And once again it’s time to make some new 3 in 30 goals. A couple of days ago I told you how happy I was with our February goals and I’m really hoping to build on that success for March! This month, as I mentioned, the girls and I chose the goals we are all going to work on together. We’re picking more daily habit/routine type goals and I need their cooperation on these. I have high hopes. =)

Without further ado, our goals for March:

1. Turn the t.v. off at 9 a.m.

That may sound really lenient.. and in a way it is. On the other hand, if they get up at 8, that gives them an hour of tv, breakfast, getting dressed and whatever before we’re supposed to start school. The problem is that if they turn the tv on… THEY DON’T LIKE TO TURN IT OFF. … I’m sure you can relate.

We all agreed that it’s important to our day to start school at nine and one of the ways that we can help make this happen is by making sure that the tv goes off at 9 am. Recently when the 5 year old was having a particularly hard time with tv addiction I would actually cover the tv with a table cloth during school hours as a visual reminder and it’s AMAZING how much that helped!!

To accomplish this goal: I have an alarm on my phone that goes off at 9 a.m. to mark the beginning of the school day. We can use this alarm to develop the habit of turning off the tv promptly at 9 a.m. We can also cover the tv with a tablecloth during the day if we need to.

Challenges: The five year old is going to be the biggest opponent to this new rule — but it will do him good. 😉 And he didn’t throw a fit the other morning when I did this so maybe that’s a good sign…. *fingers crossed*

2. School until 3pm.

This has less to do with “the action” and more to do with “the mindset.” Lately (and this will get worse when spring fever sets in) my children have been pretty bad about asking to do other things in the middle of the school day. “I’m done with my math, can I draw?” (Math is first, so, um, no –let’s keep going.) “Can we take a break and watch a movie?” (Again, um, no.) I am ALL. FOR. drawing and playing games and playing outside but there needs to be some kind of order to our day and that’s why we’re here working on these things.

So the girls and I talked about this, too.. we need to adopt the mindset that from 9 to 3 is school time. Even if we finish all our basics before lunch (and we should be able to) we can fill our afternoon with projects, art, music, games, nature walks, journaling, you name it. Things that are educational AND fun. So you see, this is less of a “we need to be working hard at books every single minute” rule and more of a “there are better things we can do with our time than turn on the tv” habit.

To accomplish this goal: There’s an alarm on my phone that goes off at 3 p.m. for snack time. This can also serve to mark the end of our school day. The snack time habit is a solid one, so we don’t need to develop that habit, too, we just need to add the habit of working on good things up until then and not wanting to turn the tv back on or do something else.

Challenges: Being prepared ahead of time to work on projects for history and science is one area I struggle in, but preparation will help make sure we get enough projects and activities in. I need to develop some kind of system. I’ll see if I can work on that too, but right now we can at least work on the habit of staying busy (with SOMETHING) until three. I bet we see some future planning and “system” 3 in 30 goals. I open for suggestions. =p

3. Tidy after lunch, breakfast and supper.

The other day I told you about our new “20 Minute Clean-Up” that we’ve been using to get chores done and how well it is working for us. I started it just to get some cleaning done when it needed to be done…and now I want to make it a regular part of our schedule three times a day. I kind of tried to do that at one point last month, but it wasn’t our main focus and it hasn’t really become habit. So it’s going to be our third habit to develop for this month.

After breakfast, lunch and supper, each of the kids will have an assigned room to tidy and clean while I do the same in the kitchen. (They’ll each take a turn in each room so that by the end of the day they’ve each had a hand in keeping the whole house picked up.) I want this to help us develop the habits of cleaning up after meals immediately AND keeping the house picked up throughout the day.

To accomplish this goal: You guessed it – alarms. On my phone. Yes, my phone has become my personal assistant. I already had a bell for breakfast time at 8 and for school at 9 (and similar for other meals.) I *thought* I could just remember to call for a 20 Minute Clean-Up “whenever” everyone was done eating. …And here’s where I take a minute to laugh at myself… Since THAT never happened I’ve added bells to go off and remind me. I think I have a dozen bells on my phone now.. but hey, it’s working. 😉

Challenges: Only resisting the urge to not want to follow it through or ignore the bell. Or also, if a meal is late for one reason or another, it’s too tempting to want to skip the clean-up after. But seeing the benefits of getting it done makes it worth it and encourages me to press on.


Three more habits to develop to help our day run smoothly. Three more habits to work towards our 2011 “Well-Functioning” goal. Three more ways to train ourselves to be good stewards of our time and things. What will you work on in March?

Linked to the 3 in 30 March goal linky.

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!