Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Goals and Routines: What Works for Darletta

Thanks, Darletta, for sharing how you have learned flexibility through a challenging season of life.

I love schedules and routines—probably too much.

I grew up in an out-lying community, so almost every time we wanted to be involved in an event, we had to plan ahead and prepare early. Time-consciousness grew on me during my sixteen years of teaching in a multi-grade classroom where I sliced my days into fifteen-minute segments.

When I married into a ready-made family, I thought enforcing routine was part of being a good mom. But God wanted me to learn flexibility. To fit into a household where the word "hurry" induces stress and anxiety, I had to rearrange my priorities.

I still enjoy setting goals for myself and seeing how many of them I can meet, but I can't expect as much of children who are neurologically underdeveloped. Since these children do benefit from the security of a schedule, I am thankful the bus arrives at 7:48 each school morning, but I no longer panic if a boy is still in the bathroom at 7:40. When the bus returns at 4:10 in the afternoon, I try to relax into a less exacting mode. Pushing too hard does not help us survive the four hours of chores, supper, and homework.

At this point in our parental work, we find it necessary to give relationships more weight than routines. 

All moms know the challenge of organizing a family, but here's my personal kudos to the ones who orient their schedules around high maintenance children. "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break."
- Darletta Martin - Maryland

1 comment :

  1. I have never homeschooled children, nor did I have a large family, but I did teach in a large public high school for 30 years and I learned one important thing about goals in general. Theology notwithstanding, there are things we absolutely have no control over, those we have nearly all control, and many many that we have influence and some degree of control over. Most of teaching and living with children (and people generally) falls in the third category. Different goals are appropriate for different categories. For the category over which we exert influence, I discovered the best goals are internal rather than external. I can't have a goal to make every child be a top student, but I can have as my goal to cover the material, knowledgeably, flexibly, and with excitement. That goal I can achieve, and it may well lead to the student's success anyway. Sorry for the long comment!


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