Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Homeschool Support Group Meeting

Tonight was our monthly Lighthouse meeting. Amy called me yesterday and asked me to share something on the topic of Organization. I think I may have harmed her eardrum when I burst out laughing. HA! I think I was born without the "organized" gene.
However, I must admit that after 25 years of marriage, 23 years of motherhood, and 14 years of homeschooling, I am much more organized than I was before ( at least in some areas ). So, as a work in progress, I agreed to share. I was one of 5 ladies who spoke about different aspects of being organized, and my focus was on Setting Priorities.

Many years ago, I attended a workshop at the NCHE Homeschool Conference on the topic of Setting Priorities. The speaker, a homeschool mom whose name I no longer remember, had quite a few things to say which struck home with me.
One was that for everything I say YES to, there is something that I am saying NO to. She shared her list of What I Do, and What I Don't Do, and encouraged us to make our own lists. So here is mine.

What I Do

Homeschool 2 children ( was 5, but as of graduation on Saturday, I am down to 2 - sniff sniff ) - and I use a curriculum ( Tapestry of Grace) which involves fairly significant teacher prep

Teach in weekly TOG Co-op

Teach Art at my dining room table once a week to my kids and some of their friends

Newsletter Editor for my support group

Chairman of Graduation Committee

Design and print diplomas

Host Tapestry Teas at my home

Help facilitate Saturday morning homeschool discussion groups

Attend monthly Lighthouse meetings

Talk with people about homeschooling

Blog / Facebook - to keep up with family and grown children, and to share our life with others

Check email several times a day

Read daily news & weather online; visit homeschool forums and blogs

Bake Bread

Cook dinner for my family almost every night

Cut coupons, make weekly menu, and grocery shop carefully

Do laundry daily

Read to my youngest every night before bed

Play board games with my kids

Attend almost all of kids' sporting events

Help my husband with Lighthouse Sports

Scorekeeper for daughter's volleyball team

Read books about Christian life and faith, motherhood, history, philosophy... and organization

Attend church weekly

Read Bible daily

Volunteer at Food Pantry once a month

Go out on a date with my husband once or twice a month

Occasionally make greeting cards, usually with my daughter

What I Don't Do

Keep a spotless house

Make my bed every morning ( sorry Eileen)

Spend time painting & decorating

Watch TV

Teach Sunday School

Participate in women's bible studies or women's ministry at church

Go to church on Wednesday night

Go shopping for fun


Workout at the Y

Pay the bills or figure the taxes ( my husband's gift, not mine )

Sew, knit, crochet

Scrapbook ( although I WANT to )

Sing in the choir - although I love it

Go to bed early

Paint, draw, do calligraphy - I will in another season

There are plenty of things I've missed, but you get the picture. I can do all that I do only because I also have decided not to do certain other things. I cannot compare myself to someone else; each of us is unique in our threshhold for activity, and in our God-given gifts and callings. In addition, God has given our families gifts and callings. Some families minister through teaching, some through music, some through hospitality, some through sports, some through physical labor... The things on my WHAT I DO list should reflect my individual and family gifts. The things I DO are my PRIORITIES - whether I say they are or not. My list of priorities will not look just like your list. My priorities should be in line with my own special gifts and callings, and my season of life!

If God has given me children, a husband , and a calling to homeschool --then I have built-in priorities that should take precedence over other good things!

Priorities will change with your Season of Life - Single, married, babies, young children, teens, empty nest.... look at your list and decide if there are things that can/should wait for a later season, so that you have time for other things that can ONLY be done now.

Don't let SATAN steal the time that God has given you to accomplish those things that are your priorities right now. Is your stumbling block the TV? computer? telephone? magazines? crossword puzzles? video games?

PRAY and ask for God's help in determining the priorities for this season of your life.


Creech Family said...

I've really appreciated that concept that you introduced me to a year or more ago - the "what I DON'T do" list. It really has helped, especially when there are things I would like to do or have done in the past that need to take a back seat to more pressing things. To everything there is a season.... Thanks for the reminder, it is esp. good this time of year as I think and pray about what to commit to next year. And I think you are much more organized than you think - I do not know a Mom who homeschools anywhere who has things as "together" as you do about school and sports and being a coach's wife and....!!

Shaw6pak said...

This is one of the many reasons why I have grown so fond of you. You are transparent and real. I can relate to you. And I very much love the idea of a do and don't list. Thanks for letting me off the hook on all the things I don't do. However, I may need a reminder in a few months.

Eileen and Jerry Mestas said...

I FORGIVE YOU! Even though it takes less than 1 minute to make a bed...I've timed it! I love you with all my heart and I agree 100% with everything you said.