My life tends to be a bit hectic. Isn’t that true of all homeschool mama’s? One of the reasons that I feel so blessed to be able to homeschool is that I can work schooling into our lives, rather than stopping our everyday lives for school. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, but I realized very quickly that that just wasn’t working for my family when it came to schooling. I had to find some order to our days, but I was not ready for an every hour planned out to the minute schedule.. I needed to find a balance. Thankfully, that balance came with a homeschool routine.
Our Homeschool Routine: Why We Don’t Schedule
So in this post I’ll cover the “why”s for needing a homeschool routine rather than a schedule. In my next post I’ll cover more about our particular routine, and how we fit everything in! By all means this is not the right way to homeschool or schedule your day. Everyone has different needs in their homes and homeschools. If you have the discipline to follow to a to-the-minute schedule, I applaud you! These are simply the reasons that a routine works for my homeschool! Maybe they will help you.
I was running in circles all day
I felt like I was working all day long, but I never felt like I was accomplishing anything. I would have Mr. C start his handwriting lesson, try to check my Swagbucks account and earn some points, then he would need me to look at his work and talk with him about the quality. Or I would start teaching the math lesson and the baby would need to be nursed. Or I would start doing therapy activities with A-Man and then Mr. C would be ready for his science lesson, which are both mom-intensive. By the end of the day I’d be so exhausted that I shut down completely after bedtime and accomplish nothing! For a stay-at-home mama trying to start on the work-at-home journey, that just didn’t work for me!
My kids were really really grumpy, and so was I!
Without a consistent homeschool routine, my kids never knew what was going to come next. Sometimes lunch was before nap, sometimes after. Sometimes I had Mr. C do all of his independent work before we started anything mommy lead, and other days we mixed it up. School could start right after breakfast, or it could be when Daddy went to work at 2 pm. With A-Man’s language delay and his processing issues, he needed a consistent routine. Because of his language delay, he simply doesn’t understand “well mommy has a LOT of work to do, so we’re going to push things back just this once”. Also, while Mr. C is certainly not speech delayed, [this kid started talking at nine months and never stopped!] we have the opposite problem with him. He does understand what we say, but he asks about what’s happening all.day.long. “Mommy what comes next?” “Mommy, when is lunch?” “Mommy will we have our nap today?” Then I would get frustrated with him, even though it wasn’t his fault, it was mine. So, I realized I needed a change for all of us!
We have strange schedule constraints
The biggest of these is that we are a co-parent household. Mr. C and A-Man spend two days a week with their biological father. Homeschooling is the only way that we are able to make this work continually. If they were in the public school, the days of their visitation would be restricted to weekends, which does not work at all with their retail-working bio-dad. They would get no time together. We also make sure to attend church every Sunday, two services because we serve at one. Then we also have bible studies on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday! And finally, Chris works evenings. He leaves either at 2 or 4 pm every day. To fit in everything I need to in a week, there needs to be some sort of routine!
So what is your homeschool routine like? Do you schedule every minute? Or do you take a more relaxed approach? Maybe you even unschool and have no routine or schedule at all. I’d love to know! Also, make sure you check out part two to see how we fit everything in with a homeschool routine!