Organise Your Life with the Help of the FlyLady!
© Beverley Paine
Have you met the FlyLady yet? Thousands of homeschooling mums follow her common sense eleven commandments to help them organise their lives and remain sane!
It is well known that children, especially young children, appreciate and thrive when we live with well established and consistent routines. I never thought of our life as having routines because they didn't resemble the kind of routines I saw in other family homes. Although we weren't rigid with fixed time schedules our daily and weekly life had its own predictability. There are a few routines, however, that if we had established them early in our children's lives, would have saved each of us time and effort down the track. Habits like these are much easier to set when we're young.
FlyLady urges us to "Do your morning and before bedtime routine every day." It sounds so simple, so common sense that it doesn't seem necessary to mention it. Yet everyday millions of parents lose their cool in the morning and last thing at night, nagging "Have you cleaned your teeth?", "Did you make your bed?" and so on. What is needed is a concerted effort to create adequate time and space every night and each morning to complete those tasks that we need to do upon rising or going to bed.
There is a mindless comfort in doing the same thing in the same way at the same time each day. Repeating patterns have always fascinated human beings. Nature abounds in repetitive patterns. It shouldn't be hard to establish a few of our own in our daily habits! All we need is a little mindfulness and some solid reasons why we want and need to establish the habit.
A bedtime story and/or praying together after cleaning teeth and washing face and hands or bath time doesn't seem so hard. What it requires first and foremost is our presence with the child. All too often we give up this presence when the child leaves the toddler years behind, believing that the child is old enough to be responsible for him or herself. Our presence at this time is reassuring and comforting to our children, right up until the time they say "hey mum, do you mind, I'd like to clean my teeth in private!"
In the same way that we need to be there, with our children, to help establish the night time routine, we need to be there in the morning, helping them to select their clothes, get dressed, make their bed, organise breakfast, wash up and clean their teeth before the day gets underway. It may sound irksome, an interruption to the organisation of our adult days, but aside from developing habits that create a great way to start each day for the rest of their lives, you're teaching them the effectiveness of mentoring as a learning tool, and the value of cooperative behaviours.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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