Sunday night you are ready for the Homeschool Mama wins. If you’re like me maybe you have a comfy chair you sit in like a queen coming up with the plans to conquer a new kingdom. The plans have been all worked out, instead of conquering a kingdom you plan to educate minds, only slightly less or more intimidating depending on how confident you’re feeling.
Planner in hand you look down at your perfectly mapped out goals and dreams. Satisfied with all your ideals you head to bed dreaming of numbers understood, perfectly formed letters, thoughtful theological discussions and overall productive Mondays.
Then you wake up to the wake up call.
Written by MJ Sherwood of Soaring Arrows
If it’s anything like my home the reality check sets in before the caffeine does. Heading to brush teeth like lifeless zombies the big kids move slow and the toddler’s diaper has leaked through his crib sheets for the fifteenth time that month and I get straight to work on laundering his sheets thinking this is only one interruption to my day.
The cereal dumps out sloshing milk on the floor.
The toilet is plugged.
Dreaming Daughter cries over being rushed. Hugs. Talking. Time.
Little Brave wants oatmeal. No Cereal. No Oatmeal.
Time to clean up breakfast mess.
Morning Time is interrupted by an unignorably awful diaper.
One Little remembers they forgot to brush their teeth.
On the way back down they tumble too quickly down the stairway and get hurt.
Oh don’t forget to change the crib sheets from the washer to the dryer! Up two flights of stairs and back down.
Mama already needs a nap.
Now it is nearly lunch time and you are sitting there crying over your well intentioned schedule and cold coffee.
This might sound discouraging if you are just starting out or considering homeschooling but there truly is hope!
Years ago I dropped the whole idea of having any kind of a schedule, no more unrealistic expectations where life isn’t able to invade school. Homeschool is the opposite, you cannot take the home out of the school which is often where the chaos weaves it’s way into your sanity.
Finding a routine is often a much more successful plan if you find yourself unable to keep up with the demands of a schedule. Since I began thinking of our day as a routine instead of a schedule, I find myself able to have a more restful composure when those interruptions creep in.
How Does Homeschooling With a Routine Work?
Homeschooling with a routine simply means that we follow the same order of tasks each day without letting time dictate how long we spend on each subject. With a schedule you follow the same order each day with a certain time frame to complete each subject, stopping when time runs out.
With a routine you have a general idea of how long each task will take but you just move on to the next thing when you are ready to instead of when the clock strikes the next 15 minute mark. This way when interruptions occur, as they likely will, I won’t feel pressured by needing to finish math in 30 minutes. Some days the result of following a routine is that we may run out of time to do every subject each day. After a few years of homeschooling, I have begun to accept this is perfectly fine if it keeps the environment of our homeschool peaceful.
Some families use a loop schedule to ensure that you are following a routine but giving all the subjects a turn in your homeschool week. With a loop schedule you choose which subjects you want to get done every day like bible, reading, math, handwriting and reading aloud. For the subjects you may get caught going deeper in like history, science, geography, art, music or poetry you put on a loop schedule.
So on Monday if you get through History, Science & Geography then on Tuesday you pick up where you left off with Art and continue through your loop. I have used the loop schedule and it works pretty awesome but I found we weren’t able to get through certain subjects as quickly as we needed to so we switched back to our regular routine.
Here’s how Homeschooling with a Routine Looks over at Soaring Arrows Homeschool…
- Up & Ready
- Clean Up/Chores
- Morning Time – Bible, Science, History, Geography & Music
- Table Work – Handwriting, Math, Phonics, Reading & Language Arts
- Playtime – For the 3 younger kids
- History/Geography – With Dreaming Daughter
- Naptime – for Little Brave
- Read Aloud/Quiet Time
- Some days we add Art or Poetry teatime if Mom has energy left!
Advantages to a Homeschooling with a Routine Instead of a Schedule
Some of the advantages to homeschooling with a routine are that you can dive deeper into subjects when the opportunity presents itself. If your kiddos start asking more questions, you can take the time to have a conversation and find out more about the topic you are studying. This is great if you are hoping to make connections with your children through homeschooling that go beyond checking subjects off a daily to do list.
Also, it gives you the chance to handle the interruptions without feeling constantly rushed, something that I have to work hard not to do. It is in my nature to rush through my days but using a routine has taught me to slow some things done. Like kissing scraped knees or cleaning spilled milk.
If you have already tried the schedule and felt it didn’t serve your family, I encourage you to try homeschooling with a routine instead.
This homeschool lifestyle is meant to serve us instead of us becoming a slave to it!
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If homeschooling with a routine helps to calm your Mama heart and bring peace to your Home, then the most important things are already taken care of.
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We are a homeschool family with four pretty typical littles! Dreaming Daughter is 9, Tenderhearted Guy is 7, Wild Little Girl is 5 and Little Brave is 2. I am a Homeschool Girl turned Homeschool Mom, a long story with an unlikely ending that is still in progress. Like all Moms of all kinds I have bad days and great days, you won’t be spared from either kind! I believe that life cannot be lived redemptive without vulnerability. My mission at Soaring Arrows is to create a place where Moms can come to be refreshed, challenged and humored. Your child will be an arrow in this world without question. The real question is, will you send blank arrows shooting aimlessly through the sky? Or arrows which soar swiftly to their mark?