Flipping Our Homeschool Routine
I think one of the best aspects of this homeschool life, is getting to decide what our homeschool routine will be. It can change depending on our season of life, what our week looks like, or even what actual season we’re in. Having tried to look to other homeschoolers to see what they’re doing, and trying to implement in my own home the things that work for others? That doesn’t work for me. I think we all know, dear readers, that I really need to do my own thing and don’t like to be told what to do and not do. So – I have decided that my homeschool routine needs to work for us. The result, I have decided to FLIP the routine we’ve had for a while now.
Why I Don’t Get Up Before My Kids
I am not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person. However, this past year I have been really working on improving some of my habits, trying to be more productive, and find the time in my day for all the things. I have read and heard a lot of advice to get up before the kids, do writing in the wee hours of the morning, have a morning routine full of productivity.
Well, sorry folks. That is just not my gig. I think there are people who can wake up and get a jumpstart on their days – in fact, I truly envy them. I have tried, and I have not been successful. In fact, me trying to wake up ahead of my kids results in ALL of us having a terrible morning. We have a small, “cozy” home – so if I walk around making my tea, or having my shower, or anything I’d try to do “before the kids wake” – ends up waking them up.
So there we are, three non-morning people. Glowering at each other, being snippy and short tempered, and the kids unable to focus on their work. Add in the fact that I do deal with anxiety disorder (which disrupts my sleep more often than not), and you have a Mom who just doesn’t function well in the morn. [You can read more HERE about my own struggles with anxiety as a homeschooler]
So, then what do we do – those of us who need time to fully come alive in the mornings? Those of us who can turn our loved ones to stone with a single glance, if we haven’t fully caffeinated yet? Or what about the kids – the ones who sleep late, and wake up slowly?
Are we DOOMED to never be productive with our days? Are we destined for a homeschool life of exhaustion and bad moods?
No. Homeschooling is about meeting your family where it is, honouring what everyone needs in order to thrive and feel safe. Here’s what I did:
Flipping Our Homeschool Routine
You may have read (and heard on periscope or Facebook) that I am a HUGE proponent of “Morning Basket” (in any of its names – morning routine, morning time, morning meeting, etc). [In case you have NOT, here is a post I did on our Morning Basket routine] It has up until now, been a loved part of our homeschool days. This school year so far, however, we just haven’t got our Morning Basket up and running. Because our MORNINGS are so slow and meandering, that we just don’t seem to get to it.
So often we hear, and this is particularly common in the CM homeschooling realm, that we should finish around mid-day, so the kids have hours upon hours to do their own things. To get outside, be in nature, do art, do crafts, read. So here, in my house, we wake up slow and then really have to rush to be done by 12-1pm.
Well. No more of that for me. I have decided that for the time being, while we’re in this season of life – we’re flipping our days. Long and lazy mornings, a good lunch and then – when we’re all awake and alert and more likely to engage with each other and our materials so much better – then we do our lessons.
We’ve been doing it this way for a week or so, and I like it. I can get up, have my tea, chat with the kids, get some chores done, and let my brain fully wake up. We can all have some time doing things we need to do – like for instance, it’s 10 am and I am getting this post finished up while I drink my tea. After this, I’ll work in my homeschool BuJo for a bit. It’s working. All of us here are pretty happy with this set up so for now – our morning basket will be an Afternoon Basket (I’ve even been toying with the idea of making some of this reading our BEDTIME basket!).
I am still feeling the deep changes that began after I attended the Brave Writer retreat this past summer [Read more here!]. I came away from that with some definite values and priorities for our homeschool. My goal this year is to LEAD my children, and connect and engage with them. To breathe warmth and love into our days. Changing up the homeschool routine is one small change that I can make that allows me the space to be able to do that.
Really, as we get closer to winter and the cold Northern Ontario months – the idea of spending the cold mornings sipping tea, reading, maybe writing or playing a game? That sounds very appealing. Having the afternoon to do our school work feels more natural to me in the colder months. Unlike in summer and fall, the kids and I definitely are not running out the door as early as possible to spend the days outside when the winter season really hits – I know, I know, I can practically hear Miss Mason spinning in her grave that my kids do not spend 6 hours a day outside. She didn’t home educate where we live for 6 months buried under snow and temps of -40C. I don’t mind bending this principle a little.
Perhaps, similar to the popular idea in the homeschool world of ‘tidal homeschooling’ – my family does ‘seasonal homeschooling’. Our priorities and goals and needs really seem to change so much depending on what season we’re in. Our homeschool routine shifts with the changing of the seasons. And I am ever so grateful for the flexibility and freedom that comes with this homeschool life.
Tell me about your homeschool routine – are you a early bird, up and at it family? Or are you like me, needing some time to come to full bloom in the mornings? I’d love to hear how “non-morning-people” have figured out good ways to be productive and on the ball in the mornings.