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Add Margin to Your Day to Receive New Mercy

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A Heart of Dakota Life

Add Margin to Receive New Mercy 

Lamentations 3:22-24: It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.

Does your homeschool day have margin? If something doesn’t go just right, does your routine or schedule allow for that? Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in having a plan for my homeschooling. Especially once I began homeschooling more than one child, a plan was simply a necessity.  However, my earlier homeschool schedules lacked margin. I found out the hard way, a schedule lacking margin lacks mercy. And if there is one thing we all need, it is mercy!

Add Margin to Receive New Mercy When Something Unexpected Happens

Have you ever spilled an entire cup of coffee all over your Heart of Dakota guide? Or have you ever had a contractor stop by with about a million questions about how you want to renovate your bathroom? Has your husband ever called for a model number he needs off your broken dishwasher? Have you ever had a child throw up in the middle of your homeschool day? Life is full of unexpected surprises – every day. In fact, it is the rarer thing to have a day with no surprises at all. By adding margin to your homeschool routine or schedule, you are planning for the unexpected. So when the unexpected happens, you are ready!  You have the margin to receive mercy in the event of an unexpected surprise.

Add Margin to Receive New Mercy When Correcting School Work

Do you have time planned to correct your children’s school work? When you look at Carrie’s suggested time allotments for each box of plans, do you add time to correct work? Even “I” independent boxes of plans require our attention as homeschool moms. By adding margin for correcting school work by making it a part of your overall plan for your day, you avoid having a pile up of correcting. So when your children finish their work, you are ready! You have the margin to receive mercy in the task of correcting your children’s work.

Add Margin to Receive New Mercy When You Have Appointments, Activities, or Errands

Do you have margin planned in your week for doctor appointments? How about margin for activities you plan to attend? Or how about margin for something you didn’t plan to attend but now want to? By adding margin for appointments, errands, and activities, you avoid getting behind in your schooling. So when your child has a cavity to be filled, your sister calls you for a play date with her kids, or you have to get groceries because there is nothing for dinner, you are ready!  You have the margin to receive mercy in the time it takes for appointments, errands, and activities.

So how do you plan for margin, so you can receive new mercy each day?

To plan margin when something unexpected happens, I add some cushion of time. So, for example, I might have my ‘teacher-directed’ block of time include ‘semi-independent’ work too. That way, I have extra time to walk away and deal with the unexpected. To plan margin when correcting school work, I add extra time throughout the day. By starting my teaching time by quickly correcting what’s already been completed, I plan margin for correcting. To plan margin for appointments, I set aside one afternoon each week. So, every Wed. afternoon, I know that is the day I will make appointments. Likewise, I plan for Saturdays to be my errand day. Every other Tuesday, I plan to have our children get together with my sister’s children. Finally, I plan for at least 2-3 weeks off each year for anything unplanned! Try planning for margin to receive new mercies this school year!  I think you may like it!

In Christ,

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Dana

    Thank you so much Julie!

  2. Katrina Breit

    This was an encouraging and helpful article Julie. Thanks for writing and sharing it!

    1. I’m so glad you found encouragement from this blog article, Katrina! Have a wonderful Friday!

  3. Jennifer

    Hi Julie! Thanks so much for this post! I tend to plan to the hilt every week in order to try to fit everything in, but it inevitably leads to burnout. I’d like to try to implement some of your ideas here. I have a question about your Wednesday afternoons off… do you school in the morning only that day? What do you do with leftover boxes in the guidebooks that don’t get completed before the margin time on Wednesday afternoons? Thanks for any thoughts you have about this! I’m really hoping for a more peaceful, less harried year for all of us this year!

    1. Good question! We actually have the same schedule on Wed. that we have on the other days of the week, but we make 100% sure we hit our scheduled ‘times.’ The reason this works for my children who are older (in high school) is one uses the night homework option, and one uses the get-up-early in the morning option. So, we make sure we hit our scheduled times and shorten things if necessary (do R & S English all orally that day, take our DITHOR books to the appointment to read as we wait, correct less thoroughly than usual, etc.), and we make sure the homework the night before and the early morning start we shoot for on the other days actually happen. I make our appointments as late in the afternoon as possible too! I also do as many of the kids’ appointments I know we need to have every year (i.e. dental check-ups, physicals, eye appointments, etc.) during our summer break. Often the appointments are mine on Wednesdays, so I can leave my kiddos to finish out their work unhurried. Hope that helps!!!

      In Christ,

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