How to Cultivate Homeschool Consistency
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How to Cultivate Homeschool Consistency
If there is anything that plagues a majority of homeschool families, it is the formula to cultivate consistency within the homeschool. It can be a struggle for many, but the truth is that it isn’t complicated.
The one thing that is required when cultivating consistency in the homeschool is commitment. It is much like training toddlers or children of any age. If we are not consistent in our parenting or discipline what happens? We confuse our children, and we blur the lines between what we want them to do and what they are getting away with.
If we want them to follow the rules we set out for them we have to be consistent with our parenting. The same thing is true for cultivating the consistency your homeschool needs. We have to commit to a plan of consistency and continue the follow through. If we don’t, exactly like our parenting or lack of; there will be consequences.
Let’s first chat about what happens when there is no consistency in our homeschools.
We feel behind. When you can not measure or visually see your progress in homeschooling, it is natural to feel “behind.” It is easier to track consistency with a visible measure. Tracking your homeschool days or subjects can be as easy as tick marks, or checking off days on the calendar. Whatever you use, find a way to mark the days you schooled easily. You might be pleasantly surprised to see you are schooling more often than you give yourself credit for.
Portfolio panic sets in. When I consult with homeschool families, they are often in a state of portfolio panic. They have been homeschooling, but they aren’t sure how often because they weren’t tracking closely enough. Then comes time for a portfolio review and they are scrambling to get all of the required paperwork and proof compiled. There is an easy fix for this, tracking. You may not be a stellar homeschool planner, but tracking what you completed will help you to assemble your portfolio more effortlessly.
Flexibility seems unattainable. If we are consistently homeschooling, we can take more breaks when necessary, plan trips, and have the flexibility most homeschoolers desire. When you can look at your homeschool planner or tracker and see that you have logged 6 consecutive weeks of homeschooling; you are more likely to plan some fun or feel like you can relax with a well-deserved break.
Now let’s chat about how to practically implement that into our homeschool days, weeks, and months. What could that look like for you?
I have worked with many homeschool families over the years, some plan ahead and some track backward or use “reverse planning” as we call it. Either way, do what works best for your family and your lifestyle. There is no “right” way when it comes to planning; there is what works for you. If you haven’t found a way to plan or track your homeschool, there is no shame in trying a few different approaches until you seek out the perfect fit for you.
Even though some families prefer the reverse planning method, I always suggest trying to plan ahead. I have found that planning your lessons, routine, and homeschool days ahead can help you to stay on a consistent track. Planning prevents chaos. With a plan in hand, you can confidently go into each day knowing what needs to be accomplished to stay on task.
Pray over your struggle to plan and be consistent. Consistency and order may not come naturally to you, but that also does not mean that you can’t learn how to be consistent in your homeschool. Pray and ask the Lord to direct your plans. If creating routines, consistency, and time management are struggles for you; spend some time praying over your homeschool and plans going forward.
Seek outside help. I work with families all the time, which benefitted from homeschool consulting. We can set up an online workshop where we examine your homeschool planning methods together and determine what works and what might use a bit of fine-tuning to create the right homeschool harmony for your family.
Change your mindset. If your current mentality is one that believes a plan stifles spontaneity or natural learning, you couldn’t be more wrong. I hate to point that out, but some homeschool moms think that having a plan or routine will suck the fun out of our home educating. Not true. If you have a plan or routine, you know exactly what to come back to after you have some unexpected fun, or you know right where you can pick back up after you deviate from the general plan. It’s quite clever really.
Creating consistency in your homeschool requires just a bit of effort but will be worth it once you create a habit that is no longer a trigger of guilt or worry for you. Commit to tracking or advance planning for 30 days and see if you feel better about your homeschooling efforts and organization. I think you will!