Celebrate!

Sooo excited! Today we pressed past 1000 followers on our Facebook page!! Yay! Yay for each of you! I am so blessed to be connected with each of you.

Soooo, in celebration, I want to bless you with one of my favorite sets from the past. It is perfect for TODAY! This one is called REACH YOUR RESOLUTIONS. It is complete with audios and an action guide. In fact, the audios are right on time for this important time of year.

Ready for your treat?

Listen Here (Click the drop-down to access each of the audios)!

Download audios here:
http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/15804

Download your Action Guide here: Reach-Your-Resolutions-Action-Guide

Want MORE of our resources?

  • We have a bunch of them back available here on our site! AND…you can save 50% with our discount code: ALLTHINGSNEW (enter when making any purchase!).

Enjoy!

Cindy

A Matter of Priority

Cindy Gunter RushtonOh! Why can’t I get around to working out? And, planning my meals? And, resting? Why is there such a battle?

Sure, I INTEND to get around to it. Boy, do I INTEND. But, how does it get from an idea, an intention and get ait into my lifestyle?

Well, looks like there is one big key–it is a matter of priority!

I know how to stick to my priorities. I know how to get things done. I am really good at it. But what do you do when you have neglected something as vital as getting fit and healthy? And, neglected it for over 18 years? How do you get going again? How do you make it happen? How do you get out of your comfort zone? How do you get out of the “default setting” that keeps you stuck? Those have been my questions the past few months.

Relate?

Boy, this is the story of my life! A story that I want to change. A story that needs a new dialogue…a new background…a new plot!

I really don’t think that is possible without some hard, deep, and relentless work! It is going to take uprooting those deep roots that take me back to default. It is going to take more than another resolution–it is going to take transformation! Transformation from the old-Cindy to the new-Cindy. Transformation spirit, soul AND body!

Where does that even begin? Well, for me, I think that begins with getting real with myself and asking (and answering honestly), “Is THIS a priority?” Yup! That is a perfect place to begin!

I can SAY that I want to get fit and healthy. I can also add my goal to my big list of things to do. I can plan my healthy meals. I can set my bed-time at a decent hour. BUT, none of this is going to happen if this is not a real priority–a non-negotiable priority!

Let’s face it, I DO what I really believe in.
I MAKE it happen.
It gets done.
It is non-negotiable.
I am intentional.
It gets on the agenda.
It happens regardless of anything going on around me.
There are NO EXCUSES that can derail it!

So, if I am going through day after day or week after week or month after month or year after year and I NEVER make time to get fit and healthy, what is really going on? You know, don’t you? It is NOT a priority for me. It is still an option. It is a “nice” thing to do…some day. It is a wish. It is a fluttery feeling in my stomach. But it is NOT a priority for me.

If it has not made it to the to-do list…
If it hasn’t made it to the schedule…
If it has just taunted me..
If it has made me feel guilty, condemned, and full of shame…
If it is just another failed resolution…
Is it REALLY a priority?

Do you see it? I imagine that you can answer that one very easily. I imagine that you can see the problem clearly. By now, you are probably screaming out–DO IT GIRL! The answer is clear. The plan looks obvious. But…

How about you?
Do you relate?
Have you been wanting to do it but there is always SOMETHING else?
Or, maybe YOUR THING is something completely different…

…Writing that book
…Getting out of debt
…Stepping out with that business
…Dating again
…Getting back in church
…Reading your Bible daily
…Getting your education
…Remodeling your home
…Reaching for that goal…that dream…that resolution
…AND, YOUR THING!!

It is June. One of those resolutions still not a reality? Nagging at you? Got that sick feeling in your gut? Feeling like all of the sudden I am picking on you?

Well, take a few moments and ask yourself, “Is THIS a priority?”

Ready to step it up? Ready to make it happen? Ready to finally crush it? Today is the day of NEW beginnings. No more settling for default. No more letting the days…weeks…months…and years slip by. No more regret. Today is the day to step up and step out. Today is the day to make that thing a priority, a non-negotiable priority. After all, sit is all as simple as a matter of priority.

Let’s rock it!

Psst! A Secret to Scheduling Success! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Want to know one of my biggest secrets to homeschooling the easy way? Want to know one of my biggest secrets to scheduling success? This one secret can make your daily schedule finally fit. It can end your scheduling frustrations forever.

I am not a “schedule by the minute” type of person. (GRIN)  I fail with schedules like that. They don’t meet my needs. My life includes too many areas that have different needs daily. Timed schedules just do not work for me.

