Tag Archives: academics

Changes in the Schedule

Clock_2013At a get-together this morning, several of us homeschooling moms had an opportunity to compare what we’ve been doing with our children recently. I feel like we’ve finally found a daily schedule that is going to work well for us, so I told them about my plan. Other moms, then, told how they begin their mornings, and their ideas were great! I left feeling inspired, energized, and ready to make even more changes to the plan.

After speaking with the other moms today, I realized that there’s more I want to do. Before we begin with breakfast, I want us to start our day with prayer as a family. I want each child to have an opportunity to pray for each other, for their dad, for extended family, for special needs we’ve heard of, for our missionary friends who are far away. One mom suggested providing each child with a slip of paper with name written on it — that would be the one they pray for that day.

Memorizing scripture was something else that was mentioned that I want to add. One family works on a verse or two a week all together. The older children could then learn even more on their own.

Of course, adding in a time for prayer and Bible memory before our “classes” begin will require extra time for our school day. I always hope to get an early start so that we’ll be finished by lunch, but for one reason or another, we often seem to go into the afternoon. But the fifteen minutes or so that it would take to add it in would well worth the time. After all, for us homeschooling isn’t just about the academics; it’s also about raising wise, responsible, and compassionate people who will make a difference in their world.

No Distractions

One of my biggest homeschooling challenges is staying focused during our school time.

Ideally, my children will be up by 7:15 a.m., and we’ll all see my husband off at 7:30. Then they’ll begin their before-breakfast chores. By 8:00, everyone will be dressed and ready to eat breakfast. While they’re eating, we’ll read through a chapter in the Bible, then we’ll move on into other subjects from there. We’ll work at our school work as long as we need to, but it shouldn’t take more than a few hours for everyone to finish with all their academics. That is, if I just stay focused.

But I usually don’t. The phone rings, and with Caller ID I can see who it is. If it’s a number I recognize, I feel compelled to pick it up – after all, it might be an emergency.  It’s usually not an urgent call after all, but before I know it, ten to fifteen minutes have slipped by. Okay, re-group, get back to work. Regrouping takes about ten minutes more, because while I was on the phone the children disappeared into their rooms or outside to play. Nearly thirty minutes later, we’re going again.

Then one of the children needs something printed off the computer so he can continue with an assignment. I run to my husband’s study upstairs and print it off. Hmm, I think, while I’m here, I might as well check my email – just for a minute. I delete the announcements I’m not going to read and open the others. There are a few that need replies. If I don’t answer right away, the emails will get pushed down the page and lost, so I take a few more minutes to finish up before I head down again. Ten more minutes have passed, and the children have once again scattered.

Now we’re even further behind schedule. We muddle through most of the schoolwork, but the momentum that we started with was lost a long time ago. And all because I let myself get distracted.

But one of the nice things about homeschooling is that every day represents a new beginning and a fresh start. We may be a little behind in a subject, but there’s no big rush – we can work into the summer if we need to. So tomorrow, I’ll turn off the ringer to the phone and lock the study door. And most likely, something else will disrupt our school day, but at least I’ll be more focused as we work through it.