For the first time in a long time, we took the summer off, like the public school system, and this will be the last time EVER! It has been a summer of chaos. My children have been at each other’s throats. I’ve had to fight them tooth and nail to get chores completed, or remind them several times. It is if they had their ears turned off for the summer.
We even went on vacation, and while it was fun, when we came back things weren’t better, in fact, they were worse. It has gotten to the point where I don’t want to be around my children. I find myself wanting to hide from the emotional drain being caused due to the chaos.
So What’s the Problem
Some of it is just typical child behavior that needs correcting. I also have 2 toddlers who not only need constant supervision but repeatedly corrected as well. This is training season. Not only is it physically exhausting, but it wears on your emotions as well. I’ve done this before, but honestly I’m older and really tired.
With the end of school, also ends our routine. It is with our routine that not only do my children know what to expect, but William who has problems finds security. This is evident in him asking every morning if we are going somewhere and what we are doing today. I should have picked up on it earlier, but for some reason, I didn’t.
The house is in a constant state of flux. I feel like we are always playing catch-up with all of the chores. Honestly, I feel like the house is falling apart around me. No one notices that things need to get done unless I say something about it, which is completely out of the norm for us.
During the school year, each of my children has chores and responsibilities. Normally we also keep our routine during the summer and school all year round, but this year I decided to be different. I needed a break for the summer and gave it to them as well, but instead of a break, it became chaos. It became my worst nightmare. I’m ashamed of my home and don’t want anyone to walk through my door without 2 days notice so I can get it company ready
Why a Routine will Save Your Sanity!
As I mentioned earlier, when the house is a wreck, when we have no systems or routines things fall apart. The routine is what told us what to do next. I’m not talking about scheduling every minute of every day, or even every 15 minutes as some people are proponetes of doing. I’m talking about laying out what you plan to do with your day.
Routines are so important for children with special needs. They have an inate desire to know what is coming next. They THRIVE on routines and struggle when things change. Nothing is worse for my William than leaving a place and telling him we have to go back, he falls apart. Routines help children establish healthy habits that last a life time.
How to Set Up A Routine
There are certain things you always do. You always eat lunch and usually at about the same time. Then there is dinner, which needs to be at a regularly set time so the children can go to bed, and you can get a break. I mean, so they can get a good night sleep. Right! That’s what I meant!
Pull out a sheet of paper and list the things that never change and their times. I’m talking about when the kids go to school or when you start school for the day. Meals need to be listed because you don’t want your children to starve, and you know they will if you don’t feed them at least 3 meals a day and several snacks, right? Or is that just my children? Next list outside activities that your children participate in, whether this is lessons, sports, or anything else. Finally, add bedtimes for each of your children and for YOURSELF! Yes, YOU Mama. You need to takce care of yourself too.
Filling in the Gaps
Now that you have the basic structure that everything will hang on, you can start filling in the missing spaces. This could be your morning chore time. How about a time for Mom to do some self-care, I’ve got some great tips for you HERE. There’s also a great article about why you need self-care when life is busy, HERE.
This is also where you need to include your children’s lessons, Morning Time, idependent school work, and corporate school work. Don’t forget QUIET TIME! Everyone needs quiet times, especially Mamas. Even if little ones don’t nap they still need quiet time. Also include reading aloud to your children, if you don’t plan for it, then it won’t happen.
Maybe I’m the only one living in chaos, but I really don’t think so. If I was there wouldn’t be so many articles pinned on Pinterest and all over the interenet. There wouldn’t be planners all over the place for sale. I know this is something we all struggle with and would love a simple solution to make it better. I believe that setting up a routine for you and your family is the solution.
After taking some time to reflect on how things go when we don’t have a routine and how they run so smoothly when we do, I don’t ever want to go without one again. Not only does it save my sanity, but it gives my children the structure they honestly crave. It gives us a foundation not only for our day but for our life. Espeicallay when we make sure to have our Morning Time, but I will talk more about that in another post because Morning Time is what changed EVERYTHING for us when it came to homeschooling.
My Favorite Resourse
One of my favorite Go- To blogs is Raising Arrows. Amy has a wonderful series about establishing routines. This is a great place to start. In fact, the first time I heard Amy speak, it was about this very thing. She has a great step by step process to help you get started. Also, she has just written a new book called Home Management for the Homeschool Mom. Definitely, click on the links and check it out.
Here is a list of other places to find great articles about routines and how the help:
Podcast on The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network
Finally, HERE is a link to my Pinterest Board about Planning for Homeschool