Hopefully, the past 7 days haven’t left you overwhelmed! If they have, then perhaps today will give you the refreshment you need.
Rather than say something I have already said, I want to point you to a post I wrote earlier this year when I did the 10 Days of Large Family Homeschooling Series. It is entitled Caring For Yourself and it revisits The Me Time Myth, my rather infamous article from the Fall 2009 edition of The Old Schoolhouse.
Free time falls into this category of caring for yourself. Additionally, free time is very much about doing something we WANT to do rather than doing something we NEED to do.
Read Caring For Yourself now.
Now that you’ve read that post, let me guide you along the path to finding free time in your busy homeschooling day.
1. Write it into your schedule. This is one of those things that might sound like a no-brainer, but I find more often than not, if I don’t write it in, I don’t do it. In fact, this week has been a case in point. I have some sewing I WANT to do. I thought for sure I could just fit it in wherever; however, I’ve not done any sewing because I didn’t actually write it into my schedule this week. So, if you want to have some free time, put it in there!
2. Choose timing wisely. Is there a time of day when the children do not need you as much? For me that time of day is around 3 pm. My children seem to naturally fall into a rhythm of play from 3-4 that rarely requires me. By 4 pm; however, things start to go a little crazy here, so that would be a terrible time for me to do something I want to do because I would only get frustrated going back and forth between my project and their needs.
3. Have an ending point. Never, ever just let yourself go until something stops you because more than likely what will stop you won’t be pleasant. I liken it to waking up in the morning of your own accord versus waking up in the morning to utter chaos. Set a timer if need be! In fact, having an ending point also gives you the ability to tell your children, “in 30 minutes, Mommy will be finished with this and then we can…” Children respond quite well to set times.
4. Choose worthy pursuits. As with everything, choose to use your free time doing things that are God-honoring. If you are choosing to hide out in your bedroom watching smutty shows on TV during your free time, you need to rethink your priorities.
I hope this helps you get started on finding some time of refreshment in your day. I’d also encourage you to read a guest post here on Raising Arrows from Anna at Learning Littlebits entitled We Time. She offers some suggestions on creating this time of refreshment with your family as a whole.
This post is part of the Fall 2012 iHN Hopscotch.