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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.