Homeschooling is great because we can plan our own schedule. We love being in charge of our days. That way we can adjust things to fit our family. Maximize our family time. Do what works for us.
The problem is that sometimes we don’t do a great job of it.
We stay up too late, then sleep too late. By the time school gets started, it seems like it’s soon time for lunch. Sometimes we can’t even remember everything we’re supposed to do, much less what the children are supposed to do. Some weeks we don’t get nearly enough done.
Over the years we’ve realized that there are a few things we really need to get done to keep things moving through the week. Maybe these will give you some ideas, too:
Have regular chore times. We have so many children we can’t even remember who we told to do what half the time! Our solution? Have a chore chart with each child assigned to a particular job each day. That’s not enough, though, because we are still too addled to keep up with whether the jobs are getting done or not. Well, we do notice if no one does lunch, but the other jobs? Not always. So, we have certain times everyone is supposed to be working, because even we notice when one child is reading while everyone else is working! For us, those are before breakfast and before and after lunch and dinner.
Always start school with devotions. Our policy is that if we don’t have time for devotions we don’t have time for school. Spending time with God as a family gets us off on the right foot and the whole day goes much, much better.
Make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to do. When we let this one slide, let’s face it, school slides. It’s not enough to have a plan that Mom can see. Really. Instead, they all need a list they can check off. It helps them realize that there will be an end to the school day and that dragging out math is just going to make it longer. This is especially important for that distractible, emotional age–nine to twelve years old. It makes it a little less between mom and child and more something that needs to be conquered. You’d be amazed how much that helps!
If you haven’t tried those things, give them a try. Tomorrow is a great day to start something new–or start it again. There are some things we need to work on, too!
Hal & Melanie
Got a 9-12 year old? Seeing anger, distraction, and moodiness? If you’re in the Carolinas or Virginia, you can join us for one of our rare IN PERSON Boot Camp 9-12 series for parents of boys 9 and up. It’s November 7th-8th and you can find out more here!
Need encouragement but not in the area? It’s not too late to join us for this ONLINE session of Boot Camp 9-12 for parents of boys. Check it out here. It’s one of the most popular things we do!