Thursday, September 4, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs - Daily Routine

Homeschool Memoirs!

FYI - As of the writing of this post, I have not read any of the other blogger's assignments in this group. Therefore, I can, with a clear conscience, say this is not a response to any other post on this subject.

Oooh! Routines. This is where I get on my soap-box! So, bear with me for a minute.

Some people love routine while others run as far from routine as possible. My thoughts are that everyone thrives on routine. You can become a slave to schedule or you can be so "free" that you get very little accomplished. Obviously, there needs to be moderation, but there seems to be a thought among manyhomeschool families that schedules are bad and an open day lends itself to a more "creative" mind.

That's all well and good until the children are ready to leave the home. A child who has never been taught to rise up early or, at the very least, at a set time will have a very rude awakening when he needs to be at work at a certain time or she has to get up and fix breakfast for her little ones. A child who has never had deadlines for assignments will find it difficult to succeed in business - whether as an employee or as an owner. My husband runs our farm. It is mandatory that he rises early, stays late, gets the crops in by a certain date and harvests them when they're ready. He has to be extremely flexible while, at the same time, follow a strict schedule. A young lady who doesn't learn to follow a schedule will have a difficult time keeping her home organized. Her husband will come home to a messy home, a late dinner, and unkempt children.

Just an observation - most men like order in the home and don't understand the whole "free-spirit" mentality. It's not logical. Frankly, it's not biblical. "Let everything be done decently and in order."

Whew - feels good to have that off my chest. Now, onto my assignment which is letting you all know what our routine is.

Just so you know - I'm not a tyrant. Our summers are filled with days that our children may rise whenever they want - but need to be up between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. Usually, they're still up by 7:00 a.m, if not before. Once they get out the door to play, it's difficult to round them all up for chores, so they're still expected to get those done before they leave the house. Routine is loosely implemented, but not quite as regimented as it is during the school year.

Now that school has been taking place for a couple of weeks, this is the routine which I have put together:

5:15/5:30 - I get up to read my Bible, pray, then take my morning walk (2 miles).

7:00 - children get up/dressed/beds made/chores

7:45 - children eat breakfast while I finish showering and dressing for the day

8:00 - wash up/brush teeth/get Bible and hymn books

8:15 - hymn singing/Bible reading (currently in Psalms)/read aloud (currently - "Caddie Woodlawn")

8:45 - begin school - each child has their subjects that they are to do in a specific order. This eliminates the wasted time that comes from "what should I do next?".

9:00/9:15 - I get baby up/dressed/feed him breakfast

After this, I will throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, check school work, and keep order in the home. It is during the morning that I put together the evening's dinner. This way, I know it's ready to put in the oven or cook and the afternoon doesn't get away from me resulting in a rush to get dinner on the table. Making it easier on myself, before I go shopping on Monday evenings, I make a menu for the week. This eliminates the daily question "what's for dinner?" and I have everything I need on hand. Crock-pots are a wonderful tool for the homeschooling mom!

While the older children are doing school, my 4 and 3 year old play together. When they begin to fight, run, or wander aimlessly, I give them a special activity - such as coloring books, play-dough, a small new toy, etc. The baby? He just toddles around and keeps people entertained throughout the morning.

noon - lunch

12:30 - back to school

Normally, everyone is done by 3:00 p.m. Once school is finished, laundry needs to be folded or music needs to be practiced. Once the responsibilities are taken care of, they are free to do as they wish. Around 4:30 or 5:00, someone is asked to set the table. Dinner is usually between 5:00 and 5:30. After supper, everyone helps clean up the kitchen and the children have a bit of time to play or read before it's time to get ready for bed. Bedtime is at 8:00 on school nights & Saturdays. They stay up until 9:00 p.m on Friday nights reading together, watching a dvd, or playing games.

Other than some household chores and having our family Bible Club, the children are free to do as they please on Saturdays. It's a good day to "be a kid" but with enough routine to avoid all-out chaos.

Please don't think that everything runs oh-so-smoothly and peacefully each day at my house because of my routine. HA! Remember, I'm still trying to keep everyone minding their own business, concentrating, awake, etc. The routine just shines the light on the path we need to take.

I encourage every mother to instill a routine/schedule in your home. Be flexible enough so that you're not a slave to it and stressed out, but not so flexible that no one even knows there is a routine to follow. "Let everything be done decently and in order."


Kerri said...

Thanks for sharing.

I find that a good schedule really helps my son who is seven. If he looks at the day stretching out before him with endless makes him crazy. If he knows what we are doing, and approx. when it will be over, he can buckle right down. It gives him hope, I guess!

Jenna said...

That was really good. I have a hard time with a routine in my own home. I find that I am usually behind on a few houshold chores because of it. I know that when I have more kids I will HAVE to have a routine, but you have inspired me to start now!

the reynolds said...

Good point. We don't do schedules as such in our home, but do have a routine. Especially when life revolves around the milking schedule (ok - so we do have some kind of schedule) With a large family it is a necessity. While I like creativity and flexibility, the routine is a must and the children need to know it is mandatory and they must do their part.

Little Family said...

That was really neat to read. I am super big on schedules. In fact, I think I can be a slave to it. Have to work on that. But it really makes life more predictable and my house stays clean. Life will do a 180 in a couple of days with baby #2 and then a few weeks after that when Peter leaves. I am actually excited to see how I can build a new routine and keep all of our sanity. Anyway, I fully agree that things should be done decently and in order. Thanks for sharing.

just a girl named jenn said...

Great post! I am definitely a routine/schedule person, and I've found it's a definite must in our family. We all function better when there's a plan for the day. The kids are happier when I give them a time frame for accomplishing tasks, and there's much less stress all around. I still have MUCH to learn as a new home schooling mom though...which is why I find myself referring to your blog often. Thanks for the wise advice, as always!

Dave said...

It's so funny that I love a woman that is so opposite me. If it were up to me, everbody would be doing everything all the time, the same way.

I think you know who breaks up the monotony.

Well there goes my routine...HAHA

Victoria said...

Yee-ha!!! Dave's back in the blog-world!!!!! This has made my day!

Dave said...

I thought you would be happy with that!

Brenda said...

I so agree with your sermonette at the beginning of the post. Thanks for saying it. I've thought it for a while!

Brenda said...

One more thing...I think that whole free spirit do as you please we don't need a stifling schedule is......are you ready? Rebellion. There, I said it.

Victoria said...

AMEN, Brenda!!! That's exactly the correct term!!!