Managers of Their Homes Test Moms, One Year Later

Are the mothers who tested the Managers of Their Homes book and whose comments are featured in the book still using and benefiting from their schedules 1 year later? We sent out a message to the “Test Mothers” and thought you might enjoy reading their responses!

Kathy

One year ago I was an unorganized, frazzled mess. When I had the opportunity to be a “Test MOMY” for Teri’s book I thought it would be challenging and good to have her feedback, but I doubted whether I had what it took to be a “schedule person.”

As I went through the book, the most challenging parts were more about WHAT I should be doing, not necessarily WHEN I should be doing it. As I prayed over my activity sheets I began to see why I was so frazzled. I was too focused on doing my own thing and not the things that God wanted me to accomplish for my family. I began to see that He was calling me to more time with them and less time being “out”, even if it was at Bible Studies or Co-ops or park days. Those were not “bad” things, just not the priorities the Lord was giving me for my family. I was neglecting the BEST things for the GOOD things.

Anyway, I set up my schedule (after much agonizing) and began to implement it. Things went slowly. We started with just the morning activities and the immediate impact on our home life was AMAZING! The kids LOVED it! What a relief for them to know that the most important people in their lives would spend time with them everyday…not just if they had left over time/energy later.

We were able to accomplish so much in shorter periods of time, in terms of school also. Math no longer was dragging on and on, becoming a bore. We knew we had just a short amount of time to work on it so we got right down to business and then put it away at the appointed time. No longer was I nagging them to do their chores in the middle of their playtime. It was a relief to everyone.

Everyone, including hubby, noticed a relaxing effect. I was afraid it would turn me into a drill sergeant, barking orders, and demanding we watch the clock all day. But it had the opposite affect. I became calmer and less stressed about what needed to be done. The kids became more relaxed also, knowing they wouldn’t be yelled at all day to get things done.

Well, since that time our schedule has been through many changes. The one I made for the book is not even close to being the one that works best for us now. For a while it seemed we were changing it every month. To me, that is the secret…Don’t quit…just change it to make it work better. There have been times we have chucked it all together, but we always come back to it, knowing the benefits it will bring.

We are expecting a new baby any day now and I have been working on a new schedule. I want it in place and working so that when I am oblivious on the couch for those first few weeks, the kids will still know what is expected of them. It will make it easier for Grandma to supervise everyone also.

Yes, one year later, we are still using a schedule and no one in our family is willing to go back to our old life! If you ask me again in 10 years, I’m sure the answer will be the same. We love the freedom it gives us and the comfort of knowing that we will get the important things done. I know this is long…but I am still as enthusiastic as ever and could go on and on about how it has changed our lives. Thanks, Teri, and family for such a heart for us struggling young moms. We are eternally grateful.

In Him,
Kathy

Ellen

I was very impressed with the freedom that our family enjoyed while we were using a schedule. We got so much done, with seemingly little effort! The children loved the predictability of “doing the next thing” on the schedule during school hours, and of having planned and reliable family time each day. This contrasted sharply with the relative chaos that erupted on the days last school year when we fell off our schedule! We were all so surprised that a simple ordering of our time could make such a difference in the tone of our family life!

Despite knowing how much more smoothly everything had gone for us with our schedule, when school ended, I chose not to make a summer schedule. We had several open-ended projects we wanted to accomplish, plus a lot of relaxing fun activities in store for our family. I felt that having a schedule during our school vacation time would be too restrictive to our spontaneity, since I anticipated that all our days could run differently.

As I come up for air, I can say that it was a mistake not to have time management plan! I don’t think we’ll try another “schedule-less” summer! We ended up wasting a lot of time that we could have profitably spent either playing or working! We didn’t come close to accomplishing the projects we had planned for ourselves, and we weren’t able to do lots of the “fun” things we had wanted to do, either! For our family, having a schedule makes the difference between productivity and spinning our wheels!

Rejoicing in Him,
Ellen

Ricki


Are we still using a schedule?

Yes, and no. We “did” summer without a schedule. I thought I would enjoy the “freedom”. But alas, I confessed to someone the other day that I was looking forward to starting school (and my new schedule!) because I had had all the chaos I could stand for a while.

Last week, I finished my new schedule for this year. We are all excited about starting again. Yes, even the children. My ten year old son said, “Things go better” with a schedule.

True confession time! I tried the schedule in the first place because I was tired of feeling overwhelmed all the time not because I liked the idea of scheduling. We used to get some school done everyday, and some house work but I felt frazzled and discouraged with the atmosphere and never accomplishing what I thought we could. Then we tried the schedule. I saw tremendous results. Things just “go better” as my son says! Now the confession, my flesh doesn’t like following a schedule. It goes against my nature. I’d like to say that I’m spontaneous and free spirited but basically I’m just undisciplined! That is why I took the summer off.

