Stepping back into homeschool life as a grandma helping her son and daughter-in-law after a new baby’s birth, I am even more convinced of the need for a schedule in a homeschool family than I was 30 years ago in my own homeschooling time. How is a mom (or grandma) going to manage 6 children ages 7 and under, prepare meals, clean house and do laundry, and homeschool without a plan?
If you want to be productive and efficient in your homeschooling and achieve that with a peaceful, quiet heart, your schedule will be your strongest tool. You can have the best curriculum out there, but if you hardly ever have time to homeschool, what does it matter? You might have a desire for spiritual growth for your children, but if you are stressed and angry, will that be the outcome?
Some might say to me, “Mrs. Maxwell, I don’t have the self-discipline to follow a schedule.”
My response would be, “You will bless yourself and your children if you set that mindset aside and decide today to ask the Lord to help you develop whatever self-discipline you need for a schedule. Next to salvation, self-discipline might be your children’s greatest ally through life. Don’t waste any opportunity the Lord gives you to grow self-discipline and move your children toward it as well.”
The schedule gives direction to you and your children. With it, life is not chaotic, run by the most urgent fire to be put out. Instead, it has a vibrancy letting you live in the present, knowing exactly what to do and meeting needs but also either preparing for the ones to come or knowing when their time is scheduled.
In the process with your schedule, you make your children part of the team. Every homeschooling mom needs help. She wants to develop that team when her children are young and fine-tune it as they grow. Without scheduled activities to keep babies and toddlers occupied and without scheduled tasks for preschoolers, they can undo what you are trying to accomplish more quickly than you can do it. What you schedule for them is part of their development of self-control. I have observed families who do it both ways, and I can assure you the moms with children who have learned age-appropriate self-control are much happier moms with way less stress.
Begin scheduling by setting structured times for simple basics like bedtime, wake up time, Bible time, and meal times. Perhaps your greatest challenge will be for you and your husband to lead the way with a consistent bedtime and wake up time. Do it. It is worth it! After the basics are established add in chore time and school time. Then fill in other available time with other activities.
Be the Best
Once you have lived life with a schedule, I don’t think you will ever be satisfied to go back to the way you were living before. Give yourself that opportunity to see what life can be like when it has structure, and you experience productivity and efficiency with the positive emotions that go along with it.
If you need help, that is what I feel God has called me to do and what I love: to teach and encourage moms about scheduling who don’t come to scheduling intuitively. We have two resources to help you: Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores.
Determine now to be the best homeschool mom you can be utilizing the powerful tool of a schedule. Your whole family will be blessed by that decision.