Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shaking Things Up a Little

I have spent much of my time over the past few days making plans. Plans for a change in home life, in our home-education life, and of course, plans for the new business.
It is important to me that I succeed in all of these areas. At least, it is important to me that I try my absolute best to succeed in all of these areas. I have a lot to prove, to myself, and to others.
Obviously home life, for me, takes priority - I need to be a good wife and mother above all else. That is extremely important to me, and of course, success in that area brings many advantages to the others.
So, these plans, what do they entail?

Firstly, better organisation of my time.
Secondly, less time on the laptop throughout the day.
Thirdly, being more involved in life.

I am well aware that I waste too much of my precious time doing totally unimportant tasks. Want an example? Well, I sit down with my first cup of the tea of the day and switch on the computer. Just to check my emails. As I sip my tea, I just read a forum or two, and reply to a few messages, then a bit of blog-hopping (leaving a few comments along the way...), then a quick check of eBay, then check on a news website or two, then my online banking service, then...

You get the idea.

Before I know it, those few minutes of email checking have cascaded wildly out of control into an hour, sometimes ashamedly more, of total utter time-wasting.

I am Julia, and I'm a time-management failure and internet-aholic.

Well, I was. Things are changing remember? I now have plans!!!

I have set myself a rule. No non-essential internet surfing during the day. All forums and blogs are banned until the children are in bed. I will of course still use the internet for research purposes etc, but I will be very strict with myself.

This rule in itself will change my day timetable greatly, and with this knowledge I am ready to go cold turkey. Wish me luck!

So, what other plans? Well, I feel the need to shake us up a bit home-ed wise. We have been relatively happy going about our HE business for the past 6 years. During that time we have tried many "methods" in the vain hope of finding something that works for us. We have tried the "school at home" thing (quickly shelved I might add), and we have tried the totally autonomous child-led route (also quickly shelved due to eldest son wanting to do nothing other than PS2 playing for weeks on end). I just didn't feel comfortable with either. We got settled into an in-between way of doing things - a little structure, a lot of child-led - and that does seem to work for us. But, I'm bored, well, not just me, the atmosphere in the house screams bored, monotonous, routine, tiresome...I could go on. We are having a severe case of lacking-enthusiasm-itis.

We are never going to be the type of family that can follow wonderfully created, well thought out timetables. I often wish we could. When hopping through blogland, I read various home schooling blogs from around the world, and am in awe at just how organised and well-thought out some families are. For us though, we tend to live day by day. Yes I have "an idea" of what we are going to do that day - but often this idea gets shelved when the children talk about doing something they have seen on the TV the day before, or the girls want to bake cakes, or the boys want to go down the park with their bikes. The thing is, I love that. I love the spontaneity that home-education affords us, but I feel the need for new ideas.

To start us off, I've put a new framework into place. Not a strict framework - we don't do strict in this household - but, something to be used as a guideline. I've outlined a general timetable of what I would like to be doing at what time. Not in a school sort of fashion. Not as extreme as subjects being separated into times, that wouldn't work for us. Just a general outline of what could be done at what times, such as dog walking, family reading, "schoolwork", "me" time, and the all important free time. (Before anyone critiscises - my "Me" time is at 5.30am before the rest of the household awakes - so I'm not neglecting my children or their education in any way shape or form - and yes, this is in response to comments left). The definition of "schoolwork" in this house is not the sit at the table and write tons of pages sort of stuff, more of the experiments and hands on sort of thing, with a little bit of writing and research thrown in.

I have searched the internet for inspiration on what we can do differently. I thought we could start taking part in various things, such as the Her Space My Space His Space daily photo prompts, the creation of a nature journal, and joining in with the Kids Craft Weekly challenges. I'm sure there will be a few more ideas knocking around the net just waiting for me to discover them.

I'll let you know how things progress...


  1. did someone seriously comment and say you aren't allowed me time when the kids are awake? How do they then learn that adults have needs and space requirements too? Bizarre! There is no way that I'm getting up at 5.30 just to have time to do a bit of crochet, or reading, or OU, I do it in front of the kids or alongside them, and I figure that they are learning from my activities anyway.

    Good luck with the cold turkey :)

  2. Oh yes, sadly so. Apparently, if I choose to take responsibility for my childrens education - then I choose to devote my whole life to them, and should not even consider picking up the knitting needles, cardmaking, or doing some other worthless task whilst they are in my presence....I know I know, I rolled my eyes in disbelief too!

  3. yes we do the work alongside thing to - or else Naomi would spin me around her little finger all day !

    good luck with it all :-)

  4. 'I'm a time-management failure and internet-aholic' so that's the name for my illness!!!

    'Me' time is essential for all--do what is best for you and the family--don't listen to them!

    Good luck with cutting down on the computer--but don't stop blogging again!

  5. There's a 5:30 in the morning?

    Good luck to you Jules, you are so brave to do this and all you are trying to do!

    Cazzy x

  6. Wow, 5.30 a.m.!?

    I think you're doing a fabulous job and I'm so please to see you back blogging again.