Of Goals and Schedules

This past Saturday I went to a ladies brunch where Colleen Adams, a missionary wife in Northeastern Canada was speaking. She shared some very practical ideas about goal setting which has been timely as we continue to work on having an orderly home.

One of the most helpful things we have done to keep our home orderly is having some basic good habits that are constantly reinforced. Charlotte Mason said in her book, Home Education, "The more good habits we establish with our little ones, the less we will have to discipline and remediate."

This is so true, if it becomes automatic for our children to get up, make their beds, get dressed and brush their teeth, we will no longer have to take time to discipline them for things that should be a habit.

I am terrible at putting stars on charts and handing out incentives, but I have made simple lists of non-negotiable tasks for each child which makes it easy to redirect a child who I find playing when basic tasks are not completed. Each child's list includes self care, room care, chores and schoolwork so that presumably they can get through the important stuff before they are distracted by the Lego world they are building or the American Kestrel (a bird) which they just discovered sitting in the poplar tree by our fence.

Of course I do spend plenty of time redirecting, but at least now, I can save my brain the effort of thinking about which of the many tasks we have each day that this child should be doing and just say, "Check your list".

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