Wanted to write today specifically about time. Really, time is far more important than any other resource (with more time you could work more and get more of whatever). Time is what is limited.
That being said. It is most important to simplify my schedule. Looking back, this is really a lot of what motivated me to simplify stuff. Doing that has opened up lots more time. But it isn’t just that. There are so many other time committments we sign up for.
Since we homeschool we have full control to schedule our days crazy. We have done 2 years of homeschool and have done them both differently. There are so many activities, lessons, play groups etc available. We had the first year (2 years ago) full of them. It was too much, school suffered and the kids were tired. So this past year we stripped back everything but our 1 hour community service project tuesday mornings. This worked great to allow us to travel with my husbands work but it also helped reduce stress.
I am all about a rounded education but I think it is possible to make it so rounded that the important stuff isn’t learned. The important stuff is the obvious reading, righting and math, but it also includes getting along, keeping a clean and organized house, quiet and imagination filled play and a calm living-in-the present life. I don’t want to raise my kids to rush around fitting everything in because that is where I am trying to untrain myself.
There is so much pressure for music, art, dance/swimming and other social activities that they can easily take over your days. My kids will probably never be recording artists or in the olympics but even if I had them involved in all this stuff they probably still woundn’t.
Oh, we still do lots of stuff but it is much more spontanious and based on how the day is going. When we started I was very concerned with socialization and scheduled lots of activities for that purpose. I got into several situations where my kids didn’t mesh and they hid behind me claiming they were too shy. However, I have watched my kids in the last few months find and make friends with kids at parks, museums and all over the place.
I read in a parenting book a few years ago that I (or my husband) should only have commitments 2 nights of the week. I think it is even better if it is only 1 night. Church commitments (parents and kids), sports, ‘nights out’ and all kinds of other things can easily fill up the week. For most families this is the only time they are together. This is huge. I think this is so important. 1 night a week spent separate and all the rest of the week do things together. Shop as a family, go to the park, play a board game, clean the house, make a special meal just do stuff together.
Also, I would love to hear from others as to how they have simplified. I would love to get a few other stories from others to add to my blog. If you have simplified and want to write about it send it over and I will include it.