As we move towards a discipleship family lifestyle that isn’t dictated to by schools we have the freedom to manage our days as it suits our family. The school system is clearly divided up into 4 terms, with 2-6 week holiday break in between each term. Does this suit our family?
When we get asked, “Do you take school holidays?” I often um and arr about my answer. Yes, we do, but no we don’t.
Yes we do – we change our routine because it is a good time to catch up with many of our friends. In fact the school holidays are some of the busiest times of the year and to be honest, we more often than not take an extra week off just to recover! (I actually consider many of the activities we do with other families part of my children’s specific education.)
No we don’t – learning happens day in and day out, the kids continue with their reading (because it is a part of their life), they continue with their writing (because they have something to say!), they continue asking questions and they continue finding answers. This is learning and I can’t tell them to stop just because it is a holiday break! The other aspect to “no, we don’t” is our routine. The children are so much more peaceful and creative when we have order in our home. So we maintain a routine during our study breaks, albeit a different routine than during our study times.
Some people think that if you have a routine for your holiday time you are not free to be spontaneous but that is being on a scheduling, not a routine. A routine is simply a sequence of habits. There are two parts two having a routine –
- The routine should reflect reality – what habits are you happy with help you get through your day, these should be the basis of your routine.
- The routine should help with the discipline it requires to work on the areas of your day that you are not happy with – to help you form new habits.
A holiday routine is not about taking away the freedom to have fun and relax. It is about keeping in balance your responsibilities and your freedoms.
There are times that we are not home so we don’t have our quiet individual time after lunch. This is okay, mind you, when my children were little this habit was a priority, nowadays, we can all cope with a full day out of the home. The routine isn’t so we don’t do things, but rather when we are at home there is order in the home, and we use our time wisely.
Because our daily routine has a discipleship focus it isn’t really that hard to shift gears – in a sense our holiday routine looks pretty close to our study routine (but the differences are there):
6-8.30am Relationship time and Responsibilities
The children maintain their personal devotions, and we continue to work on issues of character as we relate to each other. The chores still need to be done throughout the day. We are not as rigorous on starting the day at 6.00am – though for a few of my children this has become habit and it is hard for them to sleep in.
8.30-12.30 Discipleship time
During the term (or as we call it – study block) we try and focus on discipleship in areas of personal development or academic areas, though life happens and presents many other opportunities for discipleship as well. During our break times, we keep a discipleship focus in that we look for opportunities for the children to learn from Peter or myself, but our day to day plans are more towards creative talents and relationship activities (such as playing games together)
12.30 – 1.30 Lunch and Chore time
1.30 – 3.00 Individual time
We maintain this aspect of our routine – if we are at home. This is the time the kids have some quiet time to themselves and some time together. They often listen to audios, read books, and work on creative projects. The key idea with this block of time is
- a small amount of Quiet time for everyone (not the whole time)
- focus time for mum (don’t interrupt mum – unless there’s blood and no breathing!!)
3.00 – 5.00 Free time
During these few hours we encourage productivity in either their relationships or projects
5.00-6.00 Chore time
6.00-8.00 Family time, get ready for bed etc.
Do you have a routine for your holiday times? What are the key parts that hold your day together?