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Hey y’all, Tiffany here.
As many of you know, I decided to start homeschooling our kids this year. This was a difficult decision! I was really looking forward to my extra blogging time with only having one 2 year old in the house.
However, public school ended up not being the right decision for our family. (At least, not for right now.)
I now have to find a way to run two blogs, take care of the kids, manage my Crohn’s disease, and teach my kids!
Oh, and did I mention that we’re being licensed to become a foster home?
When I first started out the year, I felt overwhelmed. It seemed like I only was able to get a fraction of my to-do list done each day. My blogging was falling behind, and I was grumpy with my kids.
I turned to God in prayer. After all, He was the one who told me that I was supposed to be homeschooling AND my blog (and start this second blog). I knew that if He asked me to do something, then He would provide a way for me to accomplish it.
And boy, did He ever.
Shortly after that prayer, I kept thinking back to an object lesson that I used to teach my students about volume (back when I was a middle school math teacher).
If you have a jar that you want to fill with rocks and with sand, then you need to put the rocks in first, and the sand will fill in around it. If you try to put the sand in first, the rocks will sit on top and won’t fill in.
Picture courtesy of Children’s Ministry.
Similarly, the amount of what I need to put into my jar has changed. In the past, the “rocks” (time with my kids) and the “sand” (blogging) had plenty of room in the “jar” (how much time I have each day). It didn’t matter what order I put them in.
But now, I have more “rocks” (homeschooling) and those have to go in first, otherwise the sand will take up all the room. I can only make it work if I put my kiddos first. If I try to blog first and teach my kids second, then my kids just end up watching a lot of TV and fighting.
Put in the big rocks first
So now, when I plan out my week each Sunday, I put my big rocks in first.
I use a Franklin Day Planner that lets me plan out the week in 15 minute increments. First, I write down all of our “have-tos” first: any doctor appointments, co-op classes, dance lessons, etc. Those are my large rocks.
Add in the small rocks
Then I add in our homeschooling lessons, as well as mealtimes, getting ready, exercise, etc. I write down what I need to accomplish each day, and I try to balance out these little rocks with the big rocks that I have to get done.
For example, if on Mondays we have co-op in the morning and dance in the afternoon. This means we only do a little bit of homeschooling. Tuesdays we have co-op in the afternoon, so we can spend the morning doing homeschool. Wednesdays and Thursdays are open, so we do a lot of homeschool together on those days.
Finally, add the sand.
After all of this is filled in, I then pencil in my sand – all the different things I need to get done with my blog. I remind myself that my blogging to-do list is a guideline.
It comes in last compared to the rocks, and if I don’t get it all finished that day, it’s okay.
Having this different perspective has made a huge difference. I am a lot less stressed, and I fit a lot more into my day than I used to be able to! Even though the size of my jar hasn’t changed, it FEELS like it’s bigger because I can fit more in.
God blesses me; He knows I am trying to put His children first, and He helps me be able to also fit in the things that are important to me along the way. When I prioritize, my schedule is much more effective.