The homeschooling mom's perennial question. You know that kid's "song that never ends"? Well this is the question that never gets answered. It is one of the most-often asked questions I hear from both new and veteran homeschoolers. It has also been on my mind of late since we recorded the goal-setting podcast I mentioned in my last blog entry.
I've read many of the time management books, done some speaking on the topic, and designed multiple Excel spreadsheets and chore charts ... all in the name of getting it all done. But it occurred to me the other day that perhaps we're asking the wrong question. Not that the "how" question isn't a good one ... but I think there's a question we should ask before we ask how. I think first we should ask ourselves to define what ALL is.
Being a somewhat hyper-motivated individual in my younger years (I got over it), I remember well the struggle to say "no" to things. Every opportunity presented to me seemed to be a good thing, so I would think of course I should say yes to this! And before I knew it my plate was overflowing and I was asking that perennial question ... how was I ever going to get it all done?
Though it has been a painful lesson learned by hard experience, I regularly have to be reminded that not every opportunity, as good as each one may seem, is the best for me. And the process of determining what is best can be as simple as setting some well-defined goals. Decide what you're aiming for in life ... both short-term and long-term. Then as each opportunity presents itself, weigh it against your list of goals. Will this opportunity push you closer to any of those goals, or will it slow down your progress? A very practical way of practicing the Biblical mandate to redeem my time.
It's a well-known fact (probably someone somewhere has done a study) that homeschool moms suffer from we're not doing enough syndrome. Surely we need more sports, more music lessons, more field trips, etc... Perhaps what we really need is a prayed-over and well thought out list of goals!