Monday, June 23, 2008

Going against the "homeschool" grain

Hello all! I am about to post something that has been bothering me since I started homeschooling! I am going to talk about what other homeschool families refuse to talk about...I dare say it...schedules! For years I would ask people "so what kind of schedule do you have?" or I would say "hey I am looking for a schedule can you help me by telling me yours so I can get some ideas?" And I would get this (blink, blink) stare and this empathetic you poor girl don't you know we homeschoolers don't keep schedules that is what the public school does? For years I would think okay this is husband has a schedule why wouldn't I as a wife try and work my day around his? So I would set up schedule after schedule and fail! Then I would think maybe they are right I don't need one, then my husband would come home and feel discouraged that I have to do chores or school while he is home and they were not done while he was doing his work, I knew a schedule was for us. So I implored homeschool moms once again, and again I was met by almost hostile moms. I would think just because the public school has a schedule does not make schedules bad (that also goes for desks! I have met mom's who wont own a desk-school style-because that is what the schools's how it's used that is the problem not the desk, people) So when my husband got cancer I soon found out my lack of schedules came off in a big way as laziness...and in part it was but the big part was my life was a mess from lack of a schedule. So while my husband would rest from his treatments I would organize and I met a this mom who helped us out so much during this time by letting us use her home (her husband and mine are good friends at work) during my husbands treatments so we could homeschool. Well she had a white board with what she needed to do each day or in the near future. She had this great schedule that was neat to see in action. Yes her kid were public school kids so her day was a bit more free to be a lot more organized but she was one of those PTA kind of mom's who is into so much with her kids that it's like she school's. It was neat to meet her! I took her white board idea (which I have tried in the past and failed because I did not do like she did and put it where I would see it each day) and picked it up again. Only I added to it stuff like Dinner, grocery list, etc.

I now have a loose schedule that is hard to stick to (because of years without one) but when I do it, it works well for our family. It goes something like this:

5-8 workouts, chores, showers, school prep, bible time

8-10 garden and outdoor activities or errands like doctor’s visits, dentist’s appointments, etc.

10-12 school type activities (mostly reading or video watching since we are hot and tired from being outside)

12-1 lunch

1-3 school type activities/nap time for little ones (actual book work as it’s nice to do this while the little ones take a nap)

3-5 chores/ free time/prep dinner/small errands if needed

5-6 Dads’ home and dinner-sometime mom goes to work

6-8 play time including stuff like 4-H stuff bed prep time (including bath time, story time, bible time, T.V. time, and family meeting time)
8 kids in bed mom and dad get ready for bed-mom and dad time

9:30 mom and dad bed time

I was talking to a mom that will homeschool and we were discussing not hanging out with friends we have or making new ones cuz it's a lot of work and I mentioned to her my problem with getting close to homeschool mom's mostly stems from a few issues (I will save for another blog) and one is schedules. She told me that in her line of work she has had to work with homeschool moms in the past and when she told them that they had to get on a schedule to fix an issue they angrily refused saying they did not need a schedule of any kind. She told me homeschool families are the only ones that do it to her. She had no idea why and a light bulb went off when I told her I think they don't because they want to stay sooo far away from the government's way of schooling that they get rid of anything that resembles what the public school does. It was unfortunate because these families she talked to whose kids had issues…well there issues would probably resolve with a simple schedule!

We all know the public school has many bad problems and we all want our families to stay away from those evils, but having a schedule is not a bad thing. Not having one of course is not bad either but let families know that are looking for one that while you don't have one you know so and so does and give them their #. Tell them your reasons for not having one and if those reasons are the same as there's then they may do what you do...if not they may call so and so. Either way schedules are not bad things so please stop making mom’s think they are.

Latte Cannon


Anonymous said...

I am surprised by your experience with homeschooling moms scheduling things. In my experience, the vast majority do use schedules. When I first started homeschooling 7 years ago. I posted to the Konos loop along with another loop asking for other homeschooling families to share their schedules. I got a huge variety, printed them out, and used them to base my own school day. We schedule everything in our house; each of my sons has their own daily schoolwork schedule, we do certain chores each day of the week, we factor in extracurricular activities, etc. So I have to say that I really don't think you are going against the grain at all.

Latte: said...

I am starting to realize I should have asked on my blog(z) about schedules before posting the "against the grain" post. I am finding mom's by the dozens who have them. I guess over the last 7 years they have been hiding from me. However I am glad I published it because there are also a lot of families like me who get the same responses I get and they were thankful to see what I wrote.

Thanks for sharing,

sherri the herd keeper said...

As a 16 year homeschool veteran I have always "scheduled" and we accomplish the most when we stick to it.

Nicky said...

I've recently started a "schedule" of sorts...more of a routine, I guess, but for the most part it always happens around the same time every day so it would look like a schedule even if I didn't mean it to...LOL We are doing school from 9-12, 4 days a week, and on the other days we usually have stuff going on. My problem is that I don't go to bed early enough!


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