Finding balance in the homeschool is important for scholé. We’re balancing between the needs of the homeschool and the needs of the house. There’s a balance to maintain between caring for our children and caring for our husband.
And sometimes we’re off balance.
Finding Balance in the Homeschool
It’s not a case of someone is ill. It’s not a case of the curriculum is a bad fit. It’s not a case of a sudden crisis. It’s simply we don’t have a good balance.
The housework is stuttering. Laundry is molding. Meals are daily mini-crisis. The homeschool is a stagger rather than a dance. Everyone wants a piece of you and you’re just trying to keep on your feet another day.
That’s all you need to do is stop. Stop the homeschool. Stop the housework. Serve pizza for dinner. Stop trying to do everything and be everything.
Then pick one item to fix.
In my case, I’ve chosen the house. I can’t think in a messy house. The kids fight in a messy house.
So I bribed the kids. I can hear it all ready… my kids would clean house without a bribe. Of course they would. And so would my children.
But I wanted a truly deep clean, and I wanted a treat at the end for all my hard work. If I want a treat, surely my kids would appreciate a treat.
So that’s what I did. We stopped homeschooling on Monday. It’s just for a week. We’ve been schooling through the summer and haven’t had a break except when family came in August.
I’m taking a break. I’m cleaning house. I’m finding balance in my homeschool.
We stopped. I found books for two children to read and chose well. The kids love the books. Another child is busy programming. The code or script isn’t doing what it should, so he’s researching. Asking questions. Discovering how to make the code do what he wants it to do.
The little ones are playing. They keep tossing blankets down in the living room, putting on their swimsuits, and pretending they’re at the beach.
Today we cleaned. I splurged on a treat, told the kids, and put them to work. Even my 4yo impressed his older siblings with his willing attitude and effort to clean house.
The bedrooms are clean. The bathroom is clean. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are clean. The porch… well I’ll get to the porch another day.
I can think again. The little ones are tucked into bed and sleeping soundly.
My teens are curled up in the living room watching family television shows with their dad.
I’m relaxing in my clean kitchen writing a post about stopping and finding balance in the homeschool. Life isn’t in balance yet, but I have a good start.
We never stopped over the summer. I didn’t deep clean the house. My filing system was started but not finished. I promised myself I’d do it on the go.
Ha! On the go never works for me. It was destined to fail from the beginning. Does it work for you?
We’ve run through 5 or 6 different schedules since September and I’ve not liked any of them.
The balance is off. Nothing is giving me the balance between school, house, family, and blog that I want.
It’s not the curriculum. I love everything we’re using. It’s my planning, no preprinted papers, and no good system in place to stay on top of life.
Actually I’d say a complete lack of time management.
So tomorrow I’m revamping my family’s schedule before we head to the park to see friends. Then I’ll spend the rest of the week ensuring the papers are printed and filed.
In addition I want to make some changes to the homeschool to bring in more restful learning to our days.
Literature will be slowed down for my rhetoric students. We don’t need to go through a crash course of the major works of the middle ages. Instead I’m going to choose one to enjoy from now until Christmas.
We’ll read it together, use Tapestry’s wonderful discussion as a guide for our own discussions, and enjoy a leisurely approach to literature.
Nature study will be added to our group time together. I’m seriously considering taking a thorough look at Charlotte Mason’s schedule for high school kids as I revamp my homeschool.
Especially as I keep thinking about Secrets from Charlotte Mason on Scheduling for Peace. Peace and restful learning is what I wish to bring into the house.
Time to curl up and explore medieval history with my little ones. Time for long discussions with my teenagers. Time to bake cookies, laugh, and enjoy this year. This year before another child graduates my homeschool and launches himself from the nest.
After all, the days are long but the years are short when you’re raising children.
Are you finding balance in your homeschool?