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I'm sharing with you how I handle the homeschool routines and schedules in our lives after six years of experience. I hope it will encourage you and help you at the same time. I can remember back to our first year of homeschooling the kids because we have made many changes throughout the years. As a result, every year feels new and exciting.
I had this ideal little schedule laid out the first year I homeschooled. It looked rather well planned and easy to follow. I believed with all of my heart that we could follow this schedule.
The schedule looked like this:
7-8: Breakfast and morning chores
8-12: Morning Lessons
12-2: Lunch and recess
2-5: Afternoon Lessons
5-8: Dinner and evening chores
7-9: Free Time
That was UNTIL the reality of life happening daily took ahold of us.
There's More to Homeschooling Our Kids
I have since learned that homeschooling kids need to become about more than finishing the next bit of assignment in a workbook or textbook. It has to be about encouraging a love of learning in every aspect of their lives. They have to be able to see why you're taking the time to teach them all of the humble jumble that is being crammed down their throats.
I believe in the value of textbooks, workbooks, and even having someone take the time to teach my kids something through a class like setting. I know it works and has some merit behind my kids grasping the concepts. However, I also believe that them being able to put all of it to practical use in the real world teaches them a lot more.
Hence, that's why we make many trips to the grocery store and literally challenge them to read labels, price tags, and do figures in their heads as we progress through the store. My husband takes them to the local lumber shop and has them help him figure out what he's going to need for whatever woodworking project he's working on.
It's also about teaching them the proper way to handle their emotions. I do believe this is the hardest part of teaching my kids at home. I have to help my kids deal with the various emotions that they go through as they learn and grasp new concepts.
I have one son who is a perfectionist who strives to do everything 110% right the best of his ability. If he sees he's not reaching the mark, it frustrates him beyond belief. He deals with issues of getting angry at himself and the situation. Then, on the other hand, I have another son who works just as hard, but if he's faced with something that challenges the dickens out of him, he shuts down on me. For me, it's an emotional rollercoaster ride just keeping up with them both and helping them to reach the next point.
What does that have to do with homeschool routines and schedules?
It has a lot to do with it. I'm telling you that your kids are going to learn these concepts if you are willing to think outside the curriculum boxes. Don't get locked down into feeling like you have to use an official schedule because our lives are meant to be enjoyed. One of the reasons why we considered homeschooling in the first place was because of the flexibility it provided us.
It's going to be a long journey filled with many ups and downs. It will feel like those pitfalls are going to eat you alive on many days, but I assure you when you think they aren't learning a single ounce of anything they really are! If nothing else, they are learning about themselves and your abundant love you have for them to be willing to go on this journey with them.
We are their natural born teachers in this world. We teach them many things before the government even requires us to give them an “official” education. If we can manage to teach them those things then we can handle teaching to read, write, and do Math (along with all the other requirements thrown at us.)
Some tips of the trade include:
- Make sure everyone has a set of chores they are responsible for completing both in the morning and at night.
- Take advantage of using a slow cooker/crockpot to cook healthy meals.
- Keep your lunches simple and light.
- Remember to savor the moments you have with your kids because you are creating lasting memories.
- Taking a breather may be the very thing needed when emotions run hot.
- Be willing to follow your child's lead without having them rule the outcome completely. (Remember that old adage: ‘If they think it's their idea they are ten times more likely to do it.')
I hope these homeschool routine and schedules bits of information helped you prepared for another year of homeschooling our kids. To me, it's nice to have a routine that works for you, but let it happen naturally. At the same time be willing to be flexible as the situation calls for.
What tips would you add to help someone have a smoother homeschool routine and schedule?