The Homeschool Sanity Show
How To Create Margin In Your Homeschool
Hey, homeschoolers! I have learned a lot in this busy season. Homeschooling is more popular than ever. That means that business has been booming for me. That's a good thing! But it has presented me with new time management challenges. What I've learned is that I need margin. That's what I want to discuss in this episode: what margin is and how we can create it in our homeschools.
Before I do that, I want to share a resource you can use to create margin in your day: my book A Year of Living Productively. The book is my review of more than 80 different time management approaches. With this one book, you won't have to read dozens of other books on productivity. Instead, you can turn to the approaches that are most likely to work for you, read the instructions, and give them a test yourself. I've been doing more experimenting during this busy season and my reviews in the book keep me from trying things that I know aren't likely to work. You can find the book on Amazon or at grammargalaxybooks.com/shop. Now for this week's topic: How to Create Margin in Your Homeschool. First, what is margin? You might call it buffer, unscheduled time, or rest. Whatever you call it, it's essential that we have it in our days.
God created the Sabbath as margin.
The Israelites were constantly looking for ways around the Sabbath--as though it were a punishment or a way to ruin their weekend. Instead, Sabbath is a gift. Jesus said the Sabbath was created for us, not us for the Sabbath. Sabbath is for rest. Sabbath is for time with God. And Sabbath is to remember that we are not God. When we don't have a day off each week, the likelihood of burnout and illness is high. Our kids need a day of rest, too. That day doesn't have to be Sunday. If you serve the church, Sunday is a workday for you. Another day could be Sabbath for you. Yes, we tend to have other commitments on our Sabbath day. But Sabbath commitments shouldn't be the same as other days' commitments. So a time to visit family, attend a Bible study, or even volunteer can fit into a day of rest. But we also need Sabbath for time with God. Attending church is an excellent way of spending time with the Lord and fellowshipping with believers. But we can use the time to do more Bible reading, prayer, and journaling. If you sing or play an instrument, Sabbath is the day to make time for this. Listen to music that fills your soul. Go for a walk. Spend time in nature. Finally, we need Sabbath to remember that we are not God. So many times I have been tempted to work on Sundays, and honestly, I have given in. I do not trust that I can get everything done that must be done without doing that. This is my lack of faith in God. He hasn't given me more to do than can be completed in six days. Yes, I can fritter away the time that should be dedicated to working. But even when I've done that and confessed it, God has been faithful to enable me to get the important things done without working on Sundays. When we take a day of rest, we are reminded that we aren't essential. Only God is. He will accomplish His work with or without us and He commands us to rest and renew. I want you to know that I am preaching to myself here!
Establish a margin day.
Decide on a day a week that will be your Sabbath, but also give yourself a day for added margin. When we plan to accomplish too much in six days, there is no place but the Sabbath day for the overflow to go. So start planning five days of work, leaving one day as your margin day. Or, if you are planning a 5-day school week, plan four days of work, leaving a fifth day as your margin day. Saturday is my margin day. The most difficult part of this is refusing to plan how to use your margin day ahead of time. It can become like a tax refund.