So, what has worked for me? Setting up a framework to my day. This is one incredibly powerful tip. It can make a HUGE difference in your day as well. It just might be the secret that has alluded you through the years.

Wondering what I mean by a “framework” for your day? By framework, I mean a general flow to each day that includes all of the areas of my life that I juggle. But, how do I do that? Here are some quick tips:

1. Decide what should be included in your daily schedule.
Look at what you are all about. Look at your goals, activities, values, priorities. Look at your husband’s schedule–wrap everything around him. Look at what you need to include in your day to get everything done–quiet times, lessons, homemaking, read alouds, work, etc. This is important. Otherwise, you will include things in your schedule that may not be the very best choices. And…one big risk…you may never get around to the things that matter the most. Decide what really needs to be a part of each and every day for your day to be successful.

2. Decide the best time for the tasks you need to complete each day. This will help you get a good flow to your day. For me, quiet times are just best at the beginning of the day. Chores are great right after them–I need them completed so my brain can focus on the table time.  Our business work and errands need to be done in the early afternoon. Read alouds are best before bedtime.  You get the picture. When I tried to read aloud over lunch, we had so many distractions that we could never fit it in. Trying to work the business in the morning would never work…and of course, we couldn’t take care of business errands at night. See how important it is to really look at the best time to get tasks done. Look at the best time for all of the tasks that need to be done. Look at the best flow to get everything done easily each day. You may not get this right at the beginning, but you will get closer and closer each day. You will love it!

3. Balance your day.
Don’t let any one area of your life get out of balance. Everything that we do in our day has a tendency to grow into a big time thief–homeschooling, homemaking, home business. Those important aspects of our life can easily grow out of their boundaries. While I love each of them, they can get rather exhausting if we don’t keep them in balance with the other things that we have to do. The best way for me to stay balanced is to be reasonable about what I expect for each day, keep things simplified and easy, and keep everything inside of its time of the day. I don’t mind those days that we want to dig deeper in a topic that we are studying. I also don’t mind those days that we tackle a messy room. I don’t even mind those days that we have a special business project that needs more time. But, if those areas were demanding extra time every day, it would be easy to get burned-out, frustrated and battle with our time each day. Want to make it work? Find a balance for your day.

4. Set up routines.
Talk about a HUGE help for me. Without routines, things can get so frustrating every day–there are constant decisions, there is more strife in the family, there is no consistency. Routines help us to make things go faster, without the strife and struggle of figuring things out DAILY. Routines reduce the stress of making decisions daily. Routines help our children to know what to expect so they can move through all of the things that they need to do each day. Routines are crucial. They assure a smooth ride. They keep us on track. They keep us out of the ruts. They take us in the direction that we want to go. One of the toughest things I ever did was develop routines in my home. However, one of the most rewarding things that I ever did was develop routines in my home. When I got very, very sick, everything kept going. During those times that I have been stretched, things kept on going. All because of routines. Set up routines. Then, your children will know what to expect. They will learn what is next and next and next. The decisions will be made for you. They will be able to “just do it” with or without you. Set up routines for your family. Develop one set of routines at a time–look for the time of day that things go haywire. If it is morning, for example, look at all that needs to be done. Brainstorm. Make a to-do list for that routine. Write it out. Work it as a checklist until it becomes a habit. If you see other things that need to be added into that set of routines, add them. Tweak it until it is smooth. Then, move to the next troublespot. Do this for all of the times of your day. Watch to see how much it helps!

5. Prune anything that is not necessary. Truth is, we cannot do everything. What we do in our day keeps us from doing other things. It zaps our time, energy, strength. We need to be picky about what we add to our day. Every single thing that we do costs us something. We need to constantly prune those things that are not necessary. Prune anything that hinders, distracts. Be honest. Be ruthless. Prune. Even the good things! Go for the best!

6. Take the squeeze out of your schedule. Watch out for the squeeze in your schedule. Don’t fill every minute of your day with something to do. Why? Because there are always going to be crisis situations, interruptions, melt-downs, delays. If we have our schedule maxed out, we will constantly be overwhelmed, overworked, and squeezed. Find ways to take the squeeze out of your daily schedule–cut out extra running, watch out for time thieves, prioritize your daily to-do’s (and eliminate any that make the day too tight), cut out extras that are unnecessary, keep the day simple and easy. Keep a relaxed atmosphere. Constantly, take the squeeze out of your daily schedule.

