Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Rythm of Routines

 Something that I have found to be exceedingly helpful in running a home and especially in being a manager of children is having routines. Our family isn't really very scheduled as events like wake- up time, breakfast time, lunchtime, naptime and other things can really vary but even though the times may vary some our routines remain the same.

  Routines are things like getting dressed, brushing my teeth and hair, having prayer and Bible reading time right after getting up, getting the kids up, eating breakfast as a family, reading the Bible together, doing a few chores, memory work, singing, stretching, and so on all through out the day.

  Routines are something that I really like but then I am not constantly thinking "What should I be doing next?" instead I just follow my routine. In my opinion it helps us to lead a simpler and more peaceful life to have certain routines that we generally follow. I know that I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel and how the day goes when we get off routine due to vacation, company or whatever - though I can enjoy those days in a different way I do feel my body rather longing for my normal routine.

 I have heard from others (it isn't just my own idea) that routines are very good for children. I think they like being able to know what to expect next and not always being surprised.

  We have several routines in our life that are designed for building a stronger family. One is our Thursday evening family night (and in recent summers it has been Tuesday night as Thursday nights were otherwise occupied). On that night we generally play games or do some other fun activity together as a family. Some other family routines we enjoy are eating our meals (all of them except Ken misses weekday lunches) together as a family, me reading aloud to the kids after lunch, Ken reading aloud to the kids before bed, bedtime traditions (tucking in, kisses, prayer and singing) and going to church. These have been very valuable to our family!

  In the last year or so I made a very exciting discovery for me and that was how easy it was to stack routines. For instance a few years ago in the morning after breakfast we would do chores and then have our school starting time which consisted of prayer and a little singing. After lunch we would have our afternoon read aloud time which consisted of Bible reading and a fun book. Over the course of years I realized that I really wanted to work on memory work more - so we added that to our "school start". Then I wanted to read a few more educational books - we added that to our naptime reading. Then I wanted to have more Bible reading in our lives so we added that to breakfast. Then I had been trying to figure out a time to do some stretches that the chiropractor wanted me to do and I had been failing to come up with a time to do them and so we added them to our morning start time and we have rarely missed doing them ever since. When I decided that singing rounds would help train the kids voices we simply added that to the start routine too. My latest addition has been Bible drills (seeing how fast they can find a reference in the Bible) and the kids are loving that.

  Starting a while new routine can be pretty challenging (though it certainly can be done!) but adding to a routine that is already in place is easy! I love all the learning and good stuff we have been able to regularly enjoy in our lives through following a routine.

  Routines can really help with cleaning too. Originally I did write up a schedule for ourselves and that is something I do still recommend (it can help you to create routines) but once the activity (Like laundry every Monday and Thursday or mopping on Monday, etc) becomes a routine then it is so much easier!

 I hope I wrote about this in a way that makes sense to all of you that read and I am hoping that maybe these ideas will be a blessing to you as they have been a blessing in our family.

 I would love to hear your thoughts on routines and how they work in your household!



Becky said...

Hi Abbi,

I agree ~ routines are a necessary part of our day as well. Thinking back, there have been different routines at different times in our lives depending on our children's ages at the time, church activities, homeschool group activities, library day, my husband's work schedule, the weather even!

One thing it tends to save is mom being asked 200 times what's next or when are we doing {whatever}. Another thing I appreciate about it is I know when I can take a 5 minute breather or make a quick phone call when necessary.

There was a time where we became slaves to our written routine though and I think that could be the other extreme. We have to be willing to go with the flow sometimes as the Lord directs our days :)

Great topic!

Abbi said...

Thanks so much for your additions to what I wrote on Routines. I hadn't thought of the things you mentioned but I very much agree!


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