Disclaimer: there is a great deal that I don’t know. I do know that every family is different and that the things that help my family are not universal. Hopefully this series will be a blessing for some. Any links to amazon are affiliate links.
One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that the actual schoolwork takes so much less time than public/private/charter schools. Kids can focus on what they need to learn, and get one-on-one help. Unfortunately, it took me a while to figure out how to take advantage of this. I will be honest: I am not a morning person. I believed that I was a morning person before I had kids, but they proved me wrong. I found myself not starting homeschooling until 10, or 11, or even after lunch. We had all day right? I learned the hard way that Wildcat didn’t function well with being expected to do school after a morning of running around and doing whatever he wanted. I didn’t do well with Wildcat being so resistant to learning.
I tried many things. Reading to him while he was in our indoor swing, reciting math facts while jumping on the trampoline, and Pinterest hands on activities galore. While this firmly cemented our love of hands-on-learning, it didn’t fix the problem. It wasn’t until I saw that my resistance to doing school in the mornings was causing the problem that things really got better. I looked at my friends and noticed how much more disciplined their schedules were.
Strict schedules don’t work well with our family. Thankfully, as homeschoolers, they don’t need to work well. I ended up coming up with a single rule: We are done with school at noon (except for things we review in the car). I designated Saturday morning as a make-up day, if needed, and we were off. Having certain books on e-book/audiobook made utilizing car trips as school time easy. This year Wildcat decided to do a bit of extra work during the week, so that he can have every Saturday off. How long school takes varies, as we love to get sidetracked learning and exploring. Additionally, we take several short swinging/jumping/running breaks. School starts at around 8 or 9 and is finished at noon.
This year we added that if the kids have a good attitude (and lack of whining) they get to play with their favorite toys after school. If they have a bad attitude we are still done, but they don’t get the Legos, Zoobs, Magnatiles etc. nor do they get any TV. We’ve only been trying this for a week, but it is going very well.
What does your schedule look like? Please, share in the comments.