A couple weeks ago, I went to a homeschool mom’s meeting, and boy did I need it! I went in worn out, worried that I wasn’t doing enough with my kids, and stressed because I knew I had things waiting at home that had to be accomplished. Thank goodness I went, because as crazed as I felt going in, I was refreshed and re-energized by the time I left! And, I left determined to make some changes.
It wasn’t just the devotion that helped – although that definitely switched my focus from “me me me” to why I homeschool and what God wanted in that. It wasn’t just the friends I saw there – although hearing their challenges reminded me that I’m not alone in this journey. And, it wasn’t because I was reintroduced to the concept of a 4-day school week. Truthfully, it was a combination of all of these, plus the fact that I knew I really needed to be more “present” when we school.
Where I was
Let me preface this by saying that I have 3 kids left at home, but only two are homeschooled. (The older one lives at home and attends community college.) Of the two still homeschooling, one is a high school senior and very self-directed. I have her planner filled out for the rest of the year, and she’ll be finished in April. Aghh!!
OK, not thinking about that right now… Anyhow, this year has been a scaling-back type of year for me. At least that was my original intention. Our first grand baby was born last spring, and I wanted to be available to help. So, I planned around that in the classes and curriculum I picked for our youngest.
But as the school days have gone on, I’ve found myself getting back into that busy routine that’s so easy to fall into. I was in and out of the house a lot, and when I was home my mind was a million miles away. I really needed to refocus. In this mom’s meeting I came to see that a revamp of our school week could help me and hopefully my youngest too.
How I planned it
I plan her schooling about a month in advance – that gives both of us wiggle room in case someone’s sick or we fall behind. It just so happened that I needed to sit down and write out the next month’s planning so I went into it trying to figure out how everything would fit into four days. Generally she has a lighter day on Wednesdays since she has guitar lessons, church youth choir, and youth group in the afternoon. I knew she needed to do math every day – so technically it’s a 4.25-day school week!
For each kid, I have a weekly planner that I buy from the local teacher’s store. I went through and wrote in all her math assignments Monday-Friday. She’s doing a special unit study on DaVinci right now and that takes two days a week; they’re scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday. Once that finishes, her science will pick back up. Her English and history are a joint curriculum so those are scheduled for Monday-Thursday. Often on Wednesdays she does either English or history to leave that day a little more manageable. She’s also doing French 1 through SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and that runs Monday-Thursday.
Right now she’s going into the last weekend of the play Tom Sawyer at our local little theater. I have rearranged around that too, since that requires some late nights. One of the many things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility!!
Here’s a peek into one week of her planner:
One of the biggest benefits I see so far is we both know Fridays are relatively open. I can go help out with the grand baby, we can schedule hair cuts, or just plan on a lazy start to the weekend. I think that’ll come in real handy once spring comes! I don’t know where you’re at in your homeschool year, but maybe it’s time to do a little re-vamping yourself. You might find, like I have, that a 4-day school week is the way to go!