There are many times when I feel like my children have a different vision of how the day should go than I do. They want to play around and get distracted and I want to be efficient and get lots of things done. At these times I feel like my children are miles away from where I need them to be in order to have the house run happily.
At these times I have found it very useful to take an hour and have small mentor sessions with my children. We talk about what their goals are for the day and week and we set them up a schedule. Don't forget to add some great play time after you have blocked out the family work time.
After the mentor sessions, my children get right on task. I can even say that sometimes they are excited to be efficient too, because now they own what is going to happen that day. At the end of each planned period of the day my children feel like they have had a success. They feel good about themselves each time they accomplish a new task or study period.
It always amazes me how spending one hour with my children planning, saves me many hours of stress and frustration. In the long run, the one hour save lots of real hours of corrective teaching etc. It is worth it.
These mentor sessions give us a daily vision. And, after all, nothing really ever happens right unless it starts with a vision first.
For children age four and older this system works well. (I should qualify this. It works well for my four year old, because he is a planner. Other four year olds might not be ready for a whole day of planning yet.)
For younger children it is best to have 1-2 minute vision sessions where you give a plan and make a goal for the next 15 minute segment of time. Use as needed.
Babies------------Ah babies-----------they do their own thing. :)