Thursday, March 10, 2011

Math For Mom Part 3 -- Budgeting Our Time

Math is a most dreaded subject for many moms, and possibly moreso for homeschooling mothers. Numbers are not my best area, for sure. But this series is not for giving you pointers or hints for how to better teach your child math. This is Math for Mom!

You'll find my thoughts on budgeting our money here and using space wisely here.  Accountability for the numbers doesn't stop with the ledger, though.  We must be careful to be wise stewards of the time we have been given - for our husbands, our children and our homes.   
There are are many tools available to help with this area. For homemanagement, you might try the MOTH resource at  Organizing your homeschooling might be best served with the workbox method.  Even just a daily checklist can be helpful.  Flylady could be the answer for getting a morning or evening routine established.  I found some great ideas at, also.  It really doesn't matter which tools you use.  The important thing is that you do it.  Be consistent.  If it doesn't work, tweak it or move on to something else.  Try not to be so loyal that you can't think outside the box and seek what will be the best for your own family.  If you know that something particularly works for you, keep it.  If it ain't broke......
If you know that you have a shortcoming in a certain area, make yourself accountable.    For example, if menu planning and grocery shopping are a struggle, get together with a friend and make menus together. Then, switch off babysitting so that you can both shop peacefully.  You will be a blessing to your own home and serving others, not to mention that you will likely spend less doing so! My husband is not home in the evenings, so a schedule is a necessity and nearly every single night looks the same when he's working (within about 30 min or so).  That is my accountability because I am looking forward to the peacefulness of a quiet home by the evening.  But there are plenty of times when I have to have to write myself a "to do" list by the computer so that I don't get carried away or piddle away my time while doing what began as a  worthwhile endeavor. 
Our children also have to be trained to use their time wisely. I have a variety of personalities in my children to admire.  There are dawdlers and there are highly motivated ones.  I do know by now that nagging doesn't work.  There must be absolute consequences for incomplete, untimely or poor work.  I feel it is a disservice to not train my children to use their time wisely.  For example, a child who does not complete an assignment that is given a reasonable amount of time to finish will find himself sacrificing his free time.  This is not carried over into chore time.  It is completed during personal free time. 
In closing, I also want to mention that I do often find that if I am having a particular problem with my children, that if I examine closely I find that the Lord is having the same problem in me.  I must be exhibiting wise use of my time if I expect my children to do the same.  To not do so is teaching them hypocrisy in addition to foolish stewardship of their time.  And time is short.  We never get another chance at today.  When it's done, that's it.  I am working at making today a special day-every day.  I keep trying harder at making sure that each today is the best today I could give and that I've invested wisely.

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