Creating a Homeschool Routine that You Can Stick With
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Creating a Homeschool Routine that You Can Stick
We have all done it. Created a seemingly perfect routine and within days or just a couple of weeks, we are done with it. We tried, but it just wasn’t worth sticking with. Why is that?
Why do we work to create a routine but can’t seem to implement it into our homeschooling routines?
Crafting a homeschooling routine takes some finesse. There are a few elements that we need to examine closely when choosing the right routine for our homeschool.
Let’s first look at the natural rhythm of your home and lifestyle. For example, if your family naturally rises later in the mornings, it would be difficult to stick to a routine that has you starting your homeschool at 8 am sharp. By following the natural rhythm of your home and working with that rather than trying to drastically change it will help you to ease into a natural routine.
Use your family’s natural rhythm as a baseline, working with the good and natural habits that already exist.
Be Realistic. Why do many homeschool routines fail us? Honestly, we are over ambitious and cram too many things in them. We feel like we need a drastic change to get things in order, and we feel like we have been slacking, so we need to do all the things. But there are only so many hours in a day, and with homeschooling we need margin. Margin to be flexible when necessary. When we add every subject, every chore, or a list of “to-dos” in our daily routine, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Use time blocking, or looping subjects, and plan for rest. Too often we invent a plan that contains more than what we can complete in a day. When we realize we can’t keep up with the plan, we end up tossing the entire plan altogether.
If we are realistic and work on tailoring the plan to our family’s natural rhythms, we can produce a plan that functions for us. Think of a routine as a tool or resource that works for you. You are the master of your routine and if you need to alter it you can! If you need to mold it into what will work well for your family, you can. It isn’t that you are bad at creating a routine, and you aren’t a bad mother for not sticking to it either. The real issue is the way we think about a routine.
We think they must be restrictive and once written they are set in stone. Instead, we should look at them as resources to keep our day on track. Know that you employ the routine, and you always have the final say.
By shifting our perspective of how we view our routine and seeing it as a valuable tool instead of letting it intimidate us, you can use your routine for a purpose. The purpose of a routine for many homeschool families is peace, consistency, and energizing our homeschools.
Thou shall not copy. Copying the examples we see also happens to the best of us. A well-known homeschool blogger posts what works for her homeschool and family, and we try to copy that. But, she doesn’t have your family, your children, or your husband’s work schedule. So why are we copying what she does? Or your homeschooling girlfriend shares what worked for her, and you feel terrible about yourself because your family couldn’t replicate her routine.
A routine is intimate. It is personal and should be customized to your unique family. Trying on someone else’s routine usually ends in disappointment, because we are trying to use something that was designed for someone else.
Slowly ease in changes one at a time. Most of us come up with a new routine or changes to our existing schedule and try to implement everything all on the 1st day. When what may help you stick to multiple tweaks and changes is implementing only one or two changes at a time. That way we can allow for the entire family to embrace the latest changes and create some consistency once we have introduced the new changes. After you begin to generate consistency with the new changes, then add another one or two. You can tweak each one as you progress forward or ditch the ones that don’t fit your family’s lifestyle or homeschool. It is easier to let go of one change here or there rather than an entire routine because you feel like you couldn’t embrace it all at once.
We don’t have to craft the perfect routine all at once. Slowly implement changes to your routine and get a feel for what to keep, what to change, and what to let go of completely. But tailor it to your unique family and make it serve you well.