The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

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The 7 Minute Life is a company specializing in time management and productivity. They produce The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner and this post is my review of this product.

When it comes to planning and organizing, I am the first in line. There’s a running joke between me and my husband about my passion for planners. You do not want to know how many planners I have tried and used over the years.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Cover

The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is different from something you would pick up at Walmart or a bookstore. The regular features of a planner are there, of course, but then there is the front matter of the planner – that’s where you take the time to actually sit down, relax, and understand yourself and your goals.

First things first… Why this title? What’s with the seven minutes? Well, research shows that the average adult has an attention span of about seven minutes. Isn’t that scary? Regardless, the idea is to take seven minutes every day and plan your day, especially certain projects that absolutely must be done.

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It may sound like a cliché, but you will be amazed by how much you get done. The truth is that when we get intentional about our goals and actually write them down and think about why they are important to us, something inside us compels us to action. You cannot fool your brain anymore.

Another difference between this planner and others is that you will apply three principles: Prioritize, Organize, and Simplify. 7 minute life principles

Let’s analyze this graphic. Doesn’t it speak volumes? My life feels so much like the first picture. All the tasks I need to accomplish as a homeschooling mom appear like black circles or targets. There are just so many of them, where do I start? Each one seems just as important as the next.

During the seven minutes of analysis, one prioritizes by identifying those “must get done” tasks. For a homeschooling mom, those might be feeding the kids and getting reading and math done each day. Or, perhaps, art is the one thing you must do every day with your kids. Whatever it is, those would become your green circles, so to speak.

Then comes “organize.” When you have tasks organized in a row, don’t you feel a lot better already? I look at that second picture and I can actually breathe a sigh of relief. Order. I feel like I have some control over my life.

Last by not least, “simplify.” If the only thing you have energy for today are the green circles, then simplify your life by eliminating the rest of the circles. Focus on these must-do tasks and leave the rest behind.

This planner measures 7.3″ by 8.5″ and it is a physical product. You don’t have to print anything out. As I said above, the front matter of the planner is the most important part for you. It will help you learn who you really are, what makes you tick, and which goals mean the most to you. As you answer various questions, you will personalize this planner for your lifestyle.

Next, I would like to show you a sample of the page that keeps you on track. There is the concept of 5 before 11. These are five important tasks you plan to get done before 11am. This is really cool. Imagine yourself hitting five goals every day before you even start cooking lunch.

For those needing help with drinking their daily water, or exercise, or personal reflection time, there are areas where you can keep track of that. Also, you can keep yourself accountable by answering Yes or No to the question, “Did I do what I said I would do today?” If you confront yourself every day, I guarantee you will get moving closer to your goals.

7 minute life daily planner page

This is just a small sample of the pages available and the tools you will get with this planner, which costs $24.95 and comes with a 100% money back guarantee. It is intended for adults – moms, dads, professionals, any adult who has mental clutter to unload on paper, and tons of tasks to accomplish. Hmm… that’s all of us, I think.

In over 270 pages, you will revamp your whole life and never look back. But remember, the system works if you work the system. You must follow through with filling out these forms and spending those seven minutes thinking. For more information, please watch these videos and this one.

Personally, I filled out the front matter of the planner and used the daily task page a couple of time just to test it out. I have to say, it really works if you work it. I can’t wait to use it on a regular basis when my present planner runs out, in a few months.

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How to Come Up with 4 Hours of Homeschooling Kindergarten

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Some states ask homeschoolers to perform four hours of instruction in each of the 180 days of school they must report at the end of the school year. Tennessee, where I live, is one of those states.

State officials do not ask for specifics on what we did each day during those four hours. However, for my own sake, I keep tabs on what we do daily and how long each activity took. I use a simple notebook on each child, even though my daughter is in preschool and, as such, her instruction is not “official.”

Now, let’s define instruction. Any time knowledge is imparted, instruction happens. Children do not receive instruction only if they are seatead at a desk with their textbooks opened at a specific page as directed by an adult licensed as a teacher, who is standing in front of a blackboard or white board or SMART interactive board.

Children learn all the time. It’s what children do. They learn. They haven’t been around much, so most of what they see around them is new and exciting. Our task as parents is to surround them with positive, age-appropriate sources of information, according to their learning styles.

