grade curriculum today and said, “I’m so excited Mom! Because I know I can do this! I’m ready!” This from a boy who I tested to be below Kindergarten level when we first started in September. I’m proud of him.
      I admire That you have all found time for exercising. This is where I struggle the most. But I do find “me” time in writing late at night and that is going to have to be enough for a while. We did just buy a trike/stroller for our toddler to help with this and the weather is just clearing up enough for us to arrange to go back to storage for our bikes!
      You are truly all inspiring to us.ReplyCancel

      • Jess - Thanks Melanie! I think the freedom to choose curriculum based on our kids’ needs is one of the BEST parts about home school! I’m glad you found something that has worked for you. Exercise for me is almost non-negotiable. I’m such a cranky person when I don’t take care of myself first!ReplyCancel

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