When we first began homeschooling, I bought an undated teacher planner. I wrote down every subject in the curriculum workbook plus our extracurriculars. I even have a space for anything extra we might do, like watching a documentary. I don’t plan our school year out all at once, instead I plan week-by-week. That may seem like extra work, but it’s what works for our family. Something I have learned is how important it is to be flexible in our homeschooling schedule.
What Flexibility Looks Like.
As parents, we know that our kids have good days and bad days, just like we do. Some days, Ade will focus on school work without any issues. On those days, the subjects seems to fly by with complete ease. Other days, it’s a struggle and the school day drags on and on. On the hard days we compromise. Sometimes it’s just doing two pages of each subject, other times we only do two subjects total.
My kids aren’t the only ones that have days when they don’t feel like doing schoolwork. There are days when I’m exhausted, when I might be behind on my own to-do list, or I’m not feeling well. There are even days when I decide to let them have a day off just because. Whatever the reason, I have learned that I need to be flexible about it.
Earlier this year we had so much going on as a family that we maybe did one day of schoolwork a week. Was it ideal? Not really. Did it put us behind schedule? Yes. Did I feel guilty for not prioritizing their education? Yeah, a bit. I had to tell myself that what we had going on was important and the work would get done eventually.
Why Flexibility is Important.
The thing about homeschooling is that I want my children to have a better experience, a better relationship, if you will, with learning. That’s why I promise Ade that when he gets a bit older, he can choose his own subjects and learn about whatever he wants. I don’t want them to have the same feelings of anxiety and contention that a lot of people have with school.
Yeah, as homeschooling parents it is up to us to make sure our children learn. Having a schedule and a plan helps make sure that happens. However, there are times when things pop up that interrupt our schedule. The kids get sick, we get sick. There are appointments with doctors, dentists, orthodontists, and who knows who else. We forget to schedule our grocery order and the only time available is during our normal school hours. We have a friend who needs our help. The car has a flat or breaks down and we have to get that taken cared of.
There are so many things that can interrupt our schedules. Sometimes we can salvage the day and sometimes we can’t. However, being anxious over it only negatively affect us and our kids. It’s not worth the tension to worry over it. Some days we just have to be flexible, tell ourselves the work will eventually get done, and move on to the next thing. At least you know where you’ve left off and where you’re going.
Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff. Didn’t we choose to homeschool because it fits our lives better? What’s the point of having the freedom of homeschooling, which includes being more flexible, if we don’t use it?
So yeah, set your hours, write down the coursework, and make a plan. When interruptions come or the kids need a mental health day (because even homeschoolers do) let the tension go. Set aside the school work for the day, or just do the minimum that you can, and pick up where you left off tomorrow.