How do I find the time to home school my kids?
This is a question I’ve heard quite a bit recently from some who are considering home schooling – or from several who looked at our home school schedule for this year and felt overwhelmed.
Yikes, I sure didn’t mean to overwhelm anyone. Nor did I mean to make you picture me slaving away beside my children all day. I simply shared my schedule because many requested to see it, and because I personally needed to outline my day for the sake of my own organization.
What you need to know is that while we try to hold to this “ideal routine”, there is lots of wiggle room in there. I schedule in thirty minutes each day to read History/Geography to my two middle boys, but sometimes it only takes ten minutes of my time before they take off on their own to finish the lesson. Sprinkled all throughout our routine is plenty of dish washing, cooking, laundry folding and other household chores. I just school my kids around and during our daily life activities. And guess what? They are home to help me with these chores, which means I can actually accomplish more while we home school than if they were away at school!!! Mwoohaha – their laundry folding ability is the real reason I like having them home with me all day. (Not really.) (Except that it really is nice.)
I truly don’t believe that home schooling has created extra work in my life. Yes, it is work. Yes, I have to put forth the effort and spend dedicated time educating my children.
But I’ve been reading to and teaching my kids since they were newborns, and I didn’t consider that “home schooling”. I considered it parenting.
When our oldest son became a home schooled kindergartner, not much changed in our lives. We continued to read together and squeeze in all varieties of lessons and activities during the days, just like we had done before – working around nap times and meal times and play times and grocery store visits and all life activities.
I do have to schedule home schooling into my days, so that we can be more productive. But what I don’t have to schedule in? Getting my kids up and out the door with matching shoes and combed hair each morning by 8:00 (or earlier). Driving my kids to and from school. Preparing and packing lunches. Figuring out how to be a room mom (especially back when I had napping babies at home). And homework. When I hear my friends talk about how much time they spend helping their kids with homework at the end of each school day, I often think, “Wow – we spend the same amount of time (or less) on our entire school day.”
Because we’re so flexible and laid back about our home school routine – I actually consider my life to be quite “cushy” and easy compared to moms who have to get up at the crack of dawn to get their kids off to school, and stay up late with them finishing the reports and projects have to be turned in. I personally consider my home schooling life to be easier than the alternative, simply because I get to run the day the way I want to run the day.
So yes. I have time to home school, and it’s not because I have more hours in my day or more patience with my kids or more energy than any other mom. I am simply doing what I’ve always done with my kids – except for instead of reading books about shapes and gingerbread men and the little engine that could, we’re now reading about the constitution and the way a marsupial feeds its young.
I love it.
P.S. Did you know that you could fit twenty baby opossums onto a teaspoon? That’s how tiny they are when they are born before they crawl into their mama’s pouch to continue their development. We read about that just today. See how smart I’m getting to be?
This post was written in an effort to dispel some of the many misconceptions or fears people might have about taking on the task of home schooling. As with all my home school posts, my intention is to simply share my thoughts and offer encouragement – not to convince everyone that home schooling is the best and only way to educate your kids. You do what you do, and I’ll do what I’ll do and we’ll all do it to the glory of God!