What I know is……………you can’t manage a home and a “homeschool” (especially with lots of children) without learning to be disciplined! And by disciplined, I don’t mean we can’t have any fun, I just mean that I’ve figured out what is important to us a family, including time to read and play and its in our schedule! I’ve definitely found it is more fun to be disciplined, calm and accomplishing things that it is to be spontaneous, free spirited, and frazzled!

In short, I’m very pleased with the changes scheduling has brought to my home and I would (and have!) recommend Managers of Their Homes to all my friends.

Ricki, “still scheduling mom” to eight sweet blessings

Sheri


Hello Maxwells,

I just wanted to let you know that I have continued to use your scheduling system. We have relaxed it considerably this summer, but it was there to guide us on the days we have been home. I am currently working up a new one for this fall. We are going to be moving next month (dh is Coast Guard) and I did a quick schedule with your system for this month of sorting and packing in prep for the move. Your system works and I believe I will always use it and benefit from it. Thank you very much.

Sheri

Debbie


Hi Teri,

We are still using a schedule. It has made a big difference in our home. Some days are better than others, but the biggest difference is my obedience. If I am doing what God wants me to do, things just go better, even if the schedule gets sidetracked. In most cases, my schedule has laid out for me already what God wants me to do.

My friend’s sister in law just put together her schedule, and she loves it. I heard her “testimony”, and it was so neat. This lady is young, but has bad arthritis, and has had hip replacement surgery this year. She prayerfully went through the book, and started up, and the first 3 days have gone great.

It seems to me that if you have initial success, and then things fizzle, you have to remember to keep relying on God’s strength. The schedule can never become a replacement for relying on the Lord. Every part of our lives is dependent on him. I really think that that is the key, to the schedule, to homeschooling, to life in general. Trials will come, but in many cases, we just fail to keep our eyes on the Lord and rely on him.

Love,
Debbie

Kathy


Dear Teri,

I have continued to use my schedule throughout the school year. Upon completion of school we began to use a modified, simpler summer schedule. One that gave us the flexibility to sleep in, if we so chose to do so and also go on vacations, run errands, just play and enjoy our summer. It still kept us organized and from forgetting to do important things. As we began school again yesterday, we are once again implementing the schedule. We are making some modifications, one of which is due to our newest addition born July 23rd! Our biggest change right now is in the time we get up and begin. As I am up in the night, getting up at 5 am is not feasible for now. I do intend to move right back into our schedule with some slight modifications as soon as Abby begins sleeping through the night.

We have loved our schedule and would and do highly recommend this book and scheduling kit to any mom who is willing to follow God’s standards and flee confusion (which is exactly the atmosphere of most homes today). We are organizers, but this book helped to keep everything in perspective and just get us to where we needed to be. Again, my husband is thrilled with this! He loves knowing what we are doing while he is at work. He has a copy of our schedule there so he knows when is a good time to call us and check in.

We most definitely plan to continue our scheduling throughout our homeschooling years and even once our homeschooling years are past. It is just so beneficial and helpful to have everything planned out ahead of time, while also knowing that if need be, we can change things around as we are not slaves to our schedule, but it is a helper to us!

Thanks again, Teri and Steve–you have been a god-send,
Kathy

Tracy


(Note: Tracy responded to our message by quoting and then responding to our actual questions)

I am still using a schedule.Me: Greatly modified during summer months because of travel, etc.

I have been pleased with the changes my schedule brought to my home. Me: Ecstatic is more like it!! : )

I wasn’t able to continue with my schedule last year but am planning to try again this year. Me: No. I really did use my schedule until the last day of school and then went to a modified summer schedule which I use parts of here and there as I can between vacation, etc.

I feel Managers of Their Homes was helpful to me and would recommend it to others. Me:Definitely!!

I haven’t responded before about my “Test MOMY-Hood year 2 experience” because I feel that I will have more to share after I make up next year’s school schedule. I did make up a summer schedule which I use parts of each day, but I don’t follow all of it daily in its entirety like I did (for the most part) with my original schedule in the book. On my summer schedule, I do the parts that apply to that particular day, but summer is full of vacations, park days, etc.

I must say, though, that it was a lot easier to make up my summer schedule, and I am truly looking forward to designing my next year’s school schedule…year 2…the ongoing saga … : ) Last year, when I made my first schedule, it took a lot of mental energy to think about what I wanted to do, decide when to do it, and then implement it all. It was daunting at times, but the pay-offs were great. This year I feel none of those mind-bending thought processes, but find that parts of my year 2 schedule are already floating happily around in my head. I will share more of my experiences after I develop my new schedule and implement it Aug. 30th for the beginning of a new school year.

