Why I got rid of my daily homeschool schedule - Making her mama
Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule!!

Do you love schedules?  Me too! Do you have a daily homeschool schedule?  I have found them to be the worst thing for my homeschooling, especially with toddlers and babies around.  With a little one, it only takes an unexpected diaper change to throw off your delicate plans.  Or a missing bottle to eliminate one item on the agenda.  OR….you get the picture.

For years I have battled with our daily homeschool schedule.  Every summer I find myself thinking, if I could just find the right schedule, l’m sure I could make it work.  And every September, I set out, like a new kindergartener, excited for the journey ahead, new schedule in hand……only to find that by October things are starting to slip below my expectations….

 

I want my kids to have an exceptional education – I want them to love learning, I want our activities to be very hands on, and I want to explore their interests and not just follow a check list of age appropriate subjects.  But, when I schedule things, my day tends to become focussed on checking off the list.  

Enter Sergeant Homeschool…..

Commando mom usually starts to rear her loud and commanding voice and bark orders to the kids.  Get it done.  Finish that up.  Start the next thing.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  And I hate it.  And THEY hate it.  School becomes a task, not an experience.  Our relationship becomes strained and unenjoyable.

So, this summer, as I sat pondering my perfect schedule, I took into account my 8 years of homeschooling experience and made 2 major changes.  I stepped away from the pressure of a curriculum and I stepped away from having a daily homeschool schedule.  Now, these things themselves aren’t inherently bad, so if you use them and they work for you – Awesome! Don’t ditch them.  They just aren’t working well for me.

This summer I spent a lot of time reflecting and praying on what changes I needed to  make in our home.  Because I’m currently only homeschooling my 8 year old (our 17 year old is in an awesome alternative program, and the toddler is still enjoying free play and exploration) my focus is back to the basics;  Reading, w(R)iting, and (a)Arithmetic – the 3 R’s.  

The foundation of our homeschooling….

(Replacing our daily homeschool schedule)

I do believe these skills are foundational for our kids to be able to survive and thrive in our current culture.  Also, I want my home to be a place of peacefulness (despite the high energy and loud atmosphere that encompasses these humans that I love so dearly).  

A couple of years ago, I was blessed to hear Bonnie Landry (@ Practicing Mammal) speak about her homeschooling methods.  What stuck with me the most was how she took time each day to sit with each of her 8 children, put her arm around them, and work with them one on one.  This is what I want.  I time of personal connection with each of my children daily.  Where we can be in each others company, loving and learning without stress and without pressure.

I also love Charlotte Mason style learning.  If you’re new to homeschooling or don’t know much about Charlotte Mason and her theories on learning Simply Charlotte Mason is a great website to learn more.  

The 3 major things that I’ve taken from this style of educating a child are: 

  1. Teaching with focussed attention for up to 15 minutes (for younger students) and then moving onto something else.
  2. Spending more time outdoors and studying nature.
  3. Helping my children to form good habits.

On a daily basis, Ms. Mason felt that children should have 3 things…..

Every day, a child needs something (or someone) to love, something to do, & something to… Click To Tweet

Implementing the new….without a schedule

So, rather than plunk on these wonderful knew ideas into time chunks create a daily homeschool schedule, I’ve focussed on finding our daily rhythm.  To be honest, we haven’t had one since we moved over 3 years ago.  There’s been so much change in our household with learning a new community, settling into a new place, having 2 school aged children for the first time and then adding 2 babies 21 months apart.  I lost my way.

But now, I feel like I’ve finally conquered our new normal and found our rhythm.  I still have things that I need to do every day, just like you!  But how they get done is more balanced.  We move from place to place and from one activity to the next as it fits with each day.  There is a lot less stress and the kids are happier.  It’s not perfected yet and I know it will be constantly shifting as the kids grow but that’s okay.

But what does this really look like?

If you’re like me, you probably want the nitty gritty details incase this might work for you.  Stay tuned for part 2 of this post…. to make sure you don’t miss it, consider subscribing below and receiving all my new posts right in your inbox.   

