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Welcome to a new installment of Tip Tuesday at our Making Mountain Memories blog! The kids and I are glad you joined us! We’ve been doing some experimenting with routines over the past couple of weeks and would love to share with you what we’re learning about whether we want a set schedule. Should there be a home school routine?
Pandemonium. Complete Chaos. Utter Disorder.
These phrases come to mind when I think on our past several days. We’re new to this, the kids and I. Homeschooling is not the same as public education, that’s for sure! I don’t go about anything in life “willy-nilly” and teaching my kids is no different. However, it’s been a whirlwind rolling into any kind of normalcy where homeschooling is concerned. I’m not quite on the verge of losing my marbles…yet.
Do you know how many resources are out there for moms like me – Moms who are raising their own kids outside of a public school setting? Tons! They’re also blogging about their successes and failures. There are videos on YouTube, courses to perfect your teaching, strategies on how to make it all work out, etc. I’ve scoured several posts, pages, links, and blogs.
What I’ve Learned
Some days, I feel as though I’ve learned so much, and then other days, my search comes up empty. Allow me to explain. Each stay at home parent has his/her own skillset. Rules, discipline, boundaries, and follow through all play a part in your teaching to your children. Can any one person tell me (or you) how something is going to work – guaranteed? Not a chance! BUT, they can suggest ideas and options and share experiences of what works and doesn’t work for them. These posts are the ones I’m most interested in. I don’t want someone telling me how I should do something, just as you wouldn’t appreciate it if I told you that you needed to do something. I’ve gained a bunch of insight from moms who just offer suggestions and discuss their own experiences. I tend to tune out the others.
What About Routines?
That’s the million-dollar question. In all of my searches, I have found one commonality between all stay at home mom blogs and that is this: There is no set of rules or guidelines that work for everyone; find something that works for you and stick with it. Well, that’s easy for an experienced homeschooling mom to say, but what about for the beginners? Where do we begin? I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball to tell me what I should do or avoid. My life doesn’t work that way. Does yours? If so, may I please borrow your crystal ball? 🙂
The girl, boy, and I have dabbled into several routines lately.
Let’s break them down a little, shall we?
* Bedtimes. We all agree that life is better when there is no fight over bedtime. The Mister and I aren’t letting them stay up too late, but they’re used to a 7:30 bedtime. Gone are those days! The kids are thrilled!
* Work Time. I go to bed late and am up early. I love the quiet time I am able to spend working on my online business. The kiddos are early birds and are up by 7:00 AM. They play for a little while, we read books, or they begin their work. I don’t force them to wake up at a certain time or dictate when it’s time to begin our learning for the day. We learn all day long, so I don’t feel the need to rush the mornings.
* Breaks & Snacks. I’ve been a teacher in a classroom. Kids need breaks. They benefit from several breaks a day. Because I know this, we take several breaks in our home. We have snacks. Sometimes we just decide we’re hungry for something that we currently don’t have, so we concoct something together. (This usually results in an impromptu YouTube channel video opportunity for the girl. Check her out here! She’s crazy about getting likes and subscriptions!)
* Media. While we have an online curriculum, the boy and girl aren’t allowed on their devices all day long. In fact, they’re good about finishing up their work and moving on to other supplemental activities. We don’t rely solely on the online curriculum; we’re learning more without the constant use of technology. The televisions are rarely on these days. It’s glorious! But a set time for electronics? Doesn’t happen! We go with the flow around here!
* Clean-Up. This is something we’re still trying to figure out. The messes add to the pandemonium in my brain, so I’m frantically trying to figure out a system around here. I must say though, the kids seem to be getting better about TRYING to put their things away when they’re finished with them. We have implemented some household chores and they’ve been pretty receptive to that. Besides, they’re learning opportunities!
We haven’t had two days exactly the same. I think after this trial and error phase, I like not having a set routine. Sure, some things will always have to happen, like getting school work done, cleaning up around the house, etc. We don’t need to set specific hours for school or time frames for lunch or play. We’re homeschooling. We get to make our day work for us. We all have gone to bed exhausted from a day’s work. It’s working for us.
Do I think you should have a routine for your own home school? Would a sufficient answer be, “Kinda. Sorta”? I can’t advocate for you to set an hour-by-hour schedule if you’re homeschooling. My personality struggles without a schedule, but I’m learning to relax a little; it’s better for our kiddos. We’re making things work for US around here, and at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters. We play, learn, create, and repeat these steps all day long. Without fail, something comes up during the day and we have to change our course. The ‘old me’ would be frantic. But this new stay-at-home mom is working on just going with the flow. Do what is best for you, your kiddos, and your family. You’ll be happier you did.
If you’re homeschooling and you would like to share what’s working for routines in your home, please share with us! We’re always open to new ideas! Remember, we don’t have a routine, so we’re up for anything! 🙂 Any other advice is always welcome! Leave us some love in the comment section below!
Live Your Best Life,