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Scheduling is one of those things that needs a complete mindshift if we are going to be discipleship minded rather than education focused. Scheduling, or as I’ve written before, routines, are a great tool – a necessary tool. We need a purpose and we need boundaries. But we need to put our routine through a discipleship paradigm shift along with all the other areas of our life that have been rethought.
My definition of a relaxed homeschooler is more in the attitude than in the practice. I have a routine. My attitude is to deal with it in a relaxed, flexibly fashion. I can maintain productivity because I have over-arching goals and purpose rather than focusing on the individual activity. There are many activities that will help me reach my goals – I have to choose the best for the day.
I plan the family day in blocks of time – large blocks from 1 hour to 4 hours in duration. Roughly it goes something like this throughout our days:
Relationship / Responsibilities
Discipleship time (learning together – both lifeskills and academic)
Individual Time(study, office work, computer time, rest, creative projects)
Talents / Creative Time
Responsibilities / Family Time
The label I give these blocks is determined by my goal for that time. Over time (and it is always evolving) I get more clarity and may start calling it something else or our lifestyle changes for a season and things look different. The key is though to know my objectives for my time, for my days. Once I know my purpose I can determine what we do within that block of time.
These big blocks of time keep me on track even though in the meantime we may go on a rabbit trail. In having a routine written on paper I have a solid pre-thought plan to reflect on and be my basis of assessment for whenever I have to think on the run. Without this foundation every thought, interruption and activity, every invitation seems good. When we go with every opportunity we waft in the wind not achieving our goals. And yet our days can be flexible and still achieve our goals if we make our decisions based on – Will this activity help us reach this goal, or is it just another good activity?
If you still have your routine set in ½ hour time slots I encourage you to give it a look-over. You don’t need to change the routine but maybe as you look at it you can see a way to group these small timeslots together, to see an overarching focus for that time. As you begin to make big blocks of purpose you can begin to let that be your goal instead of ½ hourly goals. Let your ½ hour activities (such as math, storytime, Bible lessons) be your tool for reaching your goals.
Read more on Discipleship routines:
To read more about what happens in each of these blocks of time visit my website and you’ll see correlating links on the side-bar: Relationship, Responsibilitities, Intrapersonal, Talents etc.