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Did you know that my lad, who it seems like only days ago, was a tot… is now in HIGH-SCHOOL?!?!?! I know, I’m still adapting. BUT one of the things that has come as a result of having a high-school student and that we have developed a very consistent schedule.
It’s both a blessing and a source of frustration. You see, I don’t naturally come by making a schedule. It’s not my thing. But one thing I have learned is there this ease of consistent schedules that I hadn’t really thought on.
Consistency a problem?
The problem with having a child who loves a consistent schedule is that it forces a mom, who is non-consistent type of person, to be consistent. EVEN IF it drives her crazy. 🙂 I would love to take a field trip with my lad, but “Mom, I have school, if I take that time off I have to catch up later!” Can you help me with this project “But Mom, how long will that take. I have to finish my grammar!” GAH! Sometimes this mom would like to go back to the days of being a little more easy going with the school work!
I’m not going to say we haven’t worked at scheduling over the years, but it’s always needed to be something simple.
The Ease of Consistent Schedules
“Well consider this”, says this inconsistent mother, “at least I know where my boy is and what he is doing”. (not like the summer when he was coming and going all the time). THAT is one huge benefit you know? It’s what makes it apparent to me what the ease of a consistent schedule is all about!
Consistency gives structure to a day. I know that for this semester my son takes his public school class from 830 to 1030. Then he has “dad time” til 130. Then school from 2 onwards.
It helps with time management. For instance, Monday-Wednesday my son has events in the evening. I know that when he gets home we will have 45 minutes of mom/son time. I try hard to respect that time. We read a chapter from a book and we watch a tv show before he heads off to bed. While on Wednesday he goes to his Karate class, then comes home, works on his schooling for a hour yet, then comes down to watch TV and hopefully read a chapter of a book. Three nights in a row I get a consistent 45 minutes with my lad. Thursday and Friday are his catch up days. I might not see him except at supper for 1/2 hour and then he’s gone till bed time. Friday he often slips out for an hour after school to catch up with his public school friends, but then he’s back at it.
Reduced Stress Levels. My lad THRIVES on having a routine. He loves knowing what he is supposed to do next. I suppose I should have figured this out years ago, but because he’s different than me, it’s helped him to be more independent in his schoolwork so it’s done quicker!
Daily habits are easier to cultivate. I know… this one threw me for a loop when I realized it’s importance. If you know what needs to be done (the important things first) then if you need to ADD another important thing, you look and see where it fits and plug it in. Makes it so much easier. For instance, my son’s regularity with his schedule, helps me plan daily walks (most days). I bring him to army cadets, youth group, karate, … I take a walk afterwards. Thursday and Fridays I’m still working on. 🙂
How do you develop consistency?
Well, you look at what needs to get done. To discover the ease of a consistent schedule you’ll need to look at what is important in your life. For instance:
- faith development
- fun (you might divide this further into kid fun, family time, adults only)
Weight them out in order of importance. Block out the time needed for each. Colour code your family if you need to. 🙂
This might mean you need to cut some things out. For instance, if volunteering is more important than faith development. Or having family time is more important than kid fun… something will have to give right? There is often no way to do everything we want to.
I’ve needed to learn that I can be busy in the morning bustling about but if I don’t come in and sit with my guys for an hour before hubby goes to work, he’s disappointed. And my lad likes if I sit and watch a show with them before Dad goes to work, and the lad starts his schooling. So I stop my work and sit with my family. CHOICES. Would I prefer to just keep gardening, cleaning, blogging or whatever… yeah.. cause then it gets done! But family rates higher on my list then work.
What others have to say
I loved what my friend Lori had to say as she considered schedule needs with one of her girls. “We need to ease into something where she has enough structure to not quit or fall behind but not so much structure that she doesn’t learn to set her own markers along the way to her ultimate goal.“
Kay has this say about having a framework: “Our homeschools, just like our homes begin with putting a framework in place before we add anything else.” She later speaks to how consistency helps with habit formation.
Surya speaks to a method I kinda used with my lad called loop scheduling. You know the subjects you want to teach, but don’t have a defined time to do them, just that math, then English, then science. So if one day English takes too long, the next day you start with science. This way you still cover everything without worrying about minutiae. Worked well with my lad until we hit grade six, then he started taking over his own schooling…
Jaime would have you know the joy of having a four day schedule. One day to do other stuff. Field trips, self-led learning, play dates or whatever. Just take the day to do other school. Up until this year this is what we did. Occasionally switching our Fridays for Tuesdays. 🙂
Much as I’ve had to sit back and watch my lad develop a consistent schedule this year, Amanda suggests starting this child-led consistency when they are younger.
Emily would have us understand the dangers of over committing yourself. “You can always add more to your homeschool schedule if you wish, but having to remove and shift plans because you’re doing too much is stressful for you and your kids. Keeping it simple goes a long way.“
Jessica made me smile in her unplanner way. “But what is really odd is that if I put it in a planner I don’t do it. I slack. I feel overwhelmed. Is this just me or are any of you like this too? Hopefully, some of you can relate. It just loses something for me if it’s written down. Maybe it’s the flow. Maybe it’s the thought of my day being set in stone. I don’t know why this is, but I do know that it is alright. It’s just part of what makes me, me. God intentionally created me to be this way.” Though unlike her, if I plan I always over commit and then feel like a crumb bum afterwards for not meeting my goals. Ergo my (and my hubby’s) aversion to planners.
Figuring out your priorities is something that Cristina has to talk about. “First things first, know what your priorities are!“
I love how Kym points out the difference between a routine and a schedule and this had me thinking I should have called this post, the ease of a consistent routine. It might even explain WHY I hate schedules so much. But routine… that makes sense to me! 🙂
What do you think?
Which do you think is more accurate? To think of developing a consistent routine or a consistent schedule? Do you understand the difference? What is it about saying “do things at this time” that is so hard to do? Is this why so many people struggle with their schedules failing so quickly?
Perhaps it all boils down to this: We are homeschoolers, not clock watchers. 🙂 In the end, whether you call it a consistent schedule or a consistent routine. Regardless of what you call it, the ease of a consistent schedule should delight you. Work with it! 🙂
So I’m killing two birds with one stone today. Consistent for the Write 31 Days Challenge and EASE for letter e of the alphabet blogging challenge.