Calculating the hours

Creating a schedule is kind of overwhelming me right now. I have 168 hours to work with in one week.

I feel like I need my own cap and trade time scheme or Hermione’s time-turner.

Here are the steps I took to create my schedule:
Step 1: Begin with the end in mind.
I start by considering how I want my life and family to look at the end of the school year. What do I want us to learn? In which areas do I see we need to improve? How are the kids’ characters coming along? I pray about those things and contemplate what I must do to see the growth and maturation that I desire for me and my children. Take a look at my personal worksheet.

Step 2: Consider the time I have and how to make the most of it.

Let’s take away all those things I have to do every day. I have to sleep, eat, spend time with God, and bathe.

Sleeping needs to take at least 49 hours of the week. If I spend 30 minutes to eat one meal, and I eat 3 per day, then that will take 10.5 hours per week. If I take about 30 minutes on my appearance every day, that takes about 3.5 hours out of the week. My times with Jesus tend to go long: it takes me a while to get my mind and heart where they need to be, then I don’t want to stop. I need at least an hour for Bible reading/meditation and prayer and I’ll have to stop after an hour, no matter what. That’s 7 hours. Plus the hours we spend at church per week, and it’s 11.5 hours. I really need to add exercise to my schedule. Let’s say I’ll try to spend 45 minutes exercising four days per week. That adds up to 3 hours.

168 hours given – 77.5 hours for personal maintenance = 90.5 hours remaining

That still looks like a lot of time.

Now let’s look at my the time required for home making and caring for the family.

According to my tentative schedule, the kids and I will take about 6 hours per week doing chores. Breakfasts take about 30 minutes. Lunches last about an hour: prep, eating, and clean up. That’s 7 hours. Sundays tend to take longer. I spend about 45 minutes to an hour cooking dinner in the evenings. All of that adds up to 17.5 hours of kitchen time per week.

Now I have 73 hours.

We have to do school. I have divided Monday through Thursday into 3 blocks of school time. We have two morning blocks and one afternoon block of time. They total 24 hours per week. On Friday mornings we will be getting together with our home school co-op, which is four hours long, followed by a 2.5 hours block of school time. The kids also take piano lessons, which takes two hours per week. Adding our instruction time, piano lessons, and co-op time, total school time (for me) equals 32.5 hours.

81 hours – 32.5 hours = 48.5 hours

Wow, that’s about two days left. What am I forgetting? Some of that time is Saturdays and Sundays. I’m keeping those as open as possible.

We have family time in the evenings, totalling around 6 or 7 hours per week. Our bedtime routine takes a little time.

I want to spend some one-on-one time with each child during the week. And, of course, there’s Karl. We have to have some time alone every day. I want to keep blogging and writing, which will happen in the evenings and on weekends. Gardening will happen during chore times and on the weekends.

Step 3: Start organizing the times.
If there is something you want to do, then put it in the schedule. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you love to scrapbook, then schedule it. Love to sew? Schedule it. If you want to be able to snuggle under a home made quilt in six months, then (say it with me…) schedule it.

I need to grow in the area of hospitality, so I have it scheduled. I will have to keep the house presentable and invite people over. I can foresee one problem: I didn’t schedule mentoring. I’ll have to talk with my mentor about that. I neglected to schedule my weekly trip to the grocery store. It usually happens on the weekends anyway.

Here’s my tentative schedule. I’ll fill you in on the schedule within the school blocks after I get that figured out.

The reason I feel OK sharing my worksheet and schedule with you is because I have been encouraged by looking at how other home school moms manage their days. I’m not trying to make myself look a certain way in your eyes. After all, I haven’t done anything but create a spreadsheet. I just hope that taking a look at my schedule will encourage or lend some ideas to another mom trying to juggle a life similar to mine.

Step 4: Stick to the schedule.
This is the hard part. It takes discipline. It takes a giant carrot on the end of stick and a spoonful of sugar to get the kids to want to play along. They’ll get the hang of it eventually, though. And I am definitely going to have to stick to planning during my scheduled planning times for all of this to happen without too many hitches.

I’m going to miss sleeping in on the weekends.

8 Comments on “Calculating the hours

  1. I am impressed!And "cogitations"? I'm doubly impressed! 🙂


  2. Lisa, I couldn't think of another "c" word and felt cogitations was a bit heavy, so I blatantly copied your use of "confessions." 🙂 Imitating you is becoming the new internet phenomenon among us Christian bloggers. LOLWe'll see how this schedule goes. If I know me, I'll be a huge obstacle to overcome. Just looking at my schedule kind of makes me mad. I'm enjoying my laid-back life so much right now.


  3. Thanks for sharing your lists with us, Leslie! I went through Shopping for Time a couple of years ago. I should do it again. I also really like the planner you found. I'm hoping to try it too. Thanks for the inspiration this year. I'm the opposite of you though. I've been such a scheduled homeschooler since the beginning, and this past year has forced me to be more routine. But I'm hoping to find the balance this year.


  4. I've been so relaxed from the beginning. As a result, Karl and I are seeing little things in the kids that we don't like. So, I've got to be a little more strict with myself.


  5. I appreciate the peek at your labors. I have tried scheduling and found it made me rather uptight…so I have been "routining" for quite some time. I feel some pull to schedule in the hopes of being more productive, but honestly fear the crabby mommy will return. I wonder if I will be able to balance when a worthwhile diversion comes up. I hope you blog more about this and let us know how it is working for you.A wanna-be scheduler 🙂


  6. Dear Wanna-be,I fear the return of the crabby mommy, too.I foresee upcoming posts that reflect the reality of our days rather than my ideal school day. We shall see…


  7. Thanks for sharing your schedule. It was really helpful to see how you are fitting it all in. I'm working on a loose schedule this week for the year. I want to have a plan, but also be flexible. I see you are doing the Shred! I love it and my kids like to do it w/me. They use food cans as their weights, it's pretty cute. 🙂


  8. My kids love doing The Shred with me, too! And they also enjoy laughing at me while we do said Shred. 😦


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