It’s nearly time for my annual mom’s retreat — a day of peace and quiet set aside for the purpose of planning. I try to take myself, a legal pad, a pen — and, this year, my laptop — away from the kids and the distractions at home and head to a local coffee shop at least once a year, before we start our new school year, for a day of planning our school year.
I have a nice lunch while considering the direction I want our school to take for the upcoming year. This is a great time for taking a look at our routine — our wake and sleep times, the most logical and effective general framework for our days, and our outside activities. It’s also a good time to begin looking at a basic curriculum outline — what we’ll be working on, how long we’ll likely be spending on each subject area each day, what I want to finish when and even brainstorming any obvious hands-on projects (for example, I knew really early on that we’d be doing the paper mache Earth last year).
I find the the coffee shop is a great place to do this. It gets me away from the phone, the laundry, and
my family other distractions, and it helps me to focus on the task at hand rather than getting side-tracked by all the other things I could be doing. It also gives me a sense of purpose for what I’m doing, so I tend to get more accomplished in less time than I would at home.
It doesn’t hurt that this particular place has really good sweet tea.
I think every mom should have at least one mom retreat a year and one each quarter would probably be even more effective. Time away to plan definitely works for me. Come back tomorrow for more detailed tips on the actual planning process.