7. Stay flexible! Stay adaptable! Actually, one of the reasons that we really want to develop a framework to our day is so we have more flexibility, so we have more “space” in our day to be adaptable. We want to be able to seize opportunities that come our way. We want to be able to slow down and enjoy our children. We don’t want to miss teachable moments. These days just go by too fast. We want to enjoy every second. We want to make sweet, sweet memories. This requires that we stay flexible and adaptable. So, take the time to develop your own framework to your day. Do the tough work. Get your plans together. Work on these suggestions. Then, stay flexible. Stay adaptable. Grasp on to all that God has in store for you!

Need MORE Help?

Check out Cindy’s New Organized Mom Super Set! It is full of great ebooks and audios that will help take you by the hand and plan the best homeschool year ever!

Procrastination Attack!

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The biggest enemy to productivity is procrastination. Join Cindy as she shares her secrets to attacking procrastination and stopping it in its tracks. Grab your journal and pen. Cindy will give you an action plan that will help you make this year your most productive year ever! Don’t miss this one!

Download by Mp3

See Us Online!
http://www.CindyRushton.com
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The Importance of Routine by Cindy Rushton

 

Good morning dearies! I just got an email from Mary Beth asking me to share this article. She remembered reading it before, but couldn’t remember where to find it. She asked if I could post it here. YES! Hope all of you enjoy! This is an oldie. Fun to read now that my crew are grown and graduated. I could not recommend better tips today. This one is timeless. Enjoy….

Homeschools come packaged in all sorts and types.  Homes all have their own atmosphere…their own discipline…and their own life.  What will make for happy homeschool days?  My vote goes to routine!

As we look at different homes, we find that many people use many instruments to establish discipline.  In our home, we have used primarily two tools–instruction and routine!  You can probably see the need and benefits for instruction but why routine?  Routine is the means by which we lay down the tracks of discipline.  In our family routines, we take away much of the pain of who does what, when they are to do whatever, and how much they are to do.  It has become part of our character to do all that we do with excellence…diligence…and of course, speed!  So, what are some ideas for bringing routine into the home?  The following thoughts are a hodgepodge of my thoughts on routine and form that I have jotted down as I studied this month…

•    When planning routines, priority is given to the most important things. The most important thing is the spirit of the person!  We all need our time with God primarily.  If nothing else is done each day, why not the quiet times?  However, often I myself find the struggle is more for the to-do’s than for my relationship with God OR with the children.  If we value the person the most, we find that our priority becomes that time to talk, read, relax, and even work together.  Yes, there is always more work to do than there is time to do it.  We must accept that reality while planning the time that we devote to that work around time with God and each other!

•    Use lessons to establish habit and discipline. Lessons are the perfect means to establish habit and discipline in the child. Lessons are perfect time to lay the lines of good habits and correct the harmful habits.  Through their lessons, they learn skills, practice godly character, learn that there are “musts” in life, and learn to use all of the faculties of their minds.

•    Feel free to alter any given routine! As we go through life, we find that life is so short.  The sunny moments simply must be snatched along the way.  Even in Charlotte Mason’s schools, she would ring a bell on nice days and set off for an all day expedition!  Can we be this spontaneous?  Yes, duty calls and responsibilities should be accepted habitually.  BUT, all the duty and responsibility is out of balance without the liberty to enjoy life and its spontaneity!

•    Remember that it is not essential to have a developmental program for the child. Instead of trying to teach each child on his/her own grade level, we all share in life together.  We all learn from life together as fellow students.  We are constantly establishing good habits, good priorities, and good routines!  We use REAL LIFE as the curriculum!  Because of this, we can relax knowing that real life is the perfect teacher.  It will be as we go along the way that we will teach the most to our children.  If we base what we teach on “grade level,” then we find that our children simply do not thrive and learning becomes artificial!  Instead, let’s look at what life can teach us.  An example from our life was just this past week.  We were in Mississippi for our Homeschooling Seminar.  Almost all of our family lives in Mississippi.  As we were getting ready to leave from the Rushton’s home to go visit my Daddy, my son was only listening to a conversation between his great-grandmother and I when God brought forth a natural lesson from life.  She was commenting on Matthew’s new book Fearless Warriors, when I shared with her that his next book was to be on the Great Men and Women of the Civil War including our family.  As she said, “Well, you know that both my grandfathers were in the War!”  Matthew darted across the room to sit at her feet and glean from her stories of long ago!  He was able to jot down two more stories for his book…and where did it come from?  LIFE!  It is not essential or even recommended to limit your child to what is learned at their grade level!  Let your time with them be your curriculum!  You will find that the results will influence their routines, priorities in life, and habits for all of life! You will find that they will be able to learn MORE than is possible following a typical scope and sequence!  You will find your homeschool more fulfilling while you are juggling less!!

•    Use home as the atmosphere for teaching! Our homes are a perfect “growing ground” for children.  As mothers, we can view our children as our little plants that will have to be nurtured in our homes.  We will have to pour into them.  We will have to devote ourselves to their constant care.  We will have to be the ones to snatch up those weeds (harmful habits, attitudes, and ideas) that will quickly grow to hinder or possibly cut off their growth.  We are their caretakers.  In being their caretakers, we have to devote all to instructing them at all times.  It may mean that for a season, we just stay home and pour into them… but the results are worth it.  We will find our homes bearing great fruit through our children!

•    Accept that we are never perfect or there! It is often so hard to accept our own weaknesses, needs, or limitations.  We want to be perfect BEFORE we start teaching our children, yet God’s plan entails walking alongside of one another as fellow students in HIS classroom of life!  In our routines, we must operate with what IS possible.  We are not perfect, but also our feelings or the circumstances all around us do not sweep us along! We are free to grow and learn together throughout all of life!

A Typical Day at the Rushton’s…

So, wondering what our routines look like? Would you like a peek into our typical day? Join me as we wake up at the Rushton’s….

Wake up…Quiet times.
No one is allowed to interrupt quiet times. Matthew studies on his own in several of his favorite study guides. (Plants Grown Up by Doorposts, Christian Manhood By Gary Maldaner), Elisabeth listens to the Bible on audio-cassette, and I spend time in study and prayer. SOMETIMES I take my prayer walk if the weather permits…judging by my weight  this time, you can tell it has been sweltering hot lately!)

Chores… The Children have to do the majority of the housework…kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, feeding animals, cleaning their rooms… This is done EVERY day. We usually can get most under control pretty quickly so we can settle down for our table time. This helps get us going for the day while helping to keep our concentration on our skills not the undone work around the house!

Table time… This is our formal study time for our skills. It is a given” for every day. It is not altered because we use our table time to establish our routine in our home. The children work on their Bible Study (right now we are studying through the Old Testament with our Greenleaf resources), Copywork (they select their own selections to copy into their notebooks), Math (we are working through Making Math Meaningful on each of their grade levels), and Language (Alphaphonics for Elisabeth. She is still struggling with her reading, BUT getting better every day…it is finally clicking! Greek for Matthew. He is still working on his Greek Alphabet which is typical for his age, 11.)

Time with Dad… My husband works 2nd shift, so he wakes up around the time that the children have finished their table time. We schedule our day like this for a reason: Dad is TOO much fun! He used to distract the children from the time he woke up because they much more preferred to be listening to Dad…or  helping him with his projects around the house. So, I try to finish their disciplined time by the time he wakes up so they can have the next few hours with him! They may work on building something (garage right now), or fixing something (the story of our life!), or going somewhere (they love to ride with him on his motorcycle…yes, we are Gold Wing people!), or just talking with him! Harold has this time to pour into them just “who” he is. He does not teach them Language or even Algebra…he teaches what is most needful…about himself!

Productive Free Time…We usually all do our own thing in the afternoon after Harold goes to work. This is the time that I work on any writing projects…or paper work…or return any calls…or prepare our next meals.  The children spend this time on pursuits that they enjoy. It may be playing, observing nature, reading, working on projects of their own, practicing their instruments, writing, working on the computer…so on. We try to limit what is available in our home to only educational pursuits. Actually, even their playtime is narrating what they are learning in their history read alouds!

Dinner…Baths…More Productive Free Time

Bedtime…Read Alouds… This is our best time to read from the Bible, or our school Read Alouds. We are currently reading through the Bible in a year. This time is spent in prayer, narrating from the previous day’s reading, reading our new selection, and praying again for each other’s requests. We choose our read alouds from a variety of subjects. It may be a classic in literature or a biography or a mission story or a living science book…we swap up so that we read different books together as a family

Well, this is a look at our routine…how is yours?  Is there a routine to your day?  Is there enough margin in each day to allow for ministry as it comes up?  To allow for spontaneity?  Is there enough time that is unorganized by you so that the children can learn on their own?  My prayer is that this issue will encourage you to develop a routine in your home that will give you the peace and fruit that comes only by walking each day in God’s plan for your homeschool!  Happy Homeschooling!