The school holidays are an interesting time for us. I tell the kids (tongue in cheek) that since we don’t go to school we can’t take school holidays. But reality is we do need a break. We need a change of pace. I need time to prepare for the next study block. And as a family we need time to catch up with friends who are on school holidays. So whenever school holidays come around – we are on a break too.

But … I have found that when children are left to extended periods of time with no focus things start to go down hill. So we still maintain our routines – we still get up at the same time (thereabouts), we still have family devotions, and I expect the kids to have 1-2 hours of ‘table time’. There will be great flexibility but for those days that we are home this is what will be happening.

Table time is vocabulary that is a hang-over from when our children were young. It means independent focus time, generally at the table. This year I have decided to use these times to encourage the children in their own ‘delight’ studies, to pursue something that they really want to learn and haven’t had the opportunity to pursue yet. It could also be something that they are already doing and they want a season of intense practice. Daniel doesn’t have independent study skills yet, so I will be working with him most days, though he can do somethings by himself.

Over the last few days I have talked to each of the children and discussed what they would like to focus on during these two weeks.

Joshua will continue with his studies, he will focus on his math and reading list.

Jessica will focus on piano, html and ccs studies, and her history reading list.

Nomi will work on her piano, art, and computer programming (using Logo Adventures)

Daniel will work on his reading, start guitar lessons, and study photography (as well as some practical photography assignments)

The goal isn’t to finish a course or resource – the goal is to expand our children’s knowledge and skill in something that is close to their hearts. This time may spark a keenness which they will pursue in their productive time during the coming ‘term’, or they may leave this study till our next ‘table time’ opportunity.  Either is okay by me.

Having this focus ‘table time’ will give a clear framework to our day.  When building a house, after the foundation has been laid, a frame is built.  This frame  keeps the building strong, it gives the building shape/direction, and ensures that the building will be all it is purposed to be.  This is what our daily framework will do for our family – it will keep our relationships strong, it will give our children direction for the day, and ensure that as individuals and as a family we will be all that we are purposed to be.

Our day will look something like this:

Morning responsibilities

Table time

Free time*

Lunch / chores

Quiet time (Not necessarily on beds, but no talking to each other – or me!)

Free time*

Chores / Dinner / Family time

*Free time – there is an expectation in our house that free time is spent wisely and productively. The children will work on creative projects, visit with friends, play together, read etc. This will be the time that I have to work on my projects such as preparing for the next study block, homemaking projects (decluttering the guest room), creative projects, writing and visiting.

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