My daughter, a preschooler, joins us for most activities, so I use plural when I describe what we do. Here’s how I come up with four hours of instruction for my son, who is in homeschool kindergarten.

 

First Hour

30 minutes – Bible. This represents both our morning and evening devotional times, during which we read stories from age-appropriate Bible curriculum, learn hymns and praise songs, memorize passages of Scripture, pray, and do crafts or activities that will solidify and make real the knowledge of God. This time also covers those precious moments throughout the day when we talk about God because they ask about life and I direct their minds to the truths of the Bible.

30 minutes – Home Ec. Think making the bed, taking dirty clothes to the hamper, putting toys and school supplies up at the end of the day, dusting, wiping the table after meals, doing laundry, setting the table, stirring the oatmeal I cook for breakfast, pouring flour from the measuring cup into the mixing bowl for pancakes, pushing buttons on the blender filled with yummy ingredients under my supervision, learning to mow with daddy, emptying the dishwasher… I could go on and on. Home ec. skills are life skills which establish habits that will make them great spouses and parents and responsible adults with healthy self-images. Instruction happens throughout the day in small bits. I have approximated this to be half an hour daily.

 

Second Hour

1 hour – Romanian (mother tongue). I speak with them in Romanian 90% of the time I am with them. I also read to them in Romanian. It adds up to more than one hour a day, but I keep it simple for recording purposes.

 

Third Hour

30 minutes – Recess. Why not? If they count it as school time in public schools, we can, too.

30 minutes – Reading with mommy. I read picture books and various readers to them. We worked our way through “Before Five in a Row” and SimplyCharlotteMason.com reading lists. Now we are working through “Books Children Love.” Sometimes I have my son read a page or a whole reader, depending on how motivated he feels that morning.

Fourth Hour

30 minutes – P.E. Every day, as long as it is over 46F and dry, my children spend time outside on their bikes or doing various ball activities with me or with each other. Today we played a bit of tennis, for instance. Catching, throwing, rolling, and bouncing a ball are important large motor skills. Some days they bike the Gatlinburg trail. Daddy and I run alongside them. It is four miles both ways and we do it in 70 minutes, including a five-minute break when we turn around at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Great cardio workout. When it’s warm, we go to the pool. Every other month, they take swim lessons.

30 minutes – The 3Rs, i.e. formal instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic. Ten minutes per subject is plenty for a five-year-old. A child’s attention span is their age in minutes plus one. So a three-year-old can focus for about four minutes and a five-year-old for about six minutes. I make sure I don’t push my son beyond his limits. We might take a break and talk about something (he always has a story to share) before we go on to the next concept. We will probably do fifteen minutes per subject in the second semester; by then, my son will be six.

 

Fifth Hour

30 minutes – Reading with daddy. This is a nightly routine which happens after supper and just before bedtime.

10 minutes – Music. I play classical music for them throughout the day, during meals, or in the car. If they are interested, I tell them it is Telemann or Handel or Mozart etc.

10 minutes – Arts & Crafts. They make cards for different events and people on a regular basis. They draw, cut and paste in their lapbooks. They decorate their bedroom according to their fancy with old ribbons and scotch tape. They paint. They draw with chalk in the driveway.

10 minutes – Science. Once a month, they take a class at Ripley’s Aquarium. Nature walks or simply being in the yard provide an opportunity for spotting insects and animals. We melt ice. We make popsicles. We grow butterflies out of caterpillars we mail ordered. We write in our nature journals. We learn to cook and can and garden.

10 minutes – Foreign Languages. I tell them things in French and Spanish every day. Simple things. “Thank you” or “here you are” or “please” or whatever simple phrase I may use in Romanian, I repeat it in French. Or Spanish. Or English. I find myself saying the same thing in three or four different ways. Sometimes I make them repeat it, but other times, if we are hard at play, I just say it and we move on. We also repeat the days of the week and the months of the year in several languages for our calendar activities.

As you can see, I easily come up with more than five hours of “instruction” per day. Which means that I can leave out certain activities based on what we have on our schedule as a family that particular day. Activities can carry over for recording purposes, too. It works out well. I told you homeschooling was a flexible endeavor.