4 Steps to Building Routines into Habits

by Elizabeth Bennett

Routine… We all want it, we know it’s the key to a thriving home, family, business, or homeschool.

Yet routine can seem like a phantom, a holy grail—just out of reach!

This is the first post in a series on building routines in your home as well as my 7-year journey from Bohemian hoarder to minimalist! In this first post I’ll give you a little bit of my story, plus 4 practical ways to use Homeschool Manager as a tool in your life as a homeschool mom.

About 7 years ago I was living in New York City, drowning in clutter with a brand new baby. I was overwhelmed, easily distracted, sidetracked, and discouraged. At first glance my home looked nice-ish, but the vibrant colors and decor were a cover up. Opening a closet would cause a murderous avalanche and, heaven forbid, anyone look at the bathroom floor. Then my mom sent me the book Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley aka The FlyLady—I devoured it!

FlyLady’s core principle is building habits through baby steps—simple easy routines that build upon one another—cushioned with grace for the suddenlies of life and our own imperfections. Baby steps are meant to be small, achievable tasks and FlyLady kicks it off with shining your sink.

We do what we can today, and then we do a little more tomorrow. Baby Steps. -FlyLady

Over the years my perfectionism has gotten in the way and thrown me off track for seasons, but I’ve learned to just jump back in wherever I am, even if I’m buried under 14 loads of laundry! My biggest stumbling block is trying to do too much at once and failing, then listening to that paralyzing voice in my head saying, “I’ll just never get it right.”

Reading Sink Reflections radically changed my life! I had hope and the miserable inner voice quieted.

Fast forward three years. During our team’s conversations while creating the Homeschool Manager app, I heard FlyLady’s voice ringing in my ears, “Baby steps! Build habits through routine! Give yourself grace. Let go of perfectionism!”

Although the primary purpose of Homeschool Manager is planning, tracking, and reporting for educational purposes, I am also thrilled it allows me to assign tasks for the care and management of our home for myself and our children. Checking off our tasks gives each of us a sense of accomplishment and reinforces our routines. (We usually check it off online as we go, but you can print if you want to.) I also love that I can see the order of our day at a glance!

Here is a quick 4 step lesson for how to use Homeschool Manager a la FlyLady:

  1. Create a student named Mom and name your school year something inspirational. :)

  2. Add subjects.

    Here are some of mine:
    God Breeze
    Home Blessing Team (My kids have this too.)
    Home Zone (My house is broken up into zones for detailed cleaning.)
    Business Blessing
    Blessing Journal
    To-Enjoy List (A To-Do list with an attitude adjustment. Lol!)
    Focused Time with Kids (I assign myself school tasks to work with each child.)

  3. Weekly Planning, especially lesson planning!

    I avoid being overwhelmed when I have a simple plan, so I schedule time for blessing myself and others. And, remember, it’s easy to translate real living into your academic schedule since not everything comes out of a workbook. If your child builds a pulley system, add that task to his schedule and mark it complete!. (More on this later!)

  4. Drag and Drop = Grace and Flexibility when life happens!

    The beauty of Homeschool Manager is that if any adjustments need to be made in our routines, I simply go into admin and drag and drop the subject to change its order!

Homeschool Manager makes it easy to simplify not only your homeschool—but also your routines at home! We think it’s easier to use than paper—helping you organize, yet remain flexible.
We would love for you to give it a try on us for 30 days! May it bless you and bring you freedom and feel like a breath of fresh air every time you open it!

“You are never behind. Jump in where you are!” -FlyLady Marla Cilley

And here are some screen shots of my weekly schedule; it needs some de-cluttering… but I’ll schedule that for tomorrow!

I’ll share more about my wild journey toward minimalism in my next post…
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We are so honored by what FlyLady and Tami Fox had to say about Homeschool Manager! Subscribe to her podcast and email list… Be ready, it’s life changing!

Check Out Family Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with FlyLady on BlogTalkRadio with FlyLady and Friends on BlogTalkRadio

Published by Elizabeth Bennett