Essential Home School Mom Mantra

I blogged about seeking a rhythm as opposed to a schedule. Over these years I've had as many schedules as I have had favorite coffee cups over the years. Here is the skinny from my perspective on schedules.

Schedules are good for only one reason in my opinion. They give us North. When we lose our way, they point us in the right direction and allow to reset our course.

Aside from that I've seen them mostly serve to make mothers feel like failures.

When you spend so much time planning and preparing a schedule. You color code it, laminate it and post it on the wall and it's great for a few days (maybe). Then the following week you have to 2 sick kids, a missing cat, and an unexpected house guest. The schedule hangs there, taunting you. Proof! Proof I say! you can't homeschool. You don't know what you're doing. This was a terrible idea. They haven't learned a thing all week. Someone is going to report you and they aren't going to get into a good college. they will probably live in your basement their whole life.

To top it off when their grandma calls to see how the sick ones are, she asks how school is going today and they say they are watching Frozen for the 7th time this week and haven't done school in a long time.

And there is it. FAIL.

Schedules are for trains and planes. Not people. 

Never stop a child who is reading and tell them to get to school work. How does it make any sense, any sense at all to take a kid who is zooming through a workbook and stop them so they can get all their other lessons finished for the day? Don't do it.

When they are on a roll, let it roll. 

Keep book work to a bare bones minimum. I do mean a minimum. Some writing each day, some math, but the rest of their day should be them engaged and exploring. 

This requires that de-schooling. In your mind I bet you see teachers handing our papers and kids sitting quietly doing them. Nope. Homeschooling is you in the trenches with them, sleeves rolled up talking, playing, building and doing it with them.

You can't put that on a schedule. I dare you. Try it, and let me know how that's workin' for ya ;)

If you have a baby - hello. Game. Set. Match.

So, instead of a bossy schedule. Create a peaceful rhythm in your home. Set it to music. Classical is quiet study and book work. Praise music in the morning. Disney for playtime, whatever floats your boat.

Have targets. 
Dressed and fed by 9 am
Morning Chores 
Lunch between 11-1
Dinner prep around 4
Bed 8 or 9

Huge swaths of time are there for you to learn with them and get the bookwork in. The sooner they learn to be self paced, the better you will all be.

Now, lest you doubt me. As my kids prepared and went off to college I spoke and worked with many admissions counselors, and advisors. They all told me their favorite trait about home schooled students was their ability to be self led. Unlike most incoming freshmen who have been spoon fed, hand held and accountable to everyone to keep them on track hs'ers especially by high school are just swimming along. This puts them heads and shoulders above their peers.

When they get to high school, you will have more of a schedule for them. A schedule you create together, again more with targets than down to the minute plans. That is a very different time, and has very different needs. Breathe, relax. Prepare to be adaptable.

Master this essential homeschool mom mantra...


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