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Friday, July 2, 2010

13 Ways to Keep On Top of Your Day

As a child, I never paid attention to schedules. I had a routine, and that worked for me. I knew I had to go to swimming at a certain time. I knew that we left for Awanas after dinner. I knew when church started on Sundays. But the rest of the time: I was free. Well, I was free from the worry of time restraints. I still had to do the work my mom told me to do <smile>.

Public high school changed that.

Suddenly my day was ruled by 90 minute blocks of time denoted by a shrill bell. Ten minutes later, I had to be in an entirely new location ready with the right textbook and binder on my desk. Assignments were now arbitrary and constantly in flux. Events shifted regularly. I had to keep track of it all.

So I used the handy day planner I was given. This I dutifully filled with cryptic scribbled commands. "p22 1-13 odd" I also discovered the joy of crossing off completed work.

A few years into keeping a schedule, I decided it was time to join the nineties. I convinced my parents that I would benefit from owning a Palm. I didn't, but I felt cool for a while.

Then, in college, my PDA died.

My watch soon followed.

There I was, taking a full load of college credits, without a single scheduling tool.

And it felt great!

I was free.

I still don't own a watch. But back in 2008 I got my first cellular telephone which can tell me the time. But mostly, I just go off memory for stuff.

Which is why I miss our young marrieds group meetings so often. <cough>

How do you keep track of your schedule?

As we look toward the future of scheduling and homeschooler's needs, I'd really appreciate your feedback here. Please let me know by "voting" in the poll above.

If you don't see the poll on Facebook, please swing by the SonlightBlog to give your answer. Thanks!

I appreciate it.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

10 comments:

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I have always been a day planner kind of girl. It really helped me to be able to write it down and forget about it. Now I rely on a dry erase calendar that I keep in the kitchen. Handy dandy for writing, erasing and keeping track of all our ever changing schedules.

Mrs. White said...

I am much more of a relaxed scheduler. We have a "routine" and a to-do list. That's pretty much it.

But I do make a schedule for a guide, in case I have memory loss and don't know what I'm doing!

Blessings
Mrs. White

Sue said...

I never had trouble following an imposed schedule at school or work, but I hate making them! That's why I love my Sonlight IG so.very.much.

Our schedule outside of homeschool stuff is not overly full, which is how I like it, so it's just in my head. Special things, like dentist appointments, just get scratched down on our wall calendar. Wonderfully simple!

Robin E. said...

I use a strange mix of Vueminder calendar, Homeschool Tracker, and keeping it in my head. I've tried day planners more than once in my life, and it has never worked for me.

boremetotears.com said...

Another question: "How do your homeschooled kids keep on top of their day?" How are they learning the organizational skills that they'll need? My daughter transitioned to school last year and it was definitely a weak spot for her, I regret to say. In fact, the only grades she ever received that were lower than A's were due to forgotten assignments. :(

Actually, there were "radical unschoolers" featured in the media that also got me wondering about homeschooling and time mgt. How do children - especially those homeschooled in a "radically" unstructured and unscheduled way - learn to follow schedules, allocate time, meet deadlines, etc. I never said this but... if I were to hire a young person who had only known a life of "following their heart" and "doing what they want, when they want," I'd probably insist on a long probationary period. Or, maybe I'd just let my competitor hire them instead? :S

Anonymous :)

Luke said...

Thanks for your responses, everyone! I'm very much a routine person. I have a groove and I stick to it. <smile>

"Anonymous" <smile>, interesting point. I didn't have much trouble adjusting to public high school or university life. There was also that moment of panic when I'd wonder: Can I do all this? But then I breezed through it after that. Of course, I wasn't a radical unschooler. We had routine. And swimming, youth group, Awanas, band, karate, etc. <shrug>

So, I don't know.

But I know several of my public-schooled-all-their-lives friends who struggled with the areas you mention. So it could easily be more of a personality thing than a educational methodology.

~Luke

GS mom said...

I keep a lot of stuff in my head (regularly scheduled stuff, like ballet), but I also have a physical calendar on the wall and a very few things on Outlook and my cell phone calendar. For school stuff, I use a combo of the SL IG, an Excel spreadsheet and Homeschool Tracker. I just can't figure out how to make a daytimer type thing work for me.

artchristie said...

I write doctor's appointments in a planner. I use homeschool tracker to lesson plan taking the Sonlight IG and spreading it out so I can add in the hands on activities and co-op activities we do. Otherwise If I schedule anything else I guarantee it WILL change. So I do not wear a watch either (a big change for me!)and we have learned to go with the flow so to speak. I do have goals that I expect to complete in a day, week, or year but I also have learned that they are goals and not to be a slave to those planners, guides, calendars, and so forth. I am a much happier mom and teacher this way and am flexible to change those goals when things come up like a child needs more time to learn a concept or someone gets sick. I have also decided that if I do miss a subject one day it is the first one we start with the next day. This helps so I do not avoid the one subject that is not my favorite.

Persuaded said...

I would love to say I am the kind of mama who can just fly by the seat of my pants and be flexible and free, but sadly, my attempts at flexibility pretty much flopped. Big Time. We all degenerated into doldrums of laziness punctuated by bouts of utter mayhem. Not exactly the home life I'm striving for, if you know what I mean. so yeah.

We use a schedule... the Maxwell's MOTH system to be exact. http://www.titus2.com/ecommerce/products/prod_listing.php/1100

It has worked wonderfully well for our family for a number of years, and even though I am now only schooling 2 kids we use it every day. In the summer our schedule is much more relaxed- for example right now my son is churning ice cream at the dining room table, my youngest daughter is playing her computer game in the living room and here I yam.. playing on the 'puter. A schedule doesn't have to mean no fun... here's a link to a post I wrote about our scheduling choices: http://tomatosoupcake.blogspot.com/2010/04/time-for-everything.html

Luke said...

More good feedback. Thanks, GS, Christie and Persuaded!

~Luke


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