Monday, April 09, 2007

My Usual Plan

1. Check the Filofax before bed and again first thing in the morning. If I have court, I want to know about it. The Filofax (mine's red) goes out and about with me and no appointment or hearing gets scheduled without its knowledge and consent.

2. The list--everything that needs to be accomplished in the day gets written down in a spiral notebook that sits on my little table in the kitchen. School, music practices, cleaning plans, exercise, phone calls, sewing goals, dinner menus.

3. Get going. We eat breakfast, clean it up, do our cleaning chores, and start school around 9:00. While the four school children do their work, I check, advise, answer questions, and do my house projects for the day. Always laundry, prep cooking, baking, work phone calls, tidying. Cannot concentrate during these hours, so nothing involved. We try to finish school by lunch, but Giles, who is completely independent, often has hours more of work.

4. Children are cruelly forced after lunch to practice their instruments and expose themselves to fresh air. I clean up the kitchen, start dinner if possible, and then go for a walk. Children are often also cruelly forced to babysit Daisy during this half hour.

5. Usually by 3:30 or 4:00 the list is almost accomplished. This means that I can often sit down for half an hour or an hour and sew, embroider, or (rarely) read.

6. I start cooking dinner around 5:00. That snowballs into our meal together, then we mess around til Daisy's bed and bath. She's usually down by 8:00. I do my law practice paperwork (please! no more than an hour!), then sew, or read if I'm wiped out.

7. I usually have court one, two, or three mornings a week. If I do, the kids do their schoolwork while I'm gone, with supervision from their father. Chores get pushed to the afternoon, and the day at home rolls on as usual.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, I've been reading through your archives and wondering how you accomplish so much! I'd enjoy more posts on your household organization and, of course, more recipes - your meal descriptions all sound so lovely! Also I was wondering if you would be willing to share more photos of your home. I've caught little glimpses from past pictures and they are very inspiring!

Thanks so much for sharing with us here. You are a huge inspiration to me!

God bless,

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I have often wondered how you were able to get everything're organized!

I remember my old corporate days when my calendar was my brain. There was even a section where I wrote notes about phone conversations as they were taking place.

That was when I was in my 30s. Now I need to write down what I decided to defrost for dinner...sigh.

Anyway, thank you again for the charming post.

It's a Mom Thing said...

All I can say is DITTO to what Olivia posted above. Your home, your meals, your hobbies all seem so pretty and perfect. I would love to see and know more about how you do it all. I really enjoy each new post!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I wondered too how you do things at your house. You must be really disciplined. It also seems like you don't "flip out" over "school". I think a more relaxed approach is better too....well, meaning that work and projects are done and mastered, but the joy of learning is foremost. I have home educated for almost 11 years now. I know my daughter (18) appreciates the independence I have allowed her in learning....I always guide, but don't drag. She has grown into a wonderful, Godly young woman and will always have the joy of learning in her heart. I am sure you can see the same rewards in your oldest son.

I was curious as to what made you decide to homeschool. Have you always?

Cheryl :-)

Marie said...

What sort of law do you practice?

Anna said...


Yes, we've always homeschooled. Our main reason for beginning was the fact that both the Composer and I remembered school as an incredible waste of time. It takes so long to get down to learning anything at all. Also, we wanted our children to be with people who adored them.

Marie--I work in juvenile court, representing parents whose children are in foster care. I also do some adoption work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your 'usual plan'. It's very helpful to see how those who get so much done do it. Can you share what Daisy does while the older children do school? I have a 4, 2 and 4 mos. baby as well as 2 older school age children and keeping them occupied seems to be the biggest challenge.
I'd also love to know what you do for school that works for your family.
Thank you so much for sharing on your beautiful blog.
God bless,

Melissa said...

I nominated you for a Thinking Blogger award. I mostly lurk here but I thought I would give you credit for the enjoyment your blog brings me.

Karen said...

Anna, you have a wonderful ministry here!
I have lurked and at times commented, and I have been impressed with your site for a long time.
It's encouraging to many the ways that you "teach" in your everyday life. Thank you for sharing a part of that with us.
p.s. our approach to homeschooling is basically the same as yours. We wouldn't change a thing in our school.

Unknown said...


