Let me start by saying I have a deep distaste for all things that beep and buzz. I’m the person who won’t set a timer on their oven but rather will watch the clock so nothing randomly starts making that annoying repeated sound. I also turn off all the sounds on my Instant Pot; because let’s face it, that high pitch sound letting me know that I pushed a button is super unnecessary. All that said, after trying countless other methods for keeping track of all the things, I started setting alarms on my phone to go off routinely. These alarms have saved my homeschooling sanity.

Anyone else get deep into helping a child with a subject and forget all together that it is lunch time then wonder why said child is having a complete meltdown? Good. I’m glad I’m not alone. Anyone get so focused on picking up the house that snack and family read aloud go out the window? Yes, I see your hand. Anyone enjoy recess so much that you forget to have your children start back at school at a reasonable hour and then everyone is upset because school is going further into the day than it should? Don’t hide behind your screen, speak up. Surely, I’m not the only one.

Despite my distain for all things that beep and buzz, phone alarms have helped us create rhythms and routines that serve us and keep us on track. As of the writing of this post, I have daily alarms for the end of Bible time, breakfast dishes and brushing teeth, the time to start prepping lunch, invitation to explore [which is labeled as walk and podcast because while they are exploring I get 20-30 minutes of walking and personal growth] and family read aloud in the mid-afternoon. There are a few other non-daily alarms like my Friday “get your act together for next week” alarm and our Wednesday “make dinner early because you have church tonight” alarm. The beauty of these alarms is not a rigid schedule. In fact, I frequently hit snooze once or in extreme cases twice on an alarm; but rather, the beauty lies in the rhythm trigger. My 9:30AM alarm may say it is for Laundry, Breakfast Dishes and Brushing Teeth; but in reality, it is the start of a whole routine / rhythm that includes all the things in the name as well as seeing if I need to start anything for dinner, getting out a special activity for our littlest to get started on and sitting down to do reading with our next oldest. The alarm is the first domino in a series. Once it is knocked over, the rest of the things just begin to fail into place. Phone alarms have definitely been one way we have learned to keep it smart and keep it simple.