Thursday, May 8, 2008

Managers Of Their Homes

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Well, I finally took the plunge.

On the recommendation of Jaynee, and because I desperately need, you know, some semblance of order in my home at least every other day, I ordered Managers Of Their Homes.

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is basically a scheduling tool for large homeschooling families.

I have seen plenty of positive remarks made about it, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Things can't be any more crazy around here, so I figured - What would it hurt?

The book came in the mail last week and I read through it the first day. It took me a good 5 or 6 days to work out a schedule for myself and each child and to arrange the little paper squares on the chart so that 2 people are not practicing piano at the same time. Or Mom isn't scheduled to teach reading while unloading the dishwasher.

Because that would be difficult. Trust me. I know.

By 7:58a.m. on the first morning, our schedule had already run into the ditch, but I persevered and tried to stay on track the rest of the day.

I was amazed at how much time I was able to spend with each child individually without any interruptions. This was due to the careful scheduling of the ones who weren't having "Mom Time". They were taking turns doing puzzles, or building train tracks, or reading aloud with little ones. I LOVE this part of the schedule!

I also love that, since I scheduled myself a Bible reading time first thing every morning, I am actually getting it done. No more running out of time and pushing it to the back burner.

The one difficulty I had was not scheduling enough time to get chores done. I honestly don't know where I am going to squeeze another moment out of each day, but I do know that I would like to see the laundry folded and actually placed in drawers. Wouldn't that be neat? Yes, I think so, too.

Today was the second day and we had a LOT of interruptions. In fact, you could say we didn't stay on our schedule AT ALL (except for my Bible reading). We had to take our little chickie to his new home in the country, take some things to Salvation Army, and clean out under beds. (Don't ask.)

I'm anxious to get back on schedule tomorrow, and anxious for Jaynee to find time to get to my email that went something like, "HELLLLLLP! I can't get all the chores done! What do I do?" (Take your time, Jaynee. No pressure.)

What about you? Have any of you tried Managers Of Their Homes and made it work for you? I would love to hear any helpful or encouraging tips!


Holly said...

No....I haven't ever done it. But since Jaynee mentioned it, I asked another friend about it too. I have seriously considered it, because my day sounds like your day.

(When did you schedule in blogging? See, I'm a little leery, because I am afraid that if I block it all out, I won't find that blogging is justified. If I don't schedule or plan, I can *maybe* squeeze it in. :)

Aaaand...did you only get one chickie? Did I miss that?

Brenda said...

I have used Managers of Their Chores...but not this book. Even Mrs. Duggar says, "This is the goal" or something like that when referring to her schedule. "And then there's real life." But at least you have it so that when you have a day that doesn't have tons of interruptions, you actually get stuff done and don't just fall into default mode again. You know?

Also...laundry in drawers? You're so funny!

MamaJ said...

I bought the book too! I haven't finished it yet, though. I can't believe you read it in one day! I think the key is to keep going until it starts becoming a habit. It's going to be a big challenge for us. We don't even have a steady wake-up time each day! And Hubby's schedule is crazy, so I have to plan that in also. But, I think it's going to be the best scheduling book I've seen! I bought one Home Management e-book that had me cleaning whole surfaces every other day! What's that all about?? :-)

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried it.

I did get kicked off their message board tho.

I'm better off without it, I think.

But if it works for you....

Gayle said...

Love it! It revolutionized my home! It was amazing how much we could accomplish when it was all mapped out. Beware if you're hard on yourself though. Even though it's highly scheduled, afford yourself the luxury of letting God make changes. And if you get off schedule just jump back in when you can. Don't be a slave to it, let it guide you.


Smockity Frocks said...

Holly, I did schedule a time for "blogging/nursing". I figured since I'll be sitting down anyway...

(Yes, we only got ONE chick! I'll post about it.)

Brenda, I saw that Duggar show and was reminding myself of that, too.