Love,
Tracy test MOMY
MOMY to 6 angelic rascals: Tag 8, Keene 7, Blaze 5, Gage 3.5, Raimy, Rab 1

Cindy


Teri,

I have to say that we struggled with our first year of scheduling. The days we stuck to it were very good. I think the best thing from the schedule that we implemented was the time set aside for each of our older children to take a break from his/her schooling to be assigned to the youngest children. This worked so well.

But I still have so much more to be done. I do not know if I will use a strict 1/2 hour by 1/2 hour time slot or just a more generalized one for next year. We are still definitely going to continue to schedule this upcoming school year. I already have a tentative schedule in place but am sure it will need some reworking before it is done.

I certainly feel there have been advantages to having a schedule. And just because I continue to struggle to implement doesn’t mean that I throw it out as unobtainable or not worth the effort. I struggle with many issues in life such as: consistency in showing true love to my husband and children/discipline/devotions/prayer life/submission/kindness in my speech/joyfulness/gratefulness/ etc., etc., etc. and of course ORDERLINESS! I cannot say that I obtained instant orderliness 🙂 But I didn’t then assume that it was because the book was not beneficial. It certainly was. I just need to continue to daily try to implement all the practical wisdom that I gleaned from the book. So if you are looking for instant success it might not work. It wasn’t a “magic wand” in our house. But as I lead a more disciplined life I know that I will continue to reap benefits. The Maxwell’s book is helping me to do just that.

Sincerely,
Cindy

Lorrie


Hi, I RELY on our schedule to get things done. We have switched to a summer schedule which includes less school and lots of swimming and outside time. I will revamp our winter one to start over with Oct. 1.

Our schedule is something that we all like. The children prefer the days that we follow it closely and it certainly makes the days go smoothly with most everything that we needed to accomplish getting done. Without a schedule the list of “To Do’s” grows much faster than we can keep up with.

I tell people about MOTH as often as I get the opportunity since it has been such a blessing in our family.

Happily Serving Him,
Lorrie

Tracy L.


Teri,

I’ll be glad to answer your “year after” questions:

I am still using a schedule.Me: Yes.

I have been pleased with the changes my schedule brought to my home.Me: Yes.

I feel Managers of Their Homes was helpful to me and would recommend it to others.Me: Always!!

We have scaled down our schedule due to my pregnancy and now with the baby, we are currently trying to put together a new schedule with the baby included. I can tell such a difference with the schedule when I’m on it, and so can my kids!

Thanks,

Tracy L.

Renee

Dear Teri,

I want to thank you for your faithfulness to all of us even after the ‘project’ is completed. I can still sense your deep caring when I read anything you write to us or to other MOMYs on the digest. I first wanted you to know that I am so grateful that you are there willing to help wherever it is needed! You amaze me!!

I also wanted to thank you for your encouragement for us who aren’t that great *still* in the scheduling dept. You wrote into MOMYS awhile back some tips and one was that you have to be realistic with your wake-up time or the rest of the day is behind and you become discouraged from the start. I think that was a revelation that I missed the first time around. I am sure you probably said that several times, but somehow I missed it. I never got up at the right time…and guess what? I was behind. I am sure you remember that this was the first time I have ever done any kind of scheduling, so it has been easy to let the actual times go. I do, however, plan to redo and make a realistic schedule for the upcoming school year. I definitely see the benefits.

What I really put in to practice is a lot of your “nuggets” throughout the book, such as naptimes (or rest times) for all the kids at a specific time. And some ideas for chores for my kids, and the kitchen chapter were also beneficial in planning. I know there is a lot more that I am not thinking of right off the top of my head. I just got back my book from a friend who is a “Read Only” MOMY.

EVERYONE wants to borrow it. Thanks for not making those of us feel bad if we aren’t actually sticking to our schedules to the tee!! : )!!

With Much love,

Renee

Terri

Hi Teri,

I am not using the schedule at present but do stick to a lot of the ideas gleaned from the project such as certain kids having certain laundry days and each child is supposed to be responsible for certain areas of house work. I still need to take time for more extensive training for each child but have not taken the time. We are in the process of starting a home photography business and it seems things are happening too fast and spontaneous to plan them. And my husband tends to believe God will lead each day and if we use a schedule we will miss God’s leading. I am leaning at this point to thinking I need a “light” schedule, but don’t think we need everything scheduled. We are still a work in progress and have gleaned a lot of good from your book. But at this point I have no plan to sit down and draw up a schedule like I did. But that does not mean I will not in the future. I just do not have the time right now to undertake it. I know these are not exactly answers to your questions but hope they help.
Thanks,

Terri

Robyn Lee

We did not stick with the original schedule that we turned in for the book. At least, not all of it. It was far too structured for the little ones. I ended up altering the schedule to a much looser one, but based on the basic framework of the original.

