Welcome to our second post in this week’s Joyful Homeschooling mini series!
Yesterday we talked about the foundation of prayer in cultivating a joy-filled heart and home(school).
Today, let’s tackle at least two more dimensions of a joyful homeschool experience:
- building routine & schedules
- breaking up the monotony of every day life
Follow a routine or schedule
The second essential in homeschooling joyfully is to follow a workable routine or schedule. Study after study has proven that children thrive in order, and in knowing what is going to happen next.
Well, guess what? So does Mama!
Don’t be rigid in scheduling (8:15, everyone goes to the bathroom. 8:39, sneeze break, etc.), but do maintain a sense of order so the children will know what to do next.
Have approximate times for certain things such as meals, outside time, and certain subjects. This is not to say you can’t switch up things every now and then!
Following a routine or schedule will keep everyone from running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
And we all know what happens when that happens:
Mama Hen goes a bit wild. 🙂
Break up the monotony
Another suggestion for homeschooling joyfully is to break up the monotony.
Kids get bored with the same ole, same ole. Boredom eventually creates behavioral issues.
News flash: There’s nothing joyful about behavioral problems!
Let the kids do their schoolwork outside.
Have the kids choose with which subject they will begin.
Take a spontaneous nature walk for science.
Have your children switch seats with each other.
Have them write with ink pens.
Stop halfway through a lesson to play “Mother May I?”
Do a spelling bee.
There are endless possibilities to break the monotony!
You might actually find that you are having fun along with the kids, too!
Beware of rigid curricula
Ladies, I feel that for many homeschool moms, this is a big joy zapper.
There are publishers who have to require eight hours worth of work for the Christian academies for whom they provide curricula. This is stressful to the homeschooling setting, however.
We don’t “do school” eight hours a day. I wouldn’t want to try to cram eight hours into three or four, either.
Beware of strenuous curricula, and having to recreate a “classroom” setting and schedule within your homeschooling.
Do not be afraid to try something different or even tweak curricula to meet the needs of your family.
Don’t be afraid to go with the flow.
There will be times that situations come up that you have no control over. Don’t fight them. You will be frustrated, and frustrated fast!
Here are a couple of circumstances in which you might need to go with the flow:
A new baby. You may have to totally change your way of homeschooling for a few months (or years!). I know I currently have to do my bulk of homeschooling in the early afternoon (when everyone else is probably about done) while my two toddlers are asleep.
Lack of funds. There may be a year in which you have to be extremely creative in your curriculum choices. There have been years where I actually had to handwrite a workbook from a previous year for a student who needed it that current year.
Don’t let circumstances zap your joy in homeschooling. The enemy would like nothing better! Embrace your circumstances as a way to learn more about homeschooling as Christ would have you to do in your unique situation.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about books, rewards, and breaks.
For now, tell me:
Are you a schedule-keeper? Do you like routines?
On the flip side, how do you keep monotony (or rigidity?) from taking over your homeschooling?
Monica is passionate about honoring God, her husband, homeschooling, homemaking, homesteading, helping other women, & healthy living. She and her husband have six children, ages 12 years to 22 months, and live on a small farm in the good ole South. They enjoy singing together as a family and using their talents as a ministry. She and her husband enjoy teaching music lessons on the side. She can be found blogging (very sporadically) at www.simplefarmmama.wordpress.com.