Is It Time To Switch Gears?
Embracing Schedule Changes in Your Homeschool
By: Hicunni Chandler
“Switch it, change it, rearrange it”. I can’t remember where that chant came from. I am thinking it was from one of my cheerleading camps back in 19 blah blah. After all of those years, that chant came to mind at 6:22 a.m., last Friday morning, when I was preparing to rearrange our homeschool schedule.
Clearly, I can’t be the only mom that has had to switch things around a bit after 45 days in school “Technically 36 because of the birthdays, vacations, and sick days. Of course, I could count some of the vacay days as field trips. Maybe count some of the sick days as Health Education. Rule number 455, do not eat_____ because it may make you sick or probably because your body will resist it.
Ok, so I didn’t count those extra days! It was close to 5:30 p.m. when I completed our schedule, after the confusion and interruptions.
I feel so accomplished, so liberated, so hoping that I won’t have to change this schedule until the next 45 days. Ha!
As of today, at this moment, you have my permission to switch gears! Yes! Can’t you hear the bells of freedom going off! I mean lets be realist, everything doesn’t always go according to plan, right? I know you are wondering what led to this change.
In the past we’ve had to change a schedule or two around because the curriculum or books that we purchased were not working for my children. You would think that after accumulating 2 suitcases of materials we would have this homeschooling thing all figured out. Homeschooling is life. Our children change, circumstances change, change changes, which all affect the approach we use to instruct our children.
The appropriate response is to be that progression monitor to identify what is working and what is not. If you have to create a new schedule, please don’t feel defeated or discouraged. I know you have spent x amount of dollars on that curriculum that “Ms. Working” purchased for her child, and it worked for them, but maybe you can resell it. The money that you lost, isn’t really a lost after all. Why? Look at it as a life experience; you can’t really put a price tag on that, can you?
This is our 4th year homeschooling, but this year is a little more structured. We have been working with an organization that created an Individual Cognitive Plan for our son, in which we combined the curriculum we already had with other materials. With the curriculum and in home therapy activities, instructing my daughter, and extracurricular activities, we have a full schedule.
I am happy to say, that as of this moment, the curriculum and other materials are working, however, the schedule that we follow seems too rushed. There was a time when I was ready to be done for the day. I am learning that school is more than just a check list. I want to make sure our kids are getting the most out of each lesson. So, what did I do?
I love making schedules and list. Do I always stay on task? No. However, since I read, well, I read some and skimmed the most important parts to apply, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode; I have been a better planner. Also, I do plan on finishing that book; I guess I am applying what I’ve learned as I read!
So, it took all day, with a few interruptions to switch and rearrange our schedule. We don’t want to be slaved to it, but to use it as a guide and allow more interruptions, if things come up. Most importantly, we have the “time” to spend on a particular lesson as we need to.
Ok, so you want to hear something funny? Well, on Saturday, the next day, when I looked at the time, it was 6:22 a.m.! Wow, the same time as the day before! I started thinking, Lord, maybe this is a sign. Ok, then I thought maybe it’s a scripture (Surely, none of you have ever had one of those “spiritual” moments, I’m being facetious). So I looked up Psalm 6:22…it doesn’t exist. I then went to the book of Proverbs, as it reads:
If you read the verse before, it talks about binding the commandments of your father and teachings of your mother continually on your heart.
This may have been something random, but it created an “Aha” moment. What came to mind is our primary concern is to teach our children and instruct them in the ways of our Lord. We want them to have a foundation that they can carry out for the rest of their lives. Be free homeschooling moms!
Be free to switch gears and make the most out of the years that we have with our precious little learners.
Hicunni (Hi-Key-Knee) Chandler