The culture today makes an idol out of being too busy. You must be involved in activities every single afternoon. Your children shouldn’t be using one math curriculum. Obviously two or three are much better! You keep piling on the activities, curriculum, and projects until no one has time to breathe.
But there’s a better way to homeschool.
Make Time to Enjoy Your Homeschool
The question I need to ask is if you’re enjoying your homeschool with all those activities?
It’s not that the activities are bad. Actually most of them are good. They expose the kids to new interests, new thoughts, and new people.
But they come at a high price. They come at the price of a well-run homeschool that you enjoy.
No longer do you have time to sit down and enjoy long discussions with your kids. Curl up on the sofa for an afternoon reading classic children’s literature together.
You have no time for a leisurely nature walk through the woods, watching the ducklings swimming with their mama.
Instead you wake up, rush through the chores, drive the kids through their school work, and race out of the house for the latest activities.
Education is meant to be a leisurely activity of scholé, full of laughter, exploration, and contemplation. Not a race to the finish line which leaves you too exhausted to enjoy your children, your home, your homeschool.
You need to create the time to enjoy your homeschool with this 4 stop process!
1. Determine Your Ideal Schedule
When were you the happiest, able to get everything done without stress? Where you running around town everyday? Or did you have 3-4 activities a week? Perhaps the world glowed during those summers you had no obligations, or just a weekly activity.
What would your dream schedule be like? What did you think homeschooling was going to be like when you started?
Consider how you’d like to spend your weeks and carefully consider the right number of activities for your family.
When in doubt, do less not more.
Doing less will give you time to enjoy art projects with your children. To head out on nature hikes once or twice a week. Or simply curl up on the sofa and enjoy reading a great book with your children.
Write down your ideal schedule.
2. Consider the Children
Are they happiest running around town or hanging at home? My own children are a mix. One loved to see the world, chat with friends, and have daily outings. Another child hated leaving the house. Most of my kids fall somewhere in the middle.
Try to find a middle ground between your needs and those of your children. When push comes to shove, I believe in the jingle:
If Mama ain’t happy,
ain’t nobody happy,
so make Mama happy all the time.
No one wants to live with a stressed or grumpy mom. So consider your children’s needs, but find a number of activities you can happily live with for the next decade or so.
Remember teenagers need more activities, BUT they’re also more mobile than elementary kids. Teenagers can walk, bike, or drive themselves to different events. Little 5 year olds need much more supervision.
Write down the number of activities you’d like the family involved in during the week.
3. List Your Current Activities
Park days? Co-ops? Field trips? Trips to see Grandma and Grandpa?
List them all! I’ll bet every single one of the activities is worthwhile. This won’t be easy. Stop for a bit. Pray over the list. Consider your needs. Ponder your family’s needs.
What are the most important activities you’re involved in and why?
The answer may be surprising. Park day is my family’s most important activity. Why? Everyone has friends there. It’s uninterrupted social time. The kids play, moms chat, and everyone is happy.
Now put the paper away.
Go read a book. Play with the kids. Relax.
4. Prioritize Your List
Now that you’ve had time to think about your list, prioritize it. Start with the most important activity, the cream of the crop and list your activities down to the least important activity.
Take a highlighter and cross off the bottom activities, the ones over your ideal number. If you have 6 listed and ideally would only be involved in 4, cross off the bottom two.
I can hear the angst already!
But it’s time to be bold. Be strong. Bring simplicity back to your life, your home, and your family. It’s time for long discussions with our children over tea, lazy afternoons sharing a good book, or simply enjoy the sun and good company.
It’s time to get rid off all those good things to make time for the best things life has to offer.Good is the enemy of the best. So keep only the best activities in your life.Click To Tweet
As you plan your activities for the season, keep your ideal week in mind. And don’t overschedule your life!
Do you have the time you need to enjoy your homeschool?