IHP 021: Using Lists to Keep Yourself Moving Forward

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Intentional Home Podcast

This is Episode #021 and today we will be talking about how you can use lists in your home and homeschool to keep yourself and your kids moving forward!

My Notes:

If you have been around my blog and podcast for a while, you know that I am a list maker. I love making lists! I love checking off those boxes as I get things done.

Problems with detailed planning — we get interrupted, it takes longer than we “planned”, our days don’t go as scheduled, then we feel behind and have to redo all our plans!

Do List Planning instead! — Instead of all the detailed planning, schedule time blocks in your days for your “lists”. Before we get into how to do that, let’s look at some areas where you can use lists.

Areas where you can use lists:

Note: Some of these lists will be things that you will work through and be done, like a house project. Some of them will be more of a loop type list where you work through the list and then start over.

Meal Planning – Make lists for meals your family loves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will be your master list that you will pull from each week when you do your menu planning. Each week choose a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. Make your list of meals for the week, but don’t assign them to specific days unless you want to.

Morning Basket List – This will be a loop type list with things like: Bible, read-aloud book, poetry, art or composer reading, etc. You can make this list include anything you want! Each day do the next thing on the list, then start over!

Chores List – You can make chores lists for each of the kids if needed. This one might have specific days assigned to certain chores, but you may also just list out tasks and then they just work through them, doing one each day during chore time.

House Cleaning List – This will be a loop type list. Make a list of all the cleaning tasks that you normally do every week. Then divide up that list by the number of days that you think you will be having a cleaning block. So if you have 10 things on your list, and you plan on cleaning 5 days a week, then you will do 2 items on the list each day.

House Projects – If you have a project that you are working on, make a detailed list in order of what needs to be done. Break it down into small tasks. Then each day that you have a block of time for house projects, do the next task on the list.

Homeschool Planning – Instead of making details lesson plans with exactly what chapters and pages to do/read each day, make lists for each subject for each child. For example, you will have a math list for child #1. On that list will be Lesson 1, Lesson 2, etc. Just make sure each item on the list is the amount of work that can be done in one day for that subject. Don’t put Lesson 1 if that lesson is meant to cover a whole week. Break it down day by day.

Refresh Time for Mom – We all need some time to do something we love. This will be a loop type schedule of things you love to do. For example, read a book, take a walk, do a craft, etc. When the time comes for some refresh time, do the next thing on your list.

Family Fun – Evenings or weekend nights are good times for family fun. Make a list of things that you enjoy doing together. If you have a game cupboard full of games (like we do), make a list of all the games your family likes to play. Then work through the list, playing a different game each time you have family fun time. You can have anything on this list that you want, like go out for ice cream, go swimming, go to the park, watch a movie, etc. Make it fun and using a list will give you variety and you won’t run out of ideas!

Books to Read – You can make personal lists of books you want to read, or books you want to read to the kids. But make a list, and then just start with the first book and read it until you are done, then go to the next book.

How to schedule these lists:

Now that you have an idea for different areas of your life that you can create lists for, let’s look at how to schedule these into your day.

Here is an example for how a typical day could go if you are a homeschooler:

7:00 am – Breakfast (meal planning list) – You have chosen 7 breakfast meals already when you did your menu planning and shopping for the week, so just pick one of the meals to fix. Also look at your dinner meals list, select one, and make sure meat is taken of freezer if needed.

7:30 am – Morning Basket (Morning Basket List) – You have a loop schedule list set up for your morning basket learning so you just do the next thing on the list.

8:00 am – Morning Chores (each of the kids could have a list if you want of what to do during this time)

9:00 am – Noon – Homeschool Time (Homeschool Lists) – Create lists for each subject for each child and they just do the next assignment on the list for each subject. For learning done together, do the same by making lists of what you want to do each day, then do the next thing on the list.

Noon – Lunch

1:30 pm – Afternoon Homeschool/Read-Aloud Time (Homeschool Lists/Books to Read List) – Use homeschool lists if you still have independent work being done in the afternoon, or use a Books to Read list for read-aloud time. Start with the first book and read a chapter or two every day. When done move to the next book. If your kids are reading independently, you can create reading lists for them too!

2:30 pm – Free Time to Explore Interests (for kids); House projects or House cleaning for mom – just pick the next thing on your list if you are working on a house project, or the next thing on your list to clean. You can also have some time here for “Refresh Time” for mom. Schedule a little time to do something on your list that will refresh you!

4:00 pm – Dinner prep (Meal Planning List) – Just like breakfast, you have already selected 7 dinner meals, and you picked one earlier when you were fixing breakfast, so now you just fix the meal.

5:30 pm – Dinner and cleanup

7:00 pm – Family Fun (Family Fun List) – Check your list that you make for family fun ideas and do the next one on the list.

I hope that helps you see how you plan blocks of times for things, then refer to your list and do the next thing. This eliminates the feeling of being behind. If you miss a day or didn’t have time to do something, that item will be waiting at the top of your list for the next day. You just pick up with the next task that is not done yet.

So evaluate your life and see what areas you can create lists for. Create your lists and place them in your bullet journal, on the computer, or somewhere where you know where they are and can refer to them throughout the day.

Then create a block type schedule for when you will work on these lists.

Happy planning!

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