Schedule: Okey-dokey, Joneses. As we go into the new year, here’s your evening lineup. Every night, Darren will be teaching at least one kid a school subject. Usually two or three. Once a week, Sara will be driving a kid to an activity. Several of these things interfere with supper, so make a note of that.

Jones Family: Hang on. If school takes up our entire day and evening, when do we get anything else done?

Schedule: Weekends, I guess.

Weekend: Nope. I’m full up three months in advance.

Jones Family: This is ridiculous. We need some kind of break.

Schedule: A break? What kind of American are you? Don’t you know that the busier you are, the more successful you are? Homeschooling families should be the busiest so people know they’re the most successful.

Jones Family: But we want to have time to enjoy being home without the school part. We’re going to have to ask you to be a little more flexible.

Schedule: Flexible? Oookay. We could add a yoga class to Thursday nights . . .

Jones Family: No, we’re not adding, we’re subtracting.

Schedule: What? You can’t do that!

Jones Family: For this coming year, we’re creating a midweek Sabbath.

Schedule: You just made that up.

Jones Family: If we did, it just proves we’re brilliant. God thought Sabbath rests were so important that he built it into the weekly schedule. But the way we live now, Saturdays and Sundays are as exhausting as the rest of the week. So we’re going to clear out an evening in the middle of the week and rest then.

Schedule: That’s not possible.

Jones Family: Let’s take a look. Ah-ha! We can shift this school subject from evening to afternoon. . . . We can pare this one down to twice a week. . . . Oh, and this outside activity is taking up a lot of time, but isn’t necessarily working for us. We’re going to pull it.

Schedule: What? You’re removing an activity? You can’t do that!

Jones Family: And a little shuffling around . . . there! Look! That leaves Thursday evening completely free! Just look at that beautiful Sabbath rest in the middle of the week!

Schedule: Hmph. It’s kind of cool, I guess. What can we put in that blank space?

Jones Family: Whatever we want there. Let’s practice. Ahem. “Schedule, when can we have friends over for dessert and games?”

Schedule: Oh, well, Thursday evening is free.

Jones Family: Great! Here’s another one. “Schedule, Darren is feeling really stressed at work and just needs to relax at home. Is there any night this week he can do that?”

Schedule: There’s nothing on for Thursday.

Jones Family: One more. “Schedule, wouldn’t it be nice to have some time where we’re all home and can hang out together in the living room, playing electronics or reading, with nothing demanding our time?”

Schedule: I’ve got exactly the thing. Thursday nights are free.

Jones Family: See? Now you see how it works!

Schedule: I . . . I feel so much more flexible now!

Jones Family: It’s a great thing, isn’t it? Wait, what are you doing?

Schedule: I’m blocking off this evening in ink. Because that’s the only way to keep it from filling back up again. Now it’s a real item on the schedule.

 Jones Family: Well, thanks. You’ve made our new year a little happier.


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