4 habits that help our homeschool thrive in busy seasons ~
Written by Kari Patterson
After many years of slow homeschool days, limited activities, and just two kids, our season has certainly changed. I’m grateful for those years, but now with two teens we are in full-blown activity mode and throwing a couple extra kids into the mix hasn’t exactly slowed the pace.
With cross-country, theater, dance, ballet, voice lessons, and teaching literature, on top of our at-home lessons plus toting around two littles, life feels very full.
Prefer to listen instead?
Thankfully, seasons that stretch us force us to grow. Here are four helpful habits that help our homeschool through our busy season:
4 habits that help our homeschool thrive in busy seasons
1. Reset nightly.
It was my friend Mikaela who first introduced me to this idea of a reset. Instead of “cleaning the kitchen” we do a reset instead.
Each evening, in anticipation of another great day (wink), we do a reset. That means dishes are put away, and everything is put back where it belongs. Water bottles are refilled and placed in the cars.
Snack baggies are filled and put in the snack-grab bin in the pantry. Coffee pot is set. Car is emptied, returning random sweatshirts, school books, nerf darts or whatever else has migrated from its proper location.
Each home and routine is different, of course, but a nightly reset makes is so we aren’t starting out the day already behind. This is one of the habits that have helped our homeschool most.
2. Ditch the “all or nothing” mindset.
Maybe it’s just me, but often what keeps me from doing something at all is the fact that I can’t do it well, or can’t do it every day.
This year, I determined I was going to put some important habits in place even if we couldn’t do them perfectly or all the time. This meant an exercise schedule that was just 3-4days/week and included my little ones, a devotional time with the kids that was just 3-4 days/week (and included the reward of gummy bears if the littles sat still and had happy hearts!), a writing schedule that was just 1 day/week.
Sure, I’d love to do these things daily. But I can’t let what I can’t do keep me from what I can. The reality is, there are aspects of our lives that are outside of our control, and if I wait around for perfect circumstances in order to do what I believe is important, I’ll never do it.
If it is important, then three days of it is better than zero days of it. Two healthy meals are better than zero healthy meals. One workout is better than no workout. All those sporadic successes actually add up to a lot.
3. Say a hard no to school on Sundays.
This didn’t apply when the kids were little, but now that we are neck deep in high school courses, there’s quite a bit of heavy-academic lifting. Each week the big kids create their own weekly schedule, planning out what work they will do each day.
If they can’t get something completed, it gets bumped to the next day, but Saturday night at 9pm is the hard deadline.
Because we’ve probably all been there, right? Trying to finish that paper late on a Sunday night and you run out of toner or your computer crashes or you stay up way too late and you’re exhausted the next morning and how’s that for a great start to the week? My hope and prayer is that Monday morning begins with rested students, minds that have mused, bodies that have slept or recreated, hearts that have worshipped.
Sunday is to our souls what the nightly reset is to our homes.
My mom was a homeschool pioneer in the early 80s, and I’m still gleaning from her wisdom. In some of her old lesson plans, I found this index card:
Count the day lost in which your children have not laughed.
Laughed? You’d expect to see the word “learned”. But laughed? That was my mom’s heart, and I am trying to make it my own as well.
I’m amazed at how simple it can be. For the littles, a funny voice or a silly face. Dumping all the warm laundry on their heads or “accidentally” making the bed on top of them. Right?! We know how to do it, but sometimes we forget.
For our teens it’s scrolling together through the Life of Fred account on Facebook, watching whatever YouTube video they’re into (mine love Corridor Crew and the Holderness Family), or getting creative and Rick Rolling them when they least expect it. Never gonna give you up!
Laughter doesn’t erase the hard things, but it sure does make them bearable, especially when the laughs are enjoyed together.
I hope these four habits that help our homeschool will carry you through busy seasons. Thanks for reading!
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