 

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17 Comments
  • Ali says:

    Love this idea! Your kids are lucky to have a mama like you!

    • Nadine says:

      Aw 🙂 Thanks. I have my rough days like anyone, but I absolutely love being home with my kiddos! I’m so thankful that my husband values that and that we make it work no matter what!

  • Oh girl! I hear ya. I home schooled for 2 years, thought I was going to die from the stress and put my kids in a Christian school instead, and I am so much happier. We all are. BUT I’m perfectly happy for all ye who can handle the homeschool. Good on ya. I love your idea to do away with the strict schedule because I know it never worked for me either. (I had 4 boys, and 2 of those were pre-school.) I never did figure out what WOULD work, but I am glad that you have found something to work for your family. Thank you for linking up with the #hotmess blog hop!

    • Nadine says:

      LOL Storiesofourboys I can only imagine! The first few years of homeschooling were ROUGH! I foraged my way on my own, but once I became more educated about homeschooling and let go of all my preconceived notions and started teaching to my children from their interests life took a much better turn!! Having a good support network is key! Glad you found what is working for your family 🙂

  • Oh. I just realized you also have 4 boys. That’s awesome. It’s a uniquely fun way to live. 😉

    • Nadine says:

      Isn’t it awesome! We thought little Lou was going to be a girl – each of my pregnancies has been so different – but I was thrilled to have another boy! Love my little troupe….heading for a football team LOL Do you get asked about sports teams all the time too?

  • rosannas2016 says:

    I also homeschool my children. This is our 4th year. We don’t really follow a schedule either, but we do have what I call a daily routine. This keeps us on task and helps everyone know what to expect.

    • Nadine says:

      Rosanna that’s awesome!! I find the same – it’s gives the kids a heads up – they know what to expect. Especially helpful with kids who struggle with transitions (like my toddler).

  • Eli Pacheco says:

    I love this approach, Nadine. Shouldn’t all of us try to find that rhythm to our day – and what’s more, refine it as we go. That’s learning while you’re learning. Glad I found you through April’s Hot Mess Blog Hop this week.

    • Nadine says:

      I totally agree 🙂 when I ran a daycare this was totally my approach but over the years of becoming more homeschool focused we slowly slipped away from it. Also adding 2 kids in 2 years has changed my learning curve 🙂 so glad you found my blog!!!

  • […] Why I Burned my Daily Homeschool Schedule […]

  • Canuck Carl says:

    Hi Nadine, I found my way here through April’s shout out from “Stories of Our Boys”. Much respect for what you are doing. My 4 children are pretty much left the nest. There is university and jobs and they come and go. Love it when they want to come back home.

    My wife was a SAHM right through to when the youngest attended public school, and after that she had a very part time job so she could be home when the kids arrived home from school. It does make a huge difference.

    The Charlotte Mason quote is amazing. Looking back we never really had a too structured home environment.

    • Nadine says:

      Hey Canuck Carl! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I think it’s amazing that she was always home for them after school. I think that is such a special time, and a time when kids often need to debrief everything that’s gone on that day (good and bad). So wonderful she could be there for your kids!! I LOVE that Charlotte Mason quote as well, and in the thick of things when it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with life, I find it draws me back to what’s important for today.

  • Wow This was heartwarming. I’m not a Mom but I’ve very intrigued by homeschooling, it really speaks to me. Your kids have an awesome Mom 🙂

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Mary 🙂 thanks so much for your kind words!!! Homeschooling is an amazing journey and it has definitely opened my eyes to the wonderful world of children and learning! And we are so lucky to live in a time and place where the support is phenomenal!

  • I love the simplicity of this. And in fact….I think these should be the cornerstones of a child’s day whether you home school or not but I really do love the concept here. Thanks so much for sharing with #coolmumclub xoxo

    • Nadine says:

      Hey! So glad you found me 💕 I totally agree, especially with toddlers and preschoolers I find we get lots less whining and frustration when they know what to expect from the day.

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Nadine Best

I am a follower of Jesus, SAHM, THMer, and homeschooler to my 4 boys. I love to garden and am a wanna be homesteader. I also LOVE organizing.

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