Developing a Home School Routine
So, I have an earned master’s degree in education, and let me tell you, homeschooling my own kids is a challenge. How is it that I can manage twenty-five kindergartners, but my own three children give me such a run for my money?
Well, I think most of it can be summed up with a few core reasons. First of all, my own “personal” children as I refer to them are not used to receiving structured academic instruction from me. Kids are creatures who excel with procedures and routines. And our normal weekend routine does not include me as the teacher. Additionally, my kids are really comfortable with me. I mean, there are few personal boundaries that they adhere to when it comes to me. I’ve seen them at their worst, so they have no reputation to uphold. So, the past few weeks, our homeschooling routine has been a work-in-progress. I mean, the way my children’s teachers describe them, the three of them are reserved, respectful and polite. So what’s the deal with tears during math, and burping and laughter during science? There have even been a few occasions when I have asked my son, “would you act like that in front of your teacher and classmates? Should I send them a video of the way you’re acting?” And while this has been minimally effective, it at least makes him stop and think for a moment.
And I’m guessing I’m not the only mom who is facing these daily challenges. So, this past week, I decided that my best bet was to put together a schedule so that my kiddos understand my expectations. We had a family meeting to discuss a tentative daily schedule, which is still very flexible and provides for free time. Together, the kids and I discussed the schedule and agreed to it, although some aspects were more readily accepted than others. I created a basic daily schedule and printed a copy off for each child. I wrote names on each and then put them in clear plastic page protectors. Then I gave each of the kids a dry erase marker. Each day, the kids mark off each activity once it’s completed. At the end of the day, I can erase the marks and use it again the following day. And thus far, this has minimized the excuses and complaining. Although, I failed to include, “put on real clothes,” so we my younger son has continued to sport his pajamas most of each day. So if you’re struggling to find your own “new normal,” don’t reinvent the wheel. If you’re struggling, please feel free to use the schedule my family developed as a template. Make sure to discuss the schedule with your children and make it work for you. And if it’s necessary, create more individualized schedules for different children. Regardless of what you choose to do, the best piece of advice I can provide, is to establish routines and create expectations so that your homeschooling experience can be as productive as possible.
Home School Checklist
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
o Brush teeth
o Assigned School Work
o English Language Arts
o Social Studies
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
o P.E. (in addition, must walk or run 1 mile per day)
o D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) 15 minutes
o D.E.A.W. (Drop Everything and Write)15 minutes
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
o Complete Daily Chore
o Family Meeting
8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
o Family Game
o Read Aloud
And remember, just like there’s no perfect parent, there’s also no perfect teacher. Sometimes we just do our best to get through the day. So, be kind to yourself and do your best. In our current situation, that’s all we can do. If you’re home with your kids, make good memories with them, and cherish the time. And please, if you have any questions, suggestions or advice for me, I’m always looking for improvement, so send me a message @fitmodelmom on Instagram.