Non Homeschooler’s MOTH Book Review

Dear Teri,

I wanted to get back to you regarding this. I DID finally pull my schedule together after much thought and perseverance. So far, it is working out great. It has really, really helped my day go smoother and accomplish so much more. Not only that, there is a more of a measure of peace in the house, because everyone knows what is supposed to be happening at any given time. For example, I don’t constantly gripe and yell at children to “pick up those toys!” as I did before (sad to say) because I know that there is a time to use and play with toys (we did buy them for that purpose!) and that in 1/2 hour it will be time to clean up. Clean-up times time go smoothly because there is usually a natural “reward” for cleaning up, whether it be a meal or snack served, extra cuddle/talk time just before bedtime, or a little extra free time. So I want to thank you for the time you and your family have put into this teaching ministry. It has truly been a blessing to me and many, many others, I’m sure.

I’m not sure what kind of feedback you would like regarding my non-homeschooling family and how the schedule is working out. I would say that mornings are going great! I get up at a regular time, get ready for the day, have BIBLE time, nurse the baby—all before the older kids (2,2,5,7) wake up. Then I can give full attention to them for the hour before the 7 yo goes off to school. I get them up, serve breakfast, and read a BIBLE story to them while they eat. I supervise their getting dressed and doing morning chores. Then the 7 yo goes off to school—a full 7 1/2 hour gap on the schedule that he is away (sad for me). I still have 4 young children at home during the morning, which is filled with reading lesson, read-aloud time, “playschool”, outdoor time, music time, a few housekeeping details, nursing the baby, and planned snack and lunch. Then, 5 yo goes to kindergarten (a 3 hour gap on the schedule) while the little ones nap for 2 hours (on good days!). Let me jump ahead to dinner and beyond. Dinner is at 5:30 followed by clean-up, baths for little ones, 7 yo reads aloud, some free-play time, clean-up time, and family/storytime. Bedtime is at 8 for little ones, while 7 yo stays up 1/2 hour later for me to read aloud to. Evening goes pretty well. My challenge is the AFTERSCHOOL CHAOS! The 5 and 7 yr. olds tend to need some “unwinding” time after being cooped up in school. Everyone needs a snack ASAP, everyone is excited about being reunited (there are frequently discipline issues at this time), the baby usually needs nursing/attention, the 2 yr. olds need some attention, the olders need to do a few chores, we need to go over AWANA verses, I’m checking bookbags and filing away papers, I’m trying to find out how school went, the olders want to play on the computer or play with neighbor friends, and I have to prepare dinner at some point. It just seems like it’s all happening at the same time, and everybody wants Mom’s attention at the same time. So, it’s a little chaotic between 3 and 5:30. So, that’s my challenge.

However, in spite of this and other challenges that come with having away-from-home-schooled children, I am finding that the schedule is helping tremendously in managing our time. Because I desire time to spend some “talking” time with my kids to pry information from them about what happened in school today, to just chat and BE with them, I SCHEDULE this time—it’s during snack time afterschool. It might not happen otherwise. Because I desire to teach and train my children in diligence and responsibility, I SCHEDULE time before and after school for chores. It might not happen otherwise. Because I desire to teach my children God’s Word, I SCHEDULE time for Bible reading and scripture memory. It might not happen otherwise. Because I desire my children to be avid readers, creative writers, hungry for knowledge, and to receive the many other benefits of reading together, I SCHEDULE time for reading aloud. It might not happen otherwise. I’m sure you are beginning to get the idea. And how important and precious those hours are before and after school and before bedtime to accomplish all these things BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THE TIME I HAVE WITH MY 2ND GRADER BECAUSE HE IS AWAY AT SCHOOL THE REST OF THE DAY!

Sorry to shout, but that pretty much sums up one of the reasons I am using this scheduling method. So, I would daresay that many other moms in my situation (nonhomeschoolers) and even outside-the-home working moms would value this method, even if the scheduled activities are mainly at the beginning and ending of the day. It makes the most of whatever time you do have. It also is a real eye-opener to visually see on paper that 30 hours worth of activities do NOT fit into a 24 hour day! So, what has to go? Does junior really need to go to soccer twice a week, while sister goes to ballet once a week, while mom and baby go to playgroup once a week, and a Bible study once a week, etc., etc.? I have to say, I hardly ever leave the house during the week now, and I like it that way. Running around wastes a lot of precious time and energy. Your scheduling planning method reveals this—to anyone using it—hs-ing or not.

Teri, your book has shown me how much is involved in running a household and raising children to the glory of God. I have learned so much from you and the other ladies who shared their schedules. I have used MANY of your ideas—from planning a regular menu of breakfasts and lunches (it’s always Waffle Wednesday in my house now!) to going to bed early to easing baby into a schedule. 4 month old Hannah is nursing and sleeping at regular times now including sleeping through the night—something I NEVER thought would happen with any of my children.

Sorry to go on and on. Thanks again for your great product and ministry.

Your friend,
Lisa B. in Nebraska—wife to Tom, mommy to Chase (7), Bailey (5), Christian (2), Bethany (2), and Baby Hannah