Our homeschool is delight-directed
Because our homeschool operates on the assumption that I will follow Ben’s interests and passions, there’s just no way to plan ahead very far. He’s an 11-year-old boy. His interests change. Often. We do begin the year with a list of things Ben wants to learn about, but at some point, usually the first month, something not on the list piques his curiosity. If we were following a preset plan, it would be difficult to switch gears so easily.
You’ve heard of those, right? Let me give you an example. You’re going along, learning all about horses, when one day, you begin talking about how the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt used horses to pull their chariots. Suddenly, your son gets interested in mummies and the next thing you know you are mummifying a chicken. Chickens have little to do with horses in the grand scheme of things. That, my friend, is a rabbit trail. Or maybe it’s a chicken trail? Anyway, we would not be free to follow them, if we had a plan we had to follow. (that’s a lot of animals in one scenario, too!)
I’ve blogged before about some chronic health problems I live with. There are just days I cannot do everything I’d like to be able to do. There are days when school depends on audio books, videos, our book basket, our plethora of (free) Kindle books, SchoolhouseTeachers.com, or iPad apps. There are times, these kinds of days become a week. Or two. I must have the flexibility to change things up, literally at a moment’s notice. Falling off the lesson plan all the time would be frustrating for the both of us.
- Begin my day with quiet time
- Get school done in a timely manner
- Find a way NOT to be on the computer all day.
I work from home 20 hours a week, and my job requires that I be online the entire time. Part of my job involves social media, which we all know can sneak in and take over your life. Some advanced planning (see, there’s that word again!) is necessary to keep that from happening. So, here is the design of our school days:
8am — I wake up, have quiet time and check email
9am — Ben wakes up, eats breakfast and does a couple of morning chores
10am — school begins
2pm — school is done, afternoon chores
3pm — Mom’s office hours, Ben’s free time
6pm –dinner, family time until bedtime
9pm — bedtime routine for Ben
10pm — Ben to bed, Mom’s free time
12mn — Mom to bed
Now, this is a work in progress. Always. When we follow it, we have our best days. The toughest parts are the waking up and going to bed times. For both of us. Like I said, the computer can sneak in and take over. I plan to be more diligent about implementing and sticking to this schedule for the coming year. I’m even planning to take off the month of September from blogging and writing reviews, just so I can concentrate on getting our school year off to the right start. I am planning on having the best year ever!
Whew! I did it! I wrote a blog post about homeschool planning. Look at all that planning I’ve done already and it’s just the first day of August! And I didn’t think I would have anything to write on this topic!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to read Homeschool Planning for Middle School (goals and curriculum for grade 7).