What I want to talk about is taking a teacher workday, but before we can discuss this important and practical tool for successful homeschooling, we need to discuss the principles that support it. Developing and articulating our principles in a general sense allows us to apply them in many particular situations and greatly decreases the energy involved in decision-making.

No matter what task we approach, there are 3 important stages: planning, doing, and reflecting. Unfortunately, we tend to acquire these principles in a disordered way.

As a new wife and mom, we started by doing and the doing quickly accelerates. For many of us, home management is a skill we weren’t taught and we only started it in earnest once our children came. We were physically low, emotionally insecure, awed and overwhelmed by motherhood and we were also supposed to clean toilets? What a transition!

After a while, more kids accelerated life even more, and suddenly we were drowning. We started to realize planning in certain areas allowed an occasional gulp of air. The menu or housecleaning schedule got attention ,and we heaved a sigh of relief as we found a life rhythm.

Once planning precedes doing, we reach a point of equilibrium that we feel like life is slowing down so we add more doing, which, incidentally, requires more planning. We don’t even realize we are missing something. What we are missing is the opportunity to reflect.

Reflection offers us the opportunity to consider our experiences, think about what is going well and what isn’t, and redirect our lives. Consider the directions on how make a good Confession from the Baltimore Catechism #2:

191. Q. What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily?

A. To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:

We must examine our conscience. (Reflect)
We must have sorrow for our sins. (Respond to reflection)
We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God. (Begin to redirect)
We must confess our sins to the priest. (Reflect again with helpful partner)
We must accept the penance which the priest gives us. (Correction and redirection before we start planning and doing)

Consider that we should be going to Confession once a month. Do you reflect on your housekeeping habits that often? How your marriage is going? How discipline is working? If you are homeschooling effectively? If you are caring for yourself adequately?

I don’t.

So let’s keep these three principles in mind as we approach any area our vocation where we struggle. Let’s plan, then do, then reflect.