We are on our 7th homeschool year and I have learned a lot – about me and about my kids. One of those things is that schedules don’t work for us. I don’t have a designated start/stop time nor do I structure our day in time blocks per subject.
When we first started homeschooling I was adamant to be at the table at 9 every morning, follow a schedule like you’d see in a public school classroom, and moving on to the next subject when that time block was over. While I understand why it’s an important factor and why it works for a lot of people, especially in a public school aspect.. it wasn’t for us.
I found myself burnt out, getting frustrated, and not loving it. Which I knew wasn’t because I didn’t want to homeschool.. it was because we had not found our groove yet. It took a few years of trying different things to figure out what works best for us. So don’t get discouraged if something someone else does, doesn’t work for you. You’re going to find that a lot of what others do doens’t work for you – so just take what you need from multiple different homeschool moms and put your own spin on it!
I’ve found that spending however long we need on a specific lesson is what works for us. Some days we only need 20 minutes, other days we need an hour. It’s a lot easier for me to manage my sanity and their behavior if we move in this manner because it gives them a sense of control – which feels less like public school. I would much rather them focus on learning what is needed of the topic instead of what time it is and needing to move onto the next subject because that time block is over.
My goal is to start our day at 9 am and for the most part we meet that goal. However, life happens and that’s okay. Some days we don’t start til 10 or 11 am. Some days we don’t start until after lunch. No matter what time we start.. we get it done and that’s the most important part. Starting at a “normal” time doesn’t matter if we are getting our lessons done and learning in our own way.
I know a lot of homeschool moms who have a strict schedule/routine and it works for them and I love that! I am not here to judge. The best thing about homeschooling is that it is flexible to you and your family’s needs. One friend of mine includes more subjects in her day that I do, another sticks to a learning with real life situations/unschooling.. both of which are amazing ways to implement homeschooling if it works for you. You may even find that what works for one of your children doesn’t work for the other and that’s perfectly normal too.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have expectations or that kids run the show. My kids know what I expect – I make it clear. They know that I am the one overseeing everything and that they do have a say but that I make final decisions.
I believe that each individual family should have their own way of doing things without the judgement from others. It’s common knowledge that what works for me might not work for you – so why can’t that be more acceptable in homeschooling?
If you’re a homeschool parent do you follow a schedule or are you more like me & go with the flow?