Although many may think the homeschooling life is one of tiptoeing through the tulips and relaxed days reading under the backyard apple tree the opposite can often be true.
Doing our best to make sure our kids get socialized to the nth degree (although they are usually beautiful at being social and friendly to all age groups) we rush to get to outside activities including, coops, library story times, getting involved in the church happenings, badge groups and more.
This can end up leaving precious little time to enjoy life at home.
What if you've come to the point where you think you've taken on too much?
How do you pare down and simplify?
It can happen and often does. Life becomes too busy or even too exhausting. Your resources and energy are taxed.
How about taking it down a notch and living more simple life?
Creating simple living routines is a great step towards removing the busy clutter in our lives.
Here are some steps I like to take when getting things back to nice pace.
1. Pare Down or Remove Unnecessary Activities
Before you can create a simple routine in your life, you need to remove excess activities that are wearing you down. Do you have obligations, activities, and other things that you really don't need to be doing? Too much on your plate? This can bog your down emotionally, physically AND financially. Talk to your family about what you have going on and make decisions together to slim down and spend more time together at home.
Activity: Get a blank calendar and make a list of the responsibilities you and your family have each week for a month. Do you see things there that are unnecessary or maybe you should say no to? Find ways to cut back on your running to and fro.
I used to go grocery shopping 2x a week(!!!). We're a small family and I have a very well stocked pantry. I have no idea why I thought I needed to do this but I had to cut back. It was wasting gas, resources (I would buy just to buy) and time. This simple act cut our grocery bill in half (can you say unnecessary spending?) not to mention our gas bill.
What are your priorities in life? We just recently went through this on a planner review. Just thinking about and writing down what makes you tick? What makes you happy and what things you like to do. Think about how you want to spend your time daily. Make a list of things you feel would benefit the lives of you and your family. Maybe you want to establish regular wake up times. Or healthy, balanced meals that can be easily prepared for dinner each day. Decide what will best benefit your family life and make those your priority.
Activity: Print out a priorities sheet and list your priorities.
3. One Thing at a Time
Remember your goal is to simplify. Don't overwhelm yourself trying to make changes. Begin with your first priority and add it first, instead of trying to throw in everything at once. If you want your day to run smoothly and simply, start by waking at a certain time each day, or having a consistent bedtime. Then add a simple routine to one of those, such as a set of steps to help you fall into a restful sleep or set of steps to help you get a good start on the day with an organized morning routine.
After you have been doing your new steps regularly for a week or so, pick something else from your list of making things better and try it. Maybe you're ready to plan a week's worth of meals, and put your grocery shopping on a certain day. This helps you to be organized and avoid running to the store for missed items and afterthoughts on a daily basis. Keep it up, one step at a time, and you will soon find yourself with a nice simple routine.
4. Personalize It
No person or family will have the same routine as another. Sure you all wake up, hopefully eat something to keep you going. Clean up, get dressed etc. But the details of what this looks like to you and your family can very greatly.
Maybe, like my family, your family loves to take a walk together in the early evenings and get some exercise as well as enjoy nature. Maybe you have a juicer at home and have decided that at a set time each day you will all drink a cup of healthy juice. Maybe, to make homework time more productive, you all work together in the same room. You on paperwork, the kids on homework.
Whatever it is decide what your family goals are, such as health, family time, organization, and plan time for it accordingly. Set up opportunities that will enable you and your family to reach your goals without adding extra stress to your lives. Don't plan for family time on a busy day when you all have outside responsibilities. Make or set a day and time during the week when you can all come together in a relaxed manner and enjoy your time.
If one of your goals is a more simple life these simple steps can help you get there.
Prioritize and create some goals to help you get closer to the life you want. Create some simple living routines today and see what a difference it makes in every area of your life.