It has been an ongoing discussion in our family about the idea of a school routine. Both myself and Ken were completely public schooled and so when we think back to a school day we think of scheduled class blocks that repeat in a 5 day a week cycle. I personally feel a bit of guilt when I take a half day to deal with life, or give the kids a light day… after all, class was class and you went to it right? Thank goodness for Brave Writer and her amazing way with words… What we need is to treat our home as more than a schoolroom for certain hours of a day… it is a place of life and learning and the reality of that is – we must be flexible within the rhythm of that life, of our family.
You can read Brave Writer’s amazing blog post in its entirety HERE. It is titled Don’t Trust the Schedule. But I must share with you a couple paragraphs at the end the really resonated with me:
We create the conditions of excellence and quality performance when we honor the rhythms of life at home, when we value the hot white fire of passion when we see it (rather than remarking, “But that’s not on the schedule today”). We sustain growth when we return to the comfort of the routine when all other energies are subdued. And we honor our human frailty if we toss routine, schedule, or structure when we are falling apart (sick, irritated, frustrated, in pain, exhausted, or bored).
Schedule is tempting. It holds the promise of “getting it all done” which we translate into our heads as “completing our children’s education.” Don’t be seduced by that promise. Mostly what I hear from parents under the pressure of schedule is “I’m behind” and “I feel like a failure” and “I’m terrible at staying on schedule.”
Of course you are. You’re at home. Be home. Embrace the properties of home. Love. Live. Be. Learn. Thrive.
We’re so lucky to be home. The best gift you can give your family is to be glad that you are, and to live as though home is the ideal space for learning to occur. Because it is.
I am often asked if we have a room to school, or more currently if we WOULD have a room if we could. (when we move etc etc) And I can proudly say NO our whole world is our school. Granted we have the bulk of our resources in a single place but every day we are realizing more and more that learning is not occurring at that table, in that chair or even in the house. Rather we are finding moments of clarity and interest in all things.
We have created patterns of learning that work for our family. No, we don’t do math at 10:15 and eat every day at noon… we learn and talk and laugh and cry on our own time in our own way. And as Brave Writer says: Who said there’s a certain amount you must finish by June? We spill into months, take weeks instead of days when the interest grabs us. We learn as we live and we live as we learn. That to me is the joy of homeschooling…