Saturday, December 6, 2008

Block Scheduling

On our trip home from AZ, MM and I talked about things we could work on to improve our marriage. One of MM's complaints was that he can't actually see what we do all day - he has this idea that I loaf around all day reading books while BW plays video games. Heh! A lot of it is rooted in the fact that he's a 'gotta see it to believe it' guy, and when he comes home to a somewhat messy house, he wonders. It also doesn't help that I'm pretty vague about the things we accomplish. I'm more of an 'oh, this and that' responder, which doesn't help the situation.

This irritates MM to no end. He wants to see things getting done He wants specifics. He's working hard all day, and it really bothers him to think we're at home sleeping late and goofing off all day long. It makes him jealous - he wants to stay home and sleep late and goof off, too, by golly. I understand where he's coming from and if our situations were reversed, I'd be unhappy. Probably more than unhappy. OK, I'll admit it, I'd be a raving maniac if I came home to a messy house and vague assurances that 'something' was done on the home schooling front.

In an effort to make MM a little more satisfied with being sole breadwinner, I wrote out a block schedule for BW and I to follow during the week. I scheduled in meal prep, home schooling, cleaning, group activity time and study time for myself once school starts again. We committed to following it for the next several weeks to see how it works out, and last week was week number one.

I am pleased to announce it worked out rather well. I have a problem with procrastinating and putting things off, and then becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that need to be accomplished. My laundry is forever piling up, clean but unfolded, on the couch. My dishes do the same (minus the clean and unfolded bit) in the kitchen sink. The clutter multiplies while I sleep, and I still haven't worked out a good system for filing my paperwork and bills. Last week, I vowed to change things.

The house was already relatively clean, and I managed to unpack and get everything put away from our trip the day after we got home. This is some sort of record for me, just so you know. I've been known to find things still packed when I pull out my suitcase for the next trip, months later. With BW's help, the kitchen was thoroughly cleaned, trash cans were emptied, bedrooms were cleaned, and toys were put away. We logged in two or three hours a day of 'school' stuff - reading, math, science, and Bravewriter activities. BW has been really into card games lately, so we borrowed a book of rules and began learning a few games. BW has even learned the rules to Gin Rummy, one of my personal favorites. I even made some phone calls and think I have pinned down what we might end up doing for Christmas (I'll post more on that when we decide for sure).

All in all, it was a successful week. I even managed to jot notes in my day planner so I can look back and see exactly what we did each day. I feel like we got a lot done, and it was done happily for the most part. There is something to being more organized, and as much as I kick and scream about doing it, I really like having a loose schedule to follow. Not that we'll follow it every day, but it gives us something to work towards. It will definitely help me keep on top of things once the semester starts again and I have all that to deal with too. Of course, I remember being all organized about this time last year, and that didn't stick, so maybe I'm being a little overly optimistic....

At any rate, here's hoping December proves to be a month filled with folded laundry, empty sinks, filed paperwork, picked up toys, and an abundance of educational joy. That will be MM's real Christmas gift! And as for me, well, there's always that island....

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