This is part two of my Top Ten Tips for Homeschooling. Find links to my other tips below.
Living By the Week
As a rather free-spirited person, I’ve learned that I hate routine! It drains me of life. But I need “some” structure or I’ll veer so far off course that I may not recover. So, to stay on top of my life in the throes of homeschool, I learned to be the master of a weekly schedule rather than daily. A weekly plan gave me just enough tracks to run on, without cramping my style. Here’s what I mean.
Rather than schedule my Monday-Friday to look the same hour-by-hour (ie. 9 am—Bible; 10 am—spelling; 11 am—math; etc) I carved out my entire morning for “school,” took a break for lunch, and mixed up the afternoons by alternating history on M/W/F and science on T/TH. Finished or not, we always stopped at 2 pm. (I highly recommend this cut off hour!)
With school out of the way, the magic of the weekly schedule for “everything else” kicked in for me where every day of the week I stuck to the following plan:
Monday—Take care of all paper work, menu planning, and phone calls
Tuesday—Run two errands and stock up at the grocery store (because I’m not going back for a week!)
Wednesday—Bake bread and start the laundry
Thursday—Work on any “special projects” in my life and finish the laundry
Friday—Clean house with the help of the children (who weren’t allowed to play until their cleaning was done!)
When the week was over, I had actually tackled every major area of responsibility without feeling too regimented. If paperwork showed up on Wednesday, I knew I would get to it the following Monday. If the laundry piled up on Monday, I knew I’d get to Wednesday and Thursday. If the house was dirtier than usual on Wednesday, I knew I’d get to it on Friday. And so we rolled week-by-week and month-by-month to finish 17 years of homeschooling without falling eternally behind on everything else. And by taking care of the laundry, errands, and cleaning through the week, I’d earned myself an open weekend to rest, relax, play, and worship. It’s not a flawless system, but it worked for me, the free-spirited one of the family who needed wiggle room and variety in my days.
Top Ten Tips for Homeschooling Series