Peggy Ployhar

I have always been pretty good about scheduling and to-do lists. The engineer in me loves to write out plans, figure out the best method for getting everything on my list done, and optimize every possible scenario so no time is wasted.  Not even motherhood or homeschooling have deterred my nature of being an ambitious planner. But, something that has been working at this adamant planner in me is the same thing that has been slowly changing me from the inside out for 22 years, my relationship with God.

 

Planning spiritual time is an oxymoron. Our spiritual life when we become a Christian is supposed to become all of our lives.  This is where the planner in me struggled for many years. Early on in my walk with God, I would try to cram my study and prayer time into specific slots in the day. I then swung to the opposite extreme, feeling my planning was not spiritual enough. Thus, my planners and lists were set aside so I could lean into God moment my moment without their distraction.  The problem with both of these approaches was I couldn’t find an adequate balance for prioritizing the things of life alongside my relationship with God.

 

My struggle has fortunately changed in the past few years and I have discovered how I can plan for a simplified spiritual life. The lessons God has been teaching me about bringing Him into my planning has allowed me to triumph over each day, follow His plans, and keep in check the things swirling around in my life.  I have been learning how to properly prioritize my schedule daily, what God has been teaching me as I spend time in His word and praying.

 

The change has truly been freeing, and not only in my own life but also in the lives of those I’ve been sharing my daily revelations with, specifically my 15-year-old daughter and a few of the viewers on my personal YouTube channel, Daily Revelations.

 

The lessons God has been teaching me about bringing Him into my planning has allowed me to triumph over each day, follow His plans, and keep in check the things swirling around in my life.

 

Therefore, in looking ahead to 2020, I decided to create a bible study and planner together that will help you to learn how to start planning for a simplified spiritual life.

 

Wondering what’s involved?  It’s super simple.

  • Download the free planner you can find on the Free Downloads page on the SPED Homeschool website
  • Print the planner however it would work best for you
  • Read one chapter of the Bible a week.
    • Every day there is a different activity that will help you study the text
    • Every weekday there will be a new video on the Daily Revelations YouTube channel that will expand upon the text you are reading
  • Plan your monthly, weekly, and daily schedules as well as grocery lists, menus and more right alongside your daily bible study
  • Merge what God is teaching you into your plans and prioritize your lists and to-do items based on where the Spirit is leading your heart and mind
  • Join the Daily Revelations community on The Jump  to be encouraged and to encourage others who are using this same planner and doing the same bible readings

 

Since this is the pilot year for this project, the planner is free to download. So far the first quarter is written, and April through December will be coming soon.  By using the planner and being part of our community, you will also have the opportunity to provide suggestions for the 2021 planner and get a sizable discount.

 

Joining us late? No problem.  There is no need to go back to the beginning of the study. Just start on whatever day, week, or month you can. You can always go back and watch earlier videos or fill in earlier lessons if you would like, but it is not necessary for understanding the daily lesson.

 

I am so excited to get started and begin planning with you towards a simplified spiritual life starting in 2020.

 

 

 

 

 


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By Peggy Ployhar

Over the years of working through my parenting anger issues, the biggest lesson I have learned about myself is my natural tendency to want to always be in control. I have talked about letting go of control in many areas of parenting throughout this series; control of my children’s character development, as well as my parenting approach in respect to my use of authority, of conveying acceptance, in providing forgiveness, and with my desire to  restore honor. The final, and most deceptively hidden, area I needed to surrender my need to over control as a parent was time management.

 

Finding Balance in Time Management
Controlling every single moment of every single day in my children’s lives was not healthy. Plus, if my goal was to help my children learn the skill of managing their time effectively they needed opportunities to practice. Opportunities I was denying them by always micro-managing their schedules.

 

My blindness to my overly controlling approach towards my children’s schedules was aided by the fact that all my children deal with varying degrees of executive functioning deficits. These deficits limit their natural abilities to quickly and efficiently schedule, plan, and organize themselves. So, as a mother who is naturally gifted in this area, it was easy to just step in and take over these responsibilities for my children instead of letting go and teaching them to take ownership for their own use of time.

 

For any parent of a struggling child, the tendency to overcompensate and take control is a constant battle. On one hand you desire for your child to learn and grow, but on the other hand the pain this struggle causes your child and often your own self (extra messes to clean up, extended length in completing tasks, etc.) is much more easily alleviated by stepping in. How then is a parent to win over this desire to control while still keeping a child on track? The answer is balance.

 

A balanced time-management approach involves evaluating three things: your child, your approach, your tools. Looking at these three areas and then determining a balanced plan on how to appropriately give your child the help needed to get through a regular schedule while developing time management skills of their own along the way.

 

Your Child
Understanding the true capability if your child to manage time is critical when figuring out how much this child can manage realistically without your help. Have you ever done a critical analysis of how well your child can break down a larger task into a checklist of smaller parts to complete the whole project?

 

One easy way to figure out your child’s executive functioning capability is to test it by asking your child to do a task which requires multiple steps. I would suggest doing this test with different types of tasks because children often have a greater ability to focus and plan when they are interested in the task (like building a Lego set) than they do when they are disinterested in a task, like cleaning the bathroom.

 

If you have an older student, you can also use this free time management quiz. The quiz has 15 simple questions your student can answer, and then the website provides ideas for goal setting based on the deficiencies revealed by the quiz.

 

Your Approach
Now that you know what skills your child has for managing his own time, and which ones you need to help teach for greater mastery, you should develop a strategy for teaching time management skills. Here are some website with great resources on helping kids with mild time management issues, moderate executive functioning issues, or even more severely limited scheduling abilities.

 

Mild Time Management Strategies
11 Easy Tips for Teaching Your Kids Time Management
The Age-By-Age Guide to Teaching Kids Time Management
6 Ways to Teach Time Management Skills

Moderate Executive Functioning Strategies

Graphic Organizers from the Learning Disabilities Foundation of America
Helping Kids Who Struggle with Executive Functioning
10 Frightfully Useful Tips from Executive Functioning Coaches
5 Must-Have Apps for Improving Executive Functioning in Children

 

Strategies for Students with Severely Limited Scheduling Abilities
Tactile Schedules for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities
8 Types of Visual Student Schedules
Object Schedule Systems
Free Printable Visual Schedules


Your Tools

Based on how much help your child needs and what approach you feel would best help in teaching better time management, you can now start putting together your tools. The various articles above are filled with everything from digital tools to very hands-on physical tools.

 

For our family, we did a lot of visual schedules on a huge blackboard in our kitchen when our children were very young. We supplemented that schedule with daily conversations about upcoming activities and plans to ensure our children remembered what lay ahead and weren’t surprised when we had something planned that didn’t fit into our normal routine. But, as our children grew older those schedules moved to student planners, apps, and shared documents along with the daily conversations.

 

Knowledge has great power. In my experience with letting go of controlling my children, knowing more about the type of help they needed and when I was becoming overly controlling greatly helped with restoring a proper parent-child relationship in our home.

 

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