Wednesday, March 18, 2009
First off. I am not a scheduled person. I am not a structured, scheduled person. I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous gal. I am also a mother of 5, wife to one, manager of my home, superintendent of our homeschool. Are you seeing a problem here? Scheduling may not be my gift, but one thing that I am good at is seeing a problem. Manager's of Their Homes by Steven and Teri Maxwell was the solution to a lot of problems in our household.
Why would we listen to Teri and Steve Maxwell?
Are they all knowing and good at everything we are not? Not exactly. Terri does seem to be amazing person. Teri is gifted and great at scheduling. She and her husband Steve did seem to train and teach her eight children very efficiently.
The main reason that I trust her though, is that she developed this system, out of a need in her family. Teri suffers from depression. She wasnt always completely available to her children to answer their every "what do we do..?" and "Can I?" She developed this system out of her strengths and on her good days to improve her family's everydays. She is real mother with real weaknesses raising sinners in a real family. I respect that.
Every step of this system is bathed in prayer. The worksheets that are provided will either bring to light that you have more hours than you realize OR that you are trying to shove 42 hours into a 24 hour day. They will enable you, through prayer, to see the needs of family member and what they should get out of their day. For your reference there are sample schedules from many different familes varying in size, style and habits.
There is time spent on explaining the whys of having a family schedule. I have trouble being in five places at once. Yet, I have 5 children, including a toddler, crawling baby, scissors sneakers, and people that I want to spend time with. I am responsible for them ALL the time. It can be hard to decide where they all should be. Where is the baby while I am teaching you handstitching? The sample schedules made by the testers have really helped me. To see that one family has their children under 5 watch PBS while Mom makes lunch is reassuring. Seeing hwo others work out scheduling conflicts was helpful too. With the purchase of the program, there is also a web board to bring questions and find discussions.
Rather than judgement of the way that some of us waste time, there is much Grace and emphasis on God designing each of our families differently and uniquely. The color coded charts could seem too rigid and corny to some. They have proved invaluable in our family. I can find myself overwelmed with what each of my children should be doing, have done and need to do at any given time during the day. Having a carefully graphed chart with poster putty helped me to sort it out and move things around. Having a chart to refer to also eliminated a lot of the "why CANT I play my video game at 7 am?" types of questions. We found that when those questions were asked over and over by numerous children a "Yes" would slip in there and children would be doing odd things at odd times with a guilty feeling mom wondering how it had happened :) It's never fun to feel like the "bad guy." Being able to see on a chart your time with each child, and their being able to see their free time and time with people laid out was an encouragemnt to all.
From this program, I learned the value of a schedule, the reasons for having a schedule and how to develop and implement a schedule. I highly reccomend this book and its principles. Honestly, I can not think of a way to improve upon the system, or methods of the program.