Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Our Homeschooling Week

It is rare that I hear parents talking about how peaceful their Monday mornings are. Up until recently, I was in that same frantic scramble that all my public and private school parent friends were. I would wake up extra early, plow through as much of my to-do list as possible, and then attempt to entice my kindergartner to jump into music practice and writing practice and math equations as soon as she woke up and ate a little breakfast. Before lunchtime we were both frazzled.

And then I had an epiphany. I was so determined to start our lessons first thing Monday morning to "set the tone for the week" that I wasn't allowing myself the flexibility that I truly appreciate about homeschooling. While I was embracing the option to customize our year, building in days off for family travel, holidays, and special events, I wasn't even considering a customization of our week.

This rigidity had no place in our homeschool. As we began our lessons this fall, I addressed the fact that we needed some calm at the end of our family- and activity-filled weekends. I wasn't enjoying staying up late Sunday night to prepare for school, and beginning the week with a sleep deficit was not doing me any favors. Now, we're starting our week off with a whole new approach and, so far, I'm loving it.

Monday mornings are no longer for structured lessons. In addition to managing my home/work/volunteer responsibilities, I now invest that time in setting our calendar for the week ahead, preparing activities for the coming days, and gathering up the materials we will need. I don't wake Pip up; she may sleep as late as she needs, and when she's out of bed, she reads, plays, draws, and eases into her day. Our Monday school time doesn't start until we're both ready, which is often after lunch. We've been at it for only a few weeks so far this semester, but it seems to be a welcome change for Pip. I can say most certainly that it's a welcome change for me.

Last school year, we followed the local school system's annual schedule pretty closely, beginning lessons in August and finishing by the end of May. The more I think about it, the idea of a year-round schedule, as well as the idea of an on-six-weeks/off one week routine each appeal to me for different reasons, but I haven't made a commitment to either, yet. That's still up for debate.

What schedule does your homeschool follow?

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