Change can be a good thing. A very good thing! However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t without its own special set of challenges. Many of you read my 5 day series How to Deal With Change In Your Homeschool Environment Series, thank you for the lovely heartfelt emails from many of you with your words of support, so you know that my husband went from a 2 hour daily commute at a full time job to running his own business out of our home. This blessing has not been without its large bumps and hurdles and has knocked the wind right out of our schedule for months.
Raise your hand if you know what the problem was. Yep that’s right, me. I was the problem. I did not take into consideration the fact that for 10 ½ years from the moment our son was brought home from the hospital that really during the day, 5 days a week, I was the driving force behind the schedule. If we wanted to go to the park at 8:00am, we did because we got up with my husband at 5:00am to see him off. I tried to work our hours around my husband’s employment so that we could have small slivers of time together as a family on week nights after his long commute.
The last few months have been a complete and utter mess to say the least. Like Mud Bud himself from the Disney Buddies movies came into my schedule and routine and rolled around in it. At first I thought that my schedule and routine was doomed never to be seen again, I am a gal that loves my routines and schedules while my hubby does not share my appreciation and affection towards them. Then it dawned on me after months of hair pulling torture. How in the world can I expect the routine the be even close to the same when we now have another adult home all the time, run 2 home businesses that are both very active, homeschool, have 6 dogs, not to mention all of our wildlife friends that we have adopted on our rural property, have a large home, family time, and personal time squeezed in here and there!
No one knew where they fit in the day’s puzzle pieces. My husband had his work routine for instance of waking up and getting ready for the day and stopping at the gas station in our small town for one of the enormous large sodas, he is not a coffee drinker. And yes, by the way, if the lovely people who own the gas station in town are wondering what in tarnation happened to my husband he is still alive and kicking. He listened to radio talk shows, made personal phone calls, etc. All of the kind of stuff that 2 hours of commute accommodates when you are doing it 5 days a week. He had his own set of patterns and I had mine.
What I have learned is that we no longer need to get up at 5:00am for me to work and the day to start. The kids don’t need to get up by 6:30am to start waking up and moving through their mornings. That perhaps, it might just be that doing school at 9:00am sharp is just no longer for my family (even though we have done that since our son was 3 years old). I have to face the fact that on top of everything going on, my kids are growing and drifting towards more and more independent learning opportunities. I had my Grinch moment, or moments since I am sure there were more than one, but it’s time to shake things up and find what works for us now. That is what a key element to success in any homeschooling is. Not just flexibility in learning styles, environments, or materials, but also one of the most important things I have learned in my homeschooling journey is that homeschooling can teach life lessons just easily to adults as it can to children.
We now start our school day after lunch. The kids have their free time and PE in the mornings along with their chores. I don’t get up at 5:00am anymore to work. Instead I wake up when I wake up, or the kids or dogs wake me up rather, which is so much more welcomed that the buzz of my alarm. I have made peace and am finding a newer more peaceful day to day routine.
Want a peek into our new day? Don’t get me wrong though, with all I have to do in a day no day is ever really the same nor can it be expected to be when you homeschool and both you and your spouse run home based businesses where you are the owners. It is crazy, but it’s my kind of crazy and I love it! Here is what today looked like:
- 6:30am – Wake up, get the dogs taken care of, start coffee brewing.
- 7:00am – Check emails and social media while drinking my coffee. My husband goes upstairs to start work at his business. My daughter is awake so we watch the new taped episode of Austin and Ally together. I can pretend that I was focused on checking my emails and social media but what can I say, love that show!
- 7:30am – Ok, now I really check my emails and social media.
- 8:00am – My son wakes up. We all make sure we have breakfast. Then I hop in the shower.
- 8:30am – I grab a quick bite to eat while I start laundry and the kids do their morning chores.
- 9:00am – Off to work for me for writing articles such as this, create printables, etc. The kids use this to explore outside.
- 9:30am – Still working but check on the kids because it got quite. They are fascinated by the unusual bug they found. They use my phone to look up what kind of bug it is, see learning is still happening. Then they decide to engineer it a bridge to doddle across. I continue to move laundry along.
- 10:00am – The kids decide to head to the dog park, that’s what we call our fenced in dog area, to play with the dogs, draw with chalk, and just have a grand old time. As soon as they head out with the last dog I get a business phone call and figure it would be safe to take it.
- 10:02am – Hmm … well I guess it was not safe after all. Low and behold there is a squirrel that is driving my dogs batty so I have to end my phone call to take my son his special ear muffs, he has trouble with loud sounds due to his SPD and was curled up in a ball outside.
- 10:25am – Take two. After calming down my son and the dogs I call my client back. Phew! No interruptions this time.
- 11:30pm – My work time is now over and we all make lunch together. I also move laundry along.
- 12:00pm – Today we clean the family room for the week.
- 12:30pm – We start out school day.
- 5:30pm – We are done with school for the day. Luckily I have a little bit of time to squeeze in some work while I am preparing dinner. The kids help take care of feeding the dogs their dinners. Then they play Minecraft together.
- 6:15pm – Family dinner.
- 6:45pm – Clean up from dinner. Kids Shower and then have some TV time.
- 8:00pm – Story with my daughter. My husband reads a story with our son.
- 8:30pm – Bedtime for the kids. I head back to work, as does my hubby.
- 9:30pm – Wind down time and time with my hubby.
- 11:30pm – Bedtime.
I fully admit that I am still a planner by nature. I would love to have everything in my life labeled in pretty baskets and on white erase boards with gorgeous colored markers. I feel like such a rebel not getting up until I wake up since I have woken up to the sound of an alarm buzz since I was in High School. But what I have learned is that I had 10 years of that and now my life is in another season. I need to embrace the season that my family is in now and know that in another 10 years when my kids are grownups and I am no longer homeschooling them that I can organize and plan to my heart’s content.
Your homeschooling journey will not be without bumps, but it is a beautiful adventure that you are fortunate to be on. I am buckling myself in for this ride as my family takes a new path and plan to enjoy every single moment of it. I WILL find my inner hippie, albeit it may turn out to be a Martha Stewart version of a hippie but let’s not focus on that. I never thought I had any issues with changes but I suppose when it comes to the day to day I do. I Jill, do not like changes in my core life. There, I said it and now I am free!
What do you need to free yourself from to make your homeschool schedule smoother for your family?
* The clock shown in the picture can be found HERE.