I have a question about your spiral notebook. Do you simply label each individual page with the date and then write a list of what needs to be done? Or is your notebook split up into catergories (i.e. meals in one section, piano lesson dates in another sections, sewing goals in another section, etc.)?

Just curious. I'm always interested in how other moms organize their days.


Cindi said...

Thank you for a look into your days. I enjoy getting glimpses of what others do who homeschool so that I can glean ideas from them.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is beautiful!
You are very talented and interesting.

Trina said...

Anna, thank you for this post. As the other ladies have said, it's great to get more details of how you go about living the way you do. I don't know HOW you manage an outside job along with everything else! Thanks again for your inspiration to us to live life beautifully. Your blog is one of my favorites!
P.S. I, too, would love to have a peek at your notebook! :) I have my 'brain on paper' as well, but it's always fun to see another's system.

Baleboosteh said...

"...Our main reason for beginning was the fact that both the Composer and I remembered school as an incredible waste of time. It takes so long to get down to learning anything at all. Also, we wanted our children to be with people who adored them."

Beautifully put! School must be the same the world over as your experiences as to the 'waste of time' echo those of my husband and I in the UK. Would it be cheating to share this quote with the next person who asks us why we are planning to homeschool?

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you were an attorney. I never would have just don't seem like the attorneys I know (my husband is one also). And I thought I would mention that we are wanting to adopt again, if you need to find an adoptive couple. :)

Heather said...

Thank you for "opening" the door of your home to us. You are so gracious and certainly an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

KylaJean said...

I have been lurking on this site for the last week or so...I recently left the corporate world to work from home. I have loved reading your blog as I am starting to enjoy my home, my yard and kitchen for the first time in 6 years of marriage. I have to tell you that I was homeschooled and my husband and I are trying to start our family. I am learning and adjusting everyday in order to balance everything and Your blog has shown me that I can keep my career, have a beautiful home, raise children, and maybe even homeschool. Thank you for your inspiration!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm a lurker, too - and find much beauty here in your blog. (Where does blogging fit into the schedule?) :)

You are impressive, Anna. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your days, your life, your family with the rest of us.

Anna said...

Oh dear, everyone should realize that there's no perfection here! Surely you do . . .

I agree that managing a small child is the most challenging aspect of homeschooling. I let Daisy watch a video from the library most mornings for 30-45 minutes while I do my most intensive schooling and housework.

Lori--I start a new page each day. I also use that page to write down any phone messages, notes to self that need recording, etc. When the notebook is full, I check to see if any info needs to be put somewhere permanently, then toss it and start in a new notebook.

Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic interest! Oooh, and for the thinking blogger nomination!


Heather said...

I just knew you would have a very common sense approach to your day, and you do! Our schedule is simular, but I see areas where I can make ajustments and squeeze in more time for a good brisk walk and crafting! Thank you for sharing! We are not to the independant learning stage quite yet, but are working towards it!Often I am sitting at the school table all morning and just getting up to switch laundry loads! I also no longer have my husband working from home and I am realizing more how much of a difference that made for us.

I did finish one embroidery project that my MIL started over 40 years ago. With the help of The Encyclopedia of Stitchery 1957, I was able to practice a bit on the edge and do a decent job finishing it up. Do you know how to remove yellowish stains from old linen without marring the colors in the embroidery? I'll have to consult my books! 1 unfinished project completed - 9 to go! I was amazed to find the old Coats & Clark color chart included matched my selection of floss - I guess somethings don't really change! Maybe after this I'll try to embellish something sweet for our girl!

Anonymous said...

That's great! Thanks for sharing as it pours light on why I can't seem to find time to paint. I need to purge stuff as I have too much to sort/organize/maintain ~ and I must get my children helping during an organized time of "cruel chores" >grin<
Maybe I'll finish that oil painting which has been staring at me for months on end...
Blessings to you!

Unknown said...

Very efficient system. Congrats on being select for the 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards.

Anonymous said...

Like the others above have, I'm impressed at what you accomplish.

When do you plan curriculum? Do you use a pre-packaged school program or derive your own? Do you allow recess and 'breaks'?

I am finding that, when we attempt school from 8-12, we get a lot done ... as long as there aren't important interruptions.

Also, would appeciate any input you have on kids and friends. It sometimes gets difficult to set the kids to working when their friends are off.


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