Left to my own nature and bend, I'm sort of a free floater. I prefer to start my day with a mug full of my favorite coffee, seated on the back deck, watching the birds perch and play among the tree branches. Eventually I'll wander back into the house, dabble with some breakfast, check the weather and my emails. After that, I do whatever "thing" I run into next. Each morning my productive husband asks, "what do you have planned for the day?", to which I reply with a lazy yawn and stretch, "I'm not sure."
During the school year, however, we must run on regular routines to accomplish our daily tasks of academics and activities, not to mention house work. As much as my natural state resists the idea of schedules and check lists, the structure forces all of us to be productive throughout the day. We typically run on more of a routine (the general order of a sequence of events) rather than a schedule (certain events that much occur at certain times). I've found that routines give me the flexibility I need to adjust to the unexpected, such as clogged toilets or birds trapped in the garage. I pretty much insist that we start our school day no later than 8:00 AM. After that time, we have a flow and rhythm that carries us up to our lunch break, which lasts an hour. Following lunch, we tackle school again until 3:00 or so. Sometimes we finish earlier and sometimes the day d-r-a-g-s on.
Before our school year starts, I sit down and pencil out a schedule. It usually takes a couple of weeks of adjusting and fine tuning to have a finished product. That gives us our frame work for each day. I'll share a little secret that I've discovered: although we rarely are able to follow it exactly, our productivity is ten-fold what it is compared to an unplanned day. But if you make the mistake of becoming a slave to your schedule rather than letting it be a tool to serve you, it will make everyone miserable. Trust me on that!
In an ideal word, I also have summer routines. Although I did write out a loose plan at the beginning of our summer break, I must confess that I have yet to implement it. We're still (mostly) accomplishing our daily tasks such as chores, and we frequent the library as well. Beyond that we've been enjoying "summer mode", knowing that the next school year lurks just around the corner!
PS The planner shown below, "The Well Planned Day", is the one I love and use every year!
Have you discovered any useful tips or strategies that help make your school year a success? Leave a note below!