Well, we’re at the point where enough is enough. I have been teaching my children the routine for far too long.
We have been doing the same thing – well, almost the same thing – every single day. There is school, free time, quiet time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, chores, you know, a life lived together.
So I’m going to try something new. I’m going to give them the gift of learning the art of time management for themselves. It isn’t that different, really.
How it’s been going so far is this. Me: Okay, kids. It’s now eight. Chores. Kids: All right. Me: Okay, kids, it’s now nine. Time to have breakfast. Kids: Yes, mom. Me: Okay, school. Kids: Okay, mom. You get the drift. And this is how I want it to go. Me: School starts at 9, guys. At nine o’ clock, kids: Mom, I’m ready for school.
Really, how hard can it be? Well, I might have found out today.
Five minutes before our scheduled time for school, I confront my daughter, video game controller in her hand.
“But I didn’t hear you!” “But my brothers are always playing.” “But… but I didn’t know.”
After about ten minutes of listening to her non-excuses and explaining how things are going to go from now on, we moved on to doing the things we wanted to get done in the first place.
After all, since we’ve decided to unschool – at least on a small level – they’re going to need to learn to manage their own time.
Ultimately, I’m choosing to focus on the effort and energy I will save in the future by guiding them to learn to manage their own schedule. It will take effort now, but it will pay off in the end.