MamaJ and Gayle, I'm so glad to have your encouragement! I know I need to stick with it. That just happens to be my weakness, though. I'm not very sticky.

Dangitange, KICKED OFF?!?! Was it the name, Dangit? (Pardon my language.) :)

Liz said...

Yes, I love this book too! I read this book when my 3 oldest were 4, 18 months, and newborn. So we have had it in place for awhile. It is wonderful and is the only way I can accomplish anything in my day. My favorite idea in this book was to schedule mini playdates through out the day with the siblings. Such a great idea. I have one child who needs a little alone time everyday. It took me a long time to accept this need b/c I just figured in a larger family you would just adjust, (and I'm basically a people person) but her outlook on life and patients with her siblings in so much better when we accomplish our goal (schedule) each day and she has her 30 minutes of alone time. It has also been great to schedule my oldest daughters bible time too. I wake her up 30 minutes after me and 30 minutes before her siblings to get this done. She reads the same thing I did and then we go over the same reading and concepts with the little guys during circle time. This is turning into a post itself so maybe I will post my schedule for everyone to see.

As far as chores go I couldn't find a time slot perse for each chore either so I basically don't alot a time slot (except waking) to anything but rather put the order I would like to see my day go along in.

I also don't clean my house top to bottom in one fell swoop. We tidy for 5 min after breakfast and 10 min after lunch and 20 min after dinner. We stick to that time and if something doesn't get put away it has to wait until the next "clean sweep".

OK enough for now. I need to gather my thoughts on this and write a post. Hugs, Liz

PS - I only have 4 kids to your 7 so some of my things that work may make you chuckle and say "I remember the day when that would have worked!" Who knows maybe in November when littlest one arrives I will be throwing my whole schedule out the window.

Smockity Frocks said...

Did y'all see what Liz just announced?! WOOHOO! Liz is havin' a ba-by! Liz is havin' a ba-by! (Doin' the Conga...)

mamabeck said...

For me, MOTH was invaluable for figuring out where I was "spending" and wasting my time. I do go back once a year and work through the worksheets and see where we does help me (a visual person) to SEE, but I don't believe we've followed a worked-out schedule in over a year. It's more of a guideline of a pattern for our day. That pattern is invaluable, and although I don't have the neat chart with all the pieces of paper on the wall anymore, we live our life, and are able to jump back in wherever we get "off" and need to reset ourselves, because we know the general pattern.

Megan said...

Hi, I love your blog!
I have 7 kids, and I have a schedule much like MOTH. It is not quite as blocked out as MOTH during school time, but everyone has their own chores scheduled in the afternoon and it just makes life easier when everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and when. But again, like others have said, it is a goal and we know how real life gets in the way. But at least it's a guideline and that helps.

Liz said...

Thanks Smockity for the congrats, I only said something here because my family reads my blogs and I don't want them to have a coronary before the 4th of July or Labor Day or Thanksgiving - just kidding I will tell eventually but I'm generally trying to avoid the...

A. Come on, can you really afford that

B. Do you think we really need another kid on this planet - (CA side only)

C. Do you know what all that nursing will do to you - (TX side only)

D. (my personal favorite) Do you know how this happens? Which I reply, "Oh I knew it was a hazard when I married a Latin man!"

the momma said...

I used it about 3 children ago.

now, every time I try - I have more that needs to be done than little blocks of time to do it..... so we are currently fumbling along without a schedule under the delusion that MAYBE I can fit it all in, if I don't have my schedule telling me it's utterly impossible....

I could happen....


MomOnTheGo said...

I'm a non-homeschooling, mother of 1, and I have to say that I'm in awe of you for tackling homeschooling and 7 kids. I have no authority from which to speak but I'll say it anyway - maybe you need to lower your chore standards if they don't all fit in? Remember you are an amazing homeschooling, mother of 7. It wouldn't be right to have a perfect house, too. ;+) Good luck with the schedule, one way or the other.

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