So, you might have heard how much we love homeschooling. We do. It has many wonderful qualities and honorable benefits. Blah, Blah, Blah! There is one little secret nobody talks about. Until now…
I love our schedule! That doesn’t really convey how I feel about it. I LOVE our schedule!! So, to help folks understand what I’m trying to say, lets do a little comparing and contrasting.
Scenario A. Get the kids up and ready for the day, feeding them cold cereal in a bowl (if they are lucky, ‘cause I’m just not an early morning kind of gal), head ‘em out the door and to the bus by 7:15. They are gone all day long, sitting in a classroom with a bunch of other kids. Then, pick them up at the bus stop at 4:00 and head back to the (much cleaner) house for cookies and milk. ~Give me a bit of credit! I may not be willing to cook breakfast before dawn, but cookies before the bus I can do! Then I would need to be a responsible parent and make the kids sit at the table for another 30-45 minutes doing homework. By then, the sun would be setting, dinner would be ready and it would be time for baths and bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Scenario Us. Wake up around 7:15. Make a yummy breakfast of eggs and bacon, pancakes on a good day. Sit at the table and enjoy a second cup of coffee while the kids finish eating. Clean the table with help from my kiddos. Send the kiddos out to do their chores while I get dressed and maybe fill my coffee cup up half-way again. Head to the school room around 8:45 and do a little morning meeting time just like I used to do it when I was student teaching the first grade. Set the kids loose on their assignment sheet, helping when needed. Spend that time working with Dan on his reading or with Mary on a writing project. Throw a few loads of clothes on the line while the kids work. Chase the littles. Find silly things for the littles to do to keep them quiet. Chase Sam out of my craft stuff. You get the idea… Finish this part of school around 11:00 and head upstairs to make lunch and get the littles in bed for a nap. Then we head back downstairs and get the big kids started on a big project or a game in which I am there only if needed. Then, I either dash around like a crazy woman cleaning my house or I crash in front of the computer for a few minutes of “coffee break” with my favorite blogs. Then, it’s 2:30, and the littles wake from nap. We eat a snack and then we play until supper time.
And the best part is that when life gets crazy, the kids get tired, Momma gets stressed or we have a fun playdate scheduled… we can change our schedule. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a rebel. Sometimes, I throw our routine out the window and don’t even look back. Sometimes, we even eat ice cream for dinner.
I love the flexibility of our schedule. Really, it’s a routine (or as my friend calls it “a rhythm”). I love that we can change things up when needed. I love that there isn’t a bus to catch or a form to fill out. I love, Love, LOVE that my kids have lots of playtime. I love that we are free to learn and spend our time learning in ways that truly benefit my children and make the best use of their precious childhood.
Today was a great example of the flexibility of homeschooling. This week’s playdate was at our house. I’m not even going to pretend that I could have done school and been ready for guests by 10:00. That’s just not going to happen. There are always last minute things to do like making sure the kids put their dirty clothes down the laundry chute and cleaning up the full glass of milk Sam spilled in the kitchen and splattered on every cabinet in a 10 foot radius. So, we just ditched school until nap time. Then, the kids went downstairs and got things going while I rocked Sam and tucked in Sarah. We finished school while the littles napped and then we played outside. When Eric finished work, we loaded up in the van and headed to Mom's farm and did some great exploring in the woods and played in the creek. We didn’t get home until after 7:00, so I threw hotdogs on the grill and washed some grapes and called it supper. It was a great and memorable day. The kids collected things to study at school (we are studying trees right now). We are all relaxed and smiling. Tomorrow, we will likely be back to the normal routines. Tomorrow, we will still be smiling.