A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

At the beginning of Lent, I made a promise to myself and to God that I would emerge from Lent a new person. And in a some ways, I have. But there’s a not-so-teensy part of my life that I haven’t completely given over to God yet, and I need to get on the same page as my Lord and just.do.it. (My God is *not* Nike, just in case anyone’s wondering, but I thought the slogan apropos.) “Just Do It” in my world means = put together a new Mother’s Rule of Life, and stick to it. God, after all, I’m reminded often, is a God of ORDER, and the more I resist that ORDER, the more I get in trouble. As I’ve gotten older and gained more experience homeschooling, I’ve come to the conclusion that a Rule of Life does make a lot of sense. Why I haven’t stuck to one before, I can’t explain — probably pigheadedness, or immaturity, or both.

I’ve posted schedules and chore charts here before, but children grow, and responsibilities change, so we adjust schedules as needed. What I post here today is our CURRENT IDEAL schedule. It doesn’t happen like this 100% of the time. Usually we’re lucky if we’re able to stick to it 75% of the time, but since I had an excellent Lent, I’m trying to keep to my Lenten promises and shoot for 100%. As long as the most important pegs stay in place, then we’re able to function well from day to day… but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to strive for perfection.

If you’re a new homeschooler visiting, please don’t let this overwhelm you. Note that my children are now 4, 11, 14, 16 and 22. Eighty-percent of them are self-directed learners now, give or take some days when I have to push and prod and…. nag. (Yeah, I do a bit of that too, but let’s not talk about nagging right now :D.)

I share this so you have an idea of how a Catholic homeschooling mom’s day works (or, FOR ME, *should*). When the children were younger, I spent more time on “LESSONS WITH” and hardly any on “Projects”, so the projects piled up through the years. My favorite homeschooling years so far were circa ~2006-2008, when the children were at the perfect age for doing Latin together as a group, and we’d go to Mass in the mornings and tackle Latin first thing when we got home and after/while having breakfast. I sometimes wish my kids were still that age, as I really miss the ~1-2 hours we spent together in the living room, some of us on the couches, some of us on the floor, reciting our Latin phrases over and over. There were complaints about tedium and boredom and Latin being A DEAD LANGUAGE, MOM, but for the most part we had fun together and they’re thankful now for having had that bit of background. And yeah, kids grow.

So here it is, our new schedule, for your enjoyment/edification 😀 and perhaps, some kind of accountability for me, since I’m putting it out there. This is MOM’s schedule, by the way. The kids have their own, matching mine for lessons and Mass and mealtimes, but everything else is determined by them, the only requirement being that they get their work done in a timely manner. (“Timely” may mean different things to different people, but that will have to be the subject of another post at another time.) 🙂

6:00 Invitatory, Morning Prayer, Shower
6:30 Breakfast Prep, Answer E-mail, Laundry
7:30 Breakfast
8:30 Mass
9:30 Lessons with Yena
10:30 Nino, Project 1
11:00 Lunch Prep
12:00 Lunch, Cleanup, Laundry
1:00 Religion with Migi
2:00 Nino, Quiet Time
3:00 Divine Mercy Chaplet, Garden (spring to fall), Exercise
4:00 Project 2 (while kids cleanup hot spots)
5:00 Dinner Prep
6:00 Dinner Prep, Project 3
7:00 Dinner, Cleanup
8:00 Family Rosary
8:30 Project 4
9:30 Get Ready for Bed
10:00 Bedtime Reading, Lights Out

There are many things that are part of our day but which don’t appear here. Grocery-shopping isn’t here — that happens rather randomly: when we’re out of food, or at least food that the kids will eat, about every week or 1 1/2 weeks. Sicknesses also mess up the schedule, as to be expected. And the kids have too many evening activities now (scouts, AHG, choir, Dead Theologians Society, etc.), so the family dinner happens anywhere between 5 and 10 most days, and there are days when we don’t all eat together. A sad thing but that’s the phase of life we’re in, and we try to make up for it on the weekends, when we linger at the dinner table and write in our family journal as we eat.

“Projects” can mean anything — a post I’m working on for the blog, curtains for Aisa’s room, hemming my hubby’s pants, the unending basement decluttering project, finishing the photobook at Shutterfly, spending a bit of time at the forum or at Facebook :D, etc.

I have to confess I’ve been the #1 violator of the 10:00 bedtime rule, but I’m really trying to be better and got to a nice start this Lent. Unfortunately, my kids, of course, had all picked up on my habits early on and are night owls themselves. But I’ll leave it up to them to determine if/when they need to make any changes there, when the time is right.

Related Posts:

Following the Schedule: Mother’s Rule of Life
My Favorite GTD Flowchart