Having a schedule has definitely changed the way we do things around here. We had a very loose schedule for the summer, but we did have a schedule in place and I think that we always will in the future. The few times that I let things loose, it seems like all the kids did was fight (esp. the younger set). And with the younger ones, I don’t have them scheduled all day. But it seems like if they start out the day with some structured, highly supervised time, the rest of the day just goes better.

Right now I am putting together our schedule for the coming school year. It’s been very easy because the basic framework is in place from last year. All I have to decide on are the details.

The MOTH book has definitely changed our lives for the better and I constantly recommend it to anybody who is interested in getting their life more organized.

Thank you,
Robyn Lee

Connie

Dear Teri

This summer has been a ‘free for all’ but we are hoping to get back to some kind of schedule soon.I will let you know how it compares to the one in your book when I figure it out.I hate to discourage others I feel that our problems have a lot to do with a lack of self discipline and a lack of organization.I feel quite panicky thinking of starting school.

Love,

Connie

Lisa

Dear Teri and all you other test MOMYS,

Hi and I pray that each of you is having a very profitable summer, and that you are at least enjoying some benefits from your schedule, even if you are not running “full steam”.

We have just brought home our newly adopted daughter from Bulgaria, Rossilyn. She has just turned eight years old, and can say her name in English! She will also repeat most any other thing when we request her to! The Bulgarian word we use to request this is “Puftoree”.

This morning Kurt left for work for the first time she she has been home, and I was thinking about my schedule, already trying to decide just what changes I will need to make for the upcoming school year when we jump from having just two officially in school to having 4! We have decided to group Rossilyn with Samuel in K, who knows his letters, and can form many of them, and can even sound out a few words. She has had no prior schooling, and from what I can see of her fine motor skills, she will do well at this level.

Although we are not running a full schedule (we are not doing school right now for one thing), I still continue to enjoy the benefits and blessings of that first schedule I did for the book. Somehow, I am able to be much more task-and time-oriented. It does make for more productive days.

For those of you who are wondering, I was not diligent to get up to milk the goats when I was supposed to, but never fear, I am determined with God’s help to do this! 🙂

Teri, how do I update my schedule? Do I begin at the beginning again, or do I somehow switch things around on the one I have, “tweaking” it into place??

Thank you for this message board, I do expect it to be a BIG success!

Rejoicing in Jesus,
Lisa

Kathleen

Our schedule went great until mid-April, when we got a new puppy and also got a bottle-fed calf. This really messed things up but we stumbled along until late May, when I said to all, “We are going to stop the schedule till after we get the garden planted.” Well, then things really fell apart, and it took me a month to get the garden planted! Then I finally made a summer schedule out in late June and things have gone much better since then. Our summer schedule is extremely flexible, as it seems like we are constantly dealing with new activities, such as trips, swimming lessons, fair and 4-H activities, etc. But when we are all home we do the schedule to some degree and it keeps us on track. My house is much messier this summer, but I know it is temporary.

The lesson I learned this spring is to NEVER say, “We are stopping the schedule.” Rather, I should have said, “OK on the schedule when we WERE doing school (or whatever) that time we will use to plant the garden until it is done.” That way, big time-consuming but self limited jobs, of which there are a lot on the farm, can be tackled without throwing out the whole thing and dissolving into chaos again.

Kathleen

Another Kathleen

Yes I am still scheduling, though this summer has been more off than on. Once the fall comes, we will be more regular. In the summer, we had more added activities that differed daily, and I found it hard to stay on a schedule…this is an area that might be expanded in future editions of the book…how to handle different daily schedules. It is one thing to say, “Try not to do that…stay at home more etc” but another thing when that just IS what is happening in the family.

I have found scheduling to be a great thing, though it is actually a rare day when I am on course the entire day. I demand feed my baby, and that presents its own challenges, but still find it better to schedule the rest of the family than to let my baby’s needs run the entire family. We just fit him into everyone else’s schedule.

The biggest long-term benefit I have found is that I am consistently training my kids to work, because we have a regularly scheduled core time. I do this almost every day, no matter what else the day brings. So my house is more in order than it used to be.

I am still using a schedule. Me: YES.

I have been pleased with the changes my schedule brought to my home. Me: YES – I wasn’t able to continue with my schedule last year but am planning to try again this year.

I feel Managers of Their Homes was helpful to me and would recommend it to others. Me: YES.

From the Organic Noodle Farmers,
Steve and Kathleen, parents of Quin, Brenna, Deirdre, Grady, and Kell