Adventures in Trying to Tame the Chaos

I previously wrote about how school time was a circus around here and how I was Taming the Chaos. Well that didn’t solve all my issues. Finding what works constantly changes around here. And it’s like peeling an onion away, you fix one thing and then all of a sudden you are able to see another issue. The littlest was not on board with my original taming the chaos plan. He was not happy sitting in a room by himself to play. Well it didn’t surprise me because he never has been. Even when he was an infant, if we went into the next room while he was swinging even though he could still see us he was cry. He never liked to be in a room by himself. So I had to tweak my plan a little bit. I also had a few other issues that needed some addressing. The Karate Kid was fighting me all day about everything and would put off his schoolwork to the very last minute of the day. And then there were times when he said he didn’t want to read to me and so I would start to do another’s lesson and then all of a sudden he needed to do his lesson right away. He was controlling too many areas of our day.

I have owned the book Managers of Their Home for many years now. I’ve tried to implement it so many times and failed. Previously what has worked for us it to have a routine or order of events for the day built around set

eating times. After praying about it God gave me wisdom. He showed me what each child needed throughout the day. Karate Kid needs me to tell him when his lessons are going to be and it is his choice to do them or not. The consequence for not doing schoolwork is no afternoon tv. This kid lives for afternoon tv time. He also only does his chores if he gets 30 minutes of computer time directly followed by chores in the morning. He also needs to be told what is allowed during free times and when his screen times will be. He craves the computer and the tv. The littlest needs to be with one of the oldest siblings. I also needed to break up our read aloud times to throughout the day instead of one big chunk. So I set up a Cozi calendar and got started planning our day in 30 minute increments. And here’s what our school day looks like:

We’ve been on this schedule for about 3 weeks now. The night before I started it I sat the kids down and showed them the new schedule. They were really excited about it. It is working wonderfully and has solved many difficulties. The Karate Kid has stopped fighting with me about school. He knows that his time is from 9:30-10:30 and if his lessons aren’t completed with me he has to do it alone. He has come to his lessons everyday and gotten them done. I did learn that it’s okay for me set stronger boundaries with him. I have been doing all their spelling lessons together and he would prefer to have them alone. Last week he started to put up a fight about wanting his spelling lesson alone today. I was able to say, “I am unable to do that. I only have time to do spelling all together and it is right now. If you don’t come to spelling then you will not have tv this afternoon.” He took a deep breathe and said, “FINE, but I want my tray with the tiles to spell today.” I couldn’t believe how easy that was. The schedule has taken the emotion out of the fights. It’s not me that is saying it has to be this way, it’s the schedule and we have to follow the schedule. Works for him since he sees the world in black and white.

Throughout the day all of the kids ask me where they are suppose to be and happily go there. They all know they will get time on the computer, time with Mom and time to play. It has brought peace to our home. No longer are they circling the house looking for something to do and getting into trouble. I now have the schedule posted in our schoolroom where they can all check to see where they are suppose to be.

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