The life of a homeschool family can be very busy. There is a lot of talk about schedules, or maybe like me you prefer the word routine but life tends to get in the way a bit and we get overwhelmed with all there is to do.
Over the years I have learnt to be a little more structured than my natural emotions would allow me. I realised that if I don’t have a plan, often nothing happens. Like most things though there is a balance. My understanding of routine and scheduling changed when I came across this quote in the blogworld …
Think of your schedule as plan B.
This is such a good way of putting it. Plan A is my life – things happen.
Plan B is my planned routine.
When things happen like
- A friend is in hospital Plan A becomes make cards, visit hospital, and stay awhile!
- When Dad is home unexpectedly for the day Plan A becomes cook morning tea, work out in the shed and garden.
- When overnight visitors come Plan A becomes check out God’s creation with our visitors.
- When Mum gets sick Plan A becomes
consider one anotherand
bear one another’s burdens!
When all is calm and nothing is demanding our attention Plan B comes into affect – our routine/planned studies.
Teachable Moments and Routine
I read often about picking up on teachable moments. How nice that sounds! Oh to be free of all the things I have to do, and to be able to do that! Before I throw out the homeschool routine though I have to consider the importance of routine. As my heart turns towards disciple-ing my children I have had to find a way to be free to do just that – disciple them! (Keeping in mind that to disciple someone means to show them your life.) With taking hold of this Plan A / Plan B thinking I have been able to take hold of those teachable moments and have a routine.
Two aspects have helped me to do this.
First, I now have my day divided into general blocks of time instead of short lesson times.
- Discipline Studies (Foundational skill building, 3R’s etc)
- Discipleship Studies (Bible, Character training, personal discipleship)
- Discussion Studies (History, Science etc)
- Discretionary Studies (Skills, Talents, Lifestyle skills)
Thanks goes to Clay and Sally Clarkson for the basis of these categories. Read about this and more in her
Educating the Whole Hearted Child
The affects of this way of thinking, on our homeschool, means that when such a learning or teaching moment does happen (another way of saying Life Happens!) I can now see how it fits into one of these time slots.
Second, To train my mind to see the learning value in the everyday things that happens in our family.
But not without Responsibility
The flip side of how wonderful this all sounds is the fact that with freedom comes a great sense of responsibility. Plan A for my children needs to be in keeping with God’s plan for our family (if not there is the danger of slipping into mediocrity, slackness and laziness.)
Peter and I have worked together over the years to write down the goals we have for our family.
- What is it we want our family to be characterised by?
- What are the things that are close on our hearts as far as relationships go?
- What are the talents we see in each of our children and in ourselves?
Many good opportunities come our way but if they are not in keeping with our family goals and directions they are just good opportunities. I want to live my life, and train my children to live their lives living God Opportunities and not to settle for good opportunities.
One day I am going to be held accountable for not only my hours but also for the way I have lead my little children. With the freedom of living my life, with my children beside me, comes much responsibility.
So as we intentionally set out to train and educate our children in the things that are important to us we see that the so called
interruptions to our homeschool routine, are in fact a great learning opportunity.