Thursday, May 8, 2014

Taking Time To Relax

You might not believe it but not that long ago I was one of "those" homeschool mothers who had to check every box and thought that if we didn't do lessons for x amount of time a day we'd never get it "all" done.

Now, there's nothing wrong with checking all the boxes, getting it all done, or doing lessons for a set amount of time each day. As a matter of fact I tend to set aside a certain number of hours Monday through Friday for lesson time still, I love checking all the boxes, and I enjoy getting it all done. However, I used to stress out about it so much that we didn't have fun in our homeschool. It was lessons, lessons, lessons, and more lessons all the time! It took me awhile to figure out that we could slow down, do things at our own pace, and still get it all done while enjoying homeschooling.

So, how do we do that?

We school year round.

We take small breaks as we need to.

We make sure we get our personal space.

We take the time to have fun.


We set goals for ourselves every year.

Our school year "officially" begins around September first every year. That's when we begin our new text books and lessons for our new levels. We put together that year's morning binders, we sit down with each student (even Peanut) and ask them what their goals are for the year, we write those goals down and if we feel the need to add something to the child's list we do so, and we "get back into the swing of things".

We're able to take two days completely off each month to do our regular errand running, we can take a vacation without worry that "things won't get done on time", and we can call a break or half day if the weather is too nice to be inside or if we're stressing out.

Where I've been crocheting on the sun porch,
watching the campers play outside.
Each of us takes the time we need for ourselves. For Peanut this is her movies and her play dough, for YCJ her crafting and her movies, for ECJ there's a bunch of things he does in his personal time and it varies month to month, Daddy likes to visit friends and relax, and me... Well, I like to craft, blog, play video games, and get the occasional few hours out of the home without the campers. I take walks when the weather permits after the children are all asleep. This time apart (though most likely still in the same house and sometimes even the same room) gives us the "alone" time we need to spend so much time together. We mastered it while living in our 30 foot camper for several months and we're glad we did.
Campers just goofing around :-)

We go on field trips, vacations, nature walks, and camp. We do a lot of projects and crafts. We giggle and we take music breaks to help "get the wiggles out". We enjoy each other and enthuse about things the others do. We applaud hard work and ask each other to teach what they know that we do not. 

So, as I sit here just a few weeks out from when our main lesson time ends and our summer schedule starts I know that what we are doing is working. I know by looking at my lesson plans and the what's left to finish in our text books that all of the boxes will get checked off. I know by counting the days marked off in our attendance record that we'll reach our day count with no issues (even if we didn't school this summer), and I breath a sigh of contentment. 

Homeschooling could never be called easy. It is a commitment by the parents and the children to spend part of their day at least some days a week in the endeavour to gain knowledge. But, this year has by far been our easiest because Mommy learned to relax and breath ... It'll all get done and the children won't "miss" something if we take a day off here and there to just enjoy each other.

And as I wrap this up I smile to myself as the girls play pretend in Peanut's room, Daddy watches the afternoon news in our room, ECJ happily fusses away in his room on the computer, and I look forward to a couple of hours with Noni tomorrow out of the house while Daddy takes care of the campers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, homeschooling has been good to us and for us...

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