Saturday, September 13, 2008


I discovered a new site to follow "Organized Doodles" while reading Jodi @ Snapped this a.m. (for some reason the link is not working - )

I'm now thinking and saving up for one of his drawings. I can envision something with kids, Air Force uniform, Mt Denali, chaplaincy somehow, laptop, CHOCOLATE - M/Ms?, maybe even the P- WOC logo ::snort:: ....who knows?


I am being sent an amazing amount of video clips and cartoons about Gov. Palin. I guess folks realize that her approval rating is 80% in AK and we ARE transplanted Alaskan Residents..... ::snort:: Anyway, I thought the above was fun and even if you don't like her you have to admit it is funny!

©2008 D.R.G.
Taming the Schedule

On the 4th of September I shared my wrestling with our family schedule for the year. I will not recount all that I said in that entry, you can click and read if so inclined.

For the past 1 1/2 weeks I have continued to whittle and evaluate our schedule for this upcoming year.

There are so many EXCELLENT activities to chose for our family to be involved in. BUT all are not for us in this season. I thought it may help to see how we evaluated our schedule.

Before you read further consider this....this one entry really is geared toward large families. Many SSS work the same for small and large families. If ALL your children are older, if you have fewer children, different goals then of course your calendar will look different. Our decisions are not meant to say how "all families" or "all large families" should order their days. I share our process to show how it works for us! LOL

I must mention that this process is bathed in prayer throughout. Our goal is to love the Lord wholeheartedly and to reflect that love. If we are so frazzled that we're perpetually surly, we will ultimately fail regardless of how wonderful our transcripts and gpa appear. I realize that I often say, "get on your knees and get God's plan for your family and then follow it." Sometimes, this seems mystical to others and so today I will share how we go about setting our calendar.

First, I list every single thing that members of the family want to do. The result of this this year was this spreadsheet linked here.

Second, as a family we sit down and see if this is feasabile. (It wasn't this year).

Next, I enlist the help of Mike and the children and we begin whittling. We had to cut this year. There was simply no way we could do all that we wanted to do. This was a family project. No cut was made quickly or without lots of input from all. Here are some principles that emerged.

~We seek to keep our main priorities first.

~Each person is asked, "If you could only do ONE thing, what would it be?" We were surprised at several answers this year.

~"One outside activity per family member" was the rule in decades past....and seemed to work...but not well as our family grew. Eleven weekly activities was too much. We have learned to simply look for balance and sanity. Some children won't WANT outside acitivities. Sometimes we can group several children into one activity. Some children will need more.

~The needs of individuals are important and not to be overlooked.
This year this means that Jared has three weekly outside committments. He will continue with House of Faith, Civil Air Patrol and will play basketball. We realize this is heavy and he offered to cut back. In fact he was willing to cut back to one activity. We shared that there are two activities on his list that he may not have in our new location. The opportunity to minister to urban kids through House of Faith and the chance to play high school basketball as a homeschooler. Jared's schedule will dictate a lot of what we do this year. One year it was Jamin's intense desire to play football with a local private school that drove our schedule. LOL

~The unity of the family is important and not to be overlooked.
In the midst of all that we do, family remains one of our top priorities (after relationships with God). Therefore, at some point, individual activities must be limited.

~We combine where possible. This means activities as well as purpose.
Bells, band and piano were all on our list. seems to be desired. Piano lessons for two can be accomplished between the time when we drop Jared at House of Faith and when we pick him up for CAP. Bells and Band were dropped.

I need to make it to the gym regularly to fight the big cholesterol/heart scare. The boys want to workout regularly and are working on PE credits. They've alternated days going to the gym with me. Which, BTW, offers me a chance to talk one on one with these young men of God.

~We look for short term committments. This isn't simply because we are flakey. ::snort:: I've learned that if I force my children to commit to something for a full year, eventually they become relucatant to try things they aren't already 100% positive they will enjoy. We tried a drama class or 8 weeks. They loved it and it will remain once again this year.

~We look for things that may duplicate what we are already doing at home.
We really thought about Bright Lights, a study for Arielle. BUT she and I already have a weekly study. We both like what we are doing. It provides intensive time for me, her mother, to mentor her. We opted to continue this at home.

We had Y PE on our list. We realized that it would be better for us to utilize things we are already paying for. I enlisted Jared to plan a PE program for us. He'll use the guidelines in a resource we already own, Homeschool Family Fitness by Dr. Whitney. Jamin will be his assistant in carrying out the plan. This pulls our busy high school young men back into the heart of our family and our family priorities. We'll use sports equiptment we own. We'll utilize our family gym membership. We can swim, use basketball and raquet ball courts at the gym.

We had park day for Zander and Stacia on our list. The problem is that homeschool park day doesn't fall on a "good" day for us. We all committed to making it to the park at least twice a month when it WILL fit into our schedule. We'll most likely be asking others to join us for power play dates. ::snort::

I wanted Stacia and Zander to experience story hour, but another scheduled outing is daunting. I enlisted Arielle to take the lead on this. She will select a book and plan a craft or activity to go along with the book. Nolan will be her assistant with the crafts. Last night I discovered a great link on Lisa's blog to homeschool share. These folks have ready made crafts and such to go with various books etc. - FREE. Last year we used Enchanted Learning for lots of these sorts of supplements. This was FUN this week. The kids did a great job with Stacia and Zander (Photos below). They chose to do it during a time slot when I was preparing for Bible Study....which meant that it served the unexpected purpose of keeping the littls occupied so I could tie up my study time.

We wanted to take an elections class. The one offered locally would be great, but it would conflict with family time. Mike is "scheduled" to have Friday's off and so we want to keep those times free for things HE can do WITH children or family activities. We opted to do a study on the election here at home. It was GOD that I was sick and surfing last night and found resources here.....and this a.m. we got a call from a young lady taking the election class who asked if our older kids would like to be registered to vote in a mock election. She dropped off the voter reg cards and the 11 - 18 yos will get to "vote" in Oct. I may have to come up with a voting option on a produce co-op day so the young ones can vote too.

I think our process this year illustrates how we pull together as a family and how God grants solutions and creativity as we wait on HIM for a plan. We've begun carrying out the plan. Here is our REVISED calendar. It works. We know that each item on their is important to someone, and that it's been prayed over.

It hurt to say goodbye to 4-H or Bright Lights....but in the entire scheme....everything wouldn't fit. We are happy with this schedule.

Shew - this got long. I'd love to hear any tips you could share on how your family tames the scheduling monster.

Which reminds me that as soon as I can remember how to do Mr. Linky, type up guidelines, and figure out how to make our graphic clickable....Super Size Saturdays will become a meme. I'd hoped to announce it during the Blogoversary week....but school came before blog research. I look forward to hearing YOUR tips and thoughts. I'm hoping to figure this out by next week.

For more of my Super Size Saturday entries click here.

First Story Hour of the year - The Giving Tree
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

©2008 D.R.G.