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Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families Review by Christine Field

Steven and Teri Maxwell

It's 11 o'clock. Quick! Do you know what each and every one of your family members is supposed to be doing? If you had used the planning methodology in Teri Maxwell's book, Managers of Their Homes, you would have a blueprint for smoother homeschooling days.

To begin, Teri takes us through the process of listing each activity engaged in by each family member every day. This can seem overwhelming, but take heart. Even the longest list of responsibilities can be managed and tamed.

After each person has their list, your task is to arrange them in a way that makes sense, grouping activities and children in ways that complement and assist one another. Even a 5-year-old can play blocks with a 2 year old! Utilize these relationships, no matter what the ages of your children, to meet all the needs of the day.

We used this system in my home and it resulted in the discovery of creative ways for the children to work together. For example, while I am tutoring Grace in reading, Caitlin is reading silently and Clare is helping Daniel with his math. After I finish with Grace, I work with Clare and Caitlin on their math while Grace reads a beginning reader to Dan. Even though there is only one MOM, there are many ways to group your children together so they are engaged productively while you are busy. What a blessing!

This takes a little time to implement. The brainstorming and the list making can be time consuming, but the time saved in the long run is well worth the effort.

Teri takes us through school scheduling and life scheduling. An entire chapter is devoted to scheduling chores, a subject near and dear to my own heart. This begins again with a master list, which is then delegated, which is then placed on the master schedule. Then everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing.

Teri also helps us in the kitchen. She advises us to use our children as meal helpers (which are then scheduled on the master schedule), to keep master kitchen lists and menus.

What I really appreciate about Teri is that (1) she is a Mom in the trenches, home schooling eight children, writing and speaking and (2) she reminds us to schedule for priorities (devotional time, crafts, etc.) and be prepared for interruptions. I am often discouraged by home management systems that seem so perfect. We are a house full of sinners saved by grace. We need the wiggle room for interruptions and mistakes. Teri helps us to learn to handle them with grace.

The book concludes with an extensive question and answer section and a chapter devoted to Dads. A complete set of forms is included for planning the master schedule.

I have been so blessed by the Maxwell's ministry. In addition to their books, they are conference speakers, maintain an active web site, and produce a monthly newsletter full of ideas and wisdom. To find out about these, visit them at

--Product Review by: Christine Field, Senior Correspondent, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine