Creating Rhythm With a Year Round Homeschool Schedule
Looking at my homeschool schedule, I feel confused. I want to be here, feel called to be on this journey, but I struggle with how to fit it all in.
How can I do school, run to activities, grocery shop, do the dishes and still get to all the areas of my house that are being neglected?
Do you have neglected areas of your life?
I do, especially when it comes to relationships. How can we homeschool, give our kids so much of our day, yet nurture things like our relationship with the Lord, our husband, friends, kids?
The weight of it all seems to press down and I am stuck. How can I do it? Lord, please help me to be the mother you think I am, the homeschooling one who can fit a schedule together like a puzzle.
Is that even possible?
I have prayed this prayer so many times, I’m sure it’s been worn thin. But these prayers are the lifelines of our life. Let me show you what I do to conquer this homeschool schedule dilemma. I hope you leave feeling encouraged and motivated to keep pressing on.
Benefits of A Year Round Homeschool Schedule
We homeschool all year round. That may sound daunting, but it’s actually pretty wonderful! I tried this for the first time many years ago and my children didn’t like it very much. I decided to pick my battles, and this was not one I chose.
For several years after, we stayed with the basics: September to May.
And it was fine.
But I knew that the year round schedule would be a better fit for me, for our family and for my children. So I picked up my weapon of prayer and planted my feet in the ground, ready to battle my children’s strong wills over our homeschool schedule.
Only it never came.
I don’t know why, other than God, so I pressed on and we haven’t looked back.
Six Weeks On, Three Weeks Off
For our family, doing a 6 week on and 3 week off schedule has been the best. It is flexible enough that we can do life outside of school, yet firm enough that we get things done and I am held accountable. I don’t know about you, but I need that.
There is a rhythm created here, a year round heartbeat that keeps our school alive, moving. I prefer rhythms and routines to strict time schedules, although it hasn’t always been this way. I’ve finally found a balance between them and this is one aspect that moves us through our time together. Rhythms, routines.
- I love that I can take almost an entire month off in the spring to plant my garden.
- We also take off time right before our county fair to get ready.
- Vacations can happen without stress that school isn’t getting done and if something unexpected comes up, like a crisis or illness, the schedule flexes with us. I can push back our off time, add another week to our school time, shorten it–anything I want based on what life is throwing at me.
We start school very early, usually right after fair, or the second week in August. With the heat building, kids exhausted from showing animals, mom is tired, house is a mess, starting school actually works in this time. We may not start until Wednesday that week, giving us a few days to rest after fair, but we start that week.
We’re always so relieved to have a huge chunk of the school year done before the holidays invade into our school time and I never feel like we have to rush at the end of the year to get it all in.
The Glorious 3 Week Break
As much as I love teaching my children, lighting up the bulbs for them, exposing them to new ideas, shaping and curating their experiences, I equally love our 3 week break time.
This is when we do everything we can’t get to during school. We are a non-stop family. Between all of the appointments for my special needs daughter, activities and school, I have no time for the house or other parts of our life. I do most of this during the break time.
I have 3 full weeks of absolutely nothing to do but get things done that normally get neglected and it is such a glorious feeling for the Type A in me!
Depending on the time of year, I will do things such as:
- Go Christmas shopping
- Plan meals
- Plan school, buy curriculum, read up on current literature pertaining to my children’s education
- Clean out closets, change over seasonal clothes, take things to donate
- Get ready for fair, gather supplies, plan meals
- Get ready for baby chicks, goat kids, other animal things, clean the barn
- Plan and plant my garden, canning, freezing
Sometimes I will just take a day for me and do nothing, go shopping for me, spoil myself. But I can do it guilt-free because I know nothing is being sacrificed for me to have that time. We need to make sure we’re taking time for ourselves. It’s not selfish, it’s a gift to our family. We can come back refreshed and ready to be all we need to be them.
Momma, I hope this helps you in some way. The homeschooling days can be hard, but as I see the end coming into view, I am reminded of my life spent doing this and how it is worth any stress it may cause.
The babies don’t stay babies for long and we all come to the last day of this journey.
I hope you and I can look back on these days with fondness because we got a hold of our schedule and didn’t let it rob us of memories or precious time.
Please remember that we are all different. You have to find your rhythm, your balance, for your family. I’m just here to give some ideas and cheer you on. I know without older and wiser homeschool moms in my early years encouraging me, I might not have kept going.
That’s what I hope to do for you here, in this space on the web.
You can do this.
Thank you for spending time here with me.