Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MOTH Reviews {Parts I & II}

MOTH Review Part I

MOTH stands for (Managers of their Homes) written by Steve and Teri Maxwell. I recently read through Teri's "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit" and looking for more I went and ordered this book/kit.

I've always called myself a "routine" person, not a scheduler per se. But we have a routine around here that is pretty consistent. It's always helped me be able to figure out a little more what needs to be done and about when to do it. But with Homeschooling being added this year as well as another little one, I am still looking and longing for more. I'm about halfway through the book and so far it has highlighted the benefits of the schedules family and how much easier life is and how much MORE free time you will actually have. I am willing to give it a try and let you all know how it's working for us.

For the most part we start school at the same time each day, have breakfast and lunch and dinner about the same time, go down for naps....but it's the stuff in between that has been tripping me up lately. Of course life is unpredictable that way and that's what brings in excitement and fun, but it's also how things dont 'get done day after day after day! And after seeing the chore charts work and the workboxes work well....I though this would be an interesting endeavor.

I admit I am a little nervous about trying it out and trying to stick to something day after day, but reading through this system makes it seem doable, and hearing the testimonials from Mom's who have WAY more children than I have spanning teen years to newborns is encouraging that they could work with this system as well. The key seems to really personalize it to fit what you need and want to get accomplished during the day. It gives you ideas but it's up to your family and your routine in order to set what your schedule will look like. And of course the schedule is made to change with your family and it's changing needs and ages!

We'll see!!! Click the above link for more info!

MOTH Review Part II

SO i've been taken over by this bug to completely streamline life and our activities in it in order to make things run more smoothly. BUT...what I don't want is to be so caught up in order and chaos that there isn't time for spontaneity and FUN! It's a balance that I will strive for, but for now....i'm dealing with ordering everything!

Things that have worked so far and I'm loving:: menu planning ONCE a month has been a life saver and something that has alleviated a ton of stress in my life! Granted it's only been 3 weeks, but not having to decide what to cook each day or plan and shop for a new menu each week, it's amazing! AMAZING! Why didn't I try this years ago??? Seriously! I went so far as to plan each day for the whole month what we are having for dinner. Now of course sometimes things need to big deal because I know I have all the ingredients for what's on the menu! A few other tips I've picked up from MOTH::
  • Come up with a Master grocery list, type it out, hang it on your fridge and check things off as you run out of them! I made one for Costco as well since we do a LOT of shopping from there and it's almost always the same items. Leave spaces for additions and extras, cross off what you don't need. When it's time to shop you aren't rummaging through your cabinets, you can add to your list, grab it and go!
  • Make a weekly lunch and Breakfast Menu that changes everyday but stays the same each week, kids get variety as well as you know what is being made each day!!!!
The chore charts have been awesome! Again going on week 3, not only do the kids LOVE crossing things off on their charts, they love getting a little allowance and watching the money grow. Most of all we've had GREAT attitudes even from Jon. The kids jump up in the evening and hurry through their chores. More tips from MOTH::
  • Have a specified time each day when chores are done, unless certain chores are done at certain times (like dishes, etc) then everyone is working at the same time.
  • Make sure the chores are appropriate for each age level.
  • Keep the chores the same for at least a year so the child becomes good at performing that chore!
  • Take at least a week of training the child to do the chore correctly. Be patient and try not to do the chore for them! It's tempting but hold off! They will get it right, if they need more than a week stay by their side or maybe switch to an easier chore!
I'm working on our Master schedule right now for MOTH, the process includes coming up with a list for each person on the schedule of item you think God would have you accomplish during the day and including how much time you think that activity should take. Then working it out on a schedule until everything works well. I'm hoping to have it worked out by next Monday so we can get started on it. At first it seemed a little daunting but now I am getting more and more excited about everything working together! A few more things I really liked about MOTH::
  • Schedule time for the kids to play one on one together as special time, with special and Gracia get half and hour together to play nicely, while Mom works with Ellie or spends some time doing a special activity! I LOVE this idea! I think it's great and I can't wait to use it!
  • Have the olders teach the youngins something simple like their letters or phonics or numbers! Yesterday i tried it out with Ellie and Jonah. Jonah was SO excited he was going to get to be the teacher!!!! The sat across from each other and Jonah would hold up a flashcard and ask Ellie what the letter was, he could give her clues as to what the picture was of and then finally give her the answer if she didn't know the letter. They did really really well. I think this will work really well with file folder games and things like that as well!
  • Have your kids pick a special activity once a week from a long list (playdough, fingerpainting, sandpainting....) I've really gotten away from the messy art this year but the kids really miss it! So once a week I'd like to get them to choose something they would really like to do! And wouldn't ya know, Jonah wanted learning Italian back on that list! I love that kid!
SO here is a little update I suppose.......I am really enjoying getting the house more and more in an I mentioned before routine was my middle name, but time always slipped away from me in the long run. I am really hoping some of my artistic hobbies can make a comeback and maybe even squeezing in a little room for exercising! Slow and steady though. Trying to implement a million changes doesn't work....but slowly adding some of these things has been hugely beneficial to me so far! It's encouraging! Even Dave has been more than impressed with dinner being on time and the kids all helping to keep the house neater and cleaner, and being better stewards of God's blessings. Don't get me wrong our house wasn't trashed before (though not perfect either) but now the whole family is getting in on the action instead of JUST me!!! And the more babes we add the more organization we need in order to have a mom that isn't frazzled all the time. We've given over to God the size of our family and trust He'll not overwhelm us or give us more than we can handle, but on our part it's what we do here with what He's given us!

And for the record I HAVE kept up on my 365...but it's hard to post them everyday! We were at a company party for my Dad doing photos this weekend and I think I am just now recovering from a crazy weekend! I'll update with those photos a little later when I have another break!

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