Year after year, I have made beautiful, immaculate schedules for our school year while quietly ignoring that nagging knowledge in the back of my mind that it just wasn’t going to work. Ideally, I was going to discipline myself to conform to this new daily routine. Sometimes I could hold this pattern for two or three weeks before real life would maintain its normal routine and I would be mortified by my utter lack of self discipline in keeping it.Finally, after years of beating my head on the brick wall I accepted it.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. Not on Monday anyway.  No matter how hard I tried to get up after a very hectic weekend to start school it just didn’t work. There was the weekend mess for instance, dishes, laundry, small piles from where we came in and just dumped stuff.  My brain just doesn’t work  in complete chaos. Also, there were usually a few things to plan and gather for the week ahead that I didn’t get completed the week before. After a few years of “got to do this” guilt I finally let it go. Monday is now crossed off my list for most school activities. After cleaning house and making lunch we settle in for a little R&R from the weekend by enjoying reading class. (Think quiet children, all with books, nestled in spots throughout the house unwinding from the a busy weekend.)

Don’t set yourself up for failure. I’m not a morning person. I’m not. I’ve tried to be really, really hard. Many times I’ve been up with a new infant through the years or a cranky, gassy toddler and I’m creeping up to the years where you go to sleep only to wake up a few hours later unable to go back to sleep. We don’t start school until ten. We. just. don’t. Yes, I worry that I’m establishing a bad routine for my children but honestly… 12 years of public school routine didn’t change the fact that I’m no good in the morning. Just ask all my first hour teachers… So, I’m not going to try and make this teacher something she’s not anymore. I’m not going to schedule a class for 8:00 in the morning and feel like a failure because I haven’t got my game on.

Fridays. Are. For. Shopping. This is our weekly pay day. Grocery shopping, bill paying, weekend planning, and outings take place on Friday. It was this way from day one of my first week of homeschool back when I only had two in preschool and kindergarten. That was 15 years ago now. I used to get rude comments about not being “in school” from public schooling families who just didn’t get that education doesn’t have to be in the home environment (only 400 hours there according to Missouri law). Some days I used to go on their guilt trip and beat myself up to because we didn’t keep a “public school” schedule. Well, I’m NOT public school. Home schooling families have that freedom!

So here are my pointers:

  1. Look for your unbreakable routines. Things that aren’t going to change even if you want them too. Accept it.Work around them.
  2. Establish a workable pattern not a schedule. I do schedule my day but it tends to float like a ship around an anchor. We may not do subjects definitely at the  time I planned them for but I do follow the pattern layed out for my day. Flexibility is a key word and one I have trouble embracing but it really is important to not be so rigid in your schedule that you loose sight of your goal of enjoying learning.
  3. DON’T let outside opinions dictate how or why your household works. Glean advice of what works for you but toss it out if doesn’t.