Fitting it all into a day. Home education is a busy life, there is no doubt about it. Lots to do, lots to fit into your day, children to teach. But if you think about your weekends isn’t that what it’s about, isn’t a weekend full of household activities, seeing to the family, seeing to the children? Now you have got learning to add, how do I fit in all the subjects and teaching children of different ages?
We have done a video clip on “Teaching Children of Different Ages”, and another one on “ A Walk in the Park” to help you keep relaxed about it all and also keep a God focus on everything you do. So when it comes to fitting it all into a day, think of it differently. On a weekend you manage to fit everything into a day, now you just fitting it into a weekday. You don’t have to run your children backwards and forwards to school. The time that some Moms spend just doing that could be the time your children are sitting at home doing their formal work and the rest of their day is just as in their weekend learning and discovering and doing things together.
Before time was taken up to-ing and fro-ing from school and various activities, doing homework and getting lists done that need to be accomplished, that were requirements of the school system. Now those are all cancelled, they are not part of your day anymore and now your day is focussing on your children.
So I come back again to a weekend picture, but now you have got seven days with your children, not just the weekend and taking them to school every day of the week. So now you are going to do a maths lesson with one of them on Monday morning while the other one gets the tea ready, and then when you have finished that you are going to do a maths lesson with the other one whilst the one you have already been teaching, carries on with the maths you have left for them to do on their own. So there is a good deal of learning just happening here on its own, sometimes Moms are so caught up in their time and their worries they are not actually seeing independent learning, character being formed and opportunities in household management and caring.
Instead of getting up and rushing off to school the children can now get up and make their beds, you are not doing all the housekeeping, your children are helping you with that. You are not having to hang the washing up alone and the cleaning, you get the children involved. My experience as a child is that we all had our functions that we had to do to help function as a family and enjoy doing things together. That was tremendously equipping for me to enable me to run my own household and my own family.
So if you are stressing and panicking about how you are going to fit it all together here is another picture for you. How about when you are on holiday, how do you fit everything into your day? I have actually heard some Moms say, the holidays were so stressful, I couldn’t wait for the children to get back to school because they were getting out of hand. Well, that is perhaps because there wasn’t a plan or a specific order in your day, but, as a home educating Mom, you learn to get the order in the day, to get the household functions done, to get the learning done, to take time out and have fun. It is something that develops and grows, just as you have your weekend plan, or if you were to go camping and each one has their little function to do.
Almost like a continuation of those holiday times, you are now just fitting home education into your living. Instead of getting into the car and going to school with the children, you are now sitting doing a maths lesson.
You can fit it all in together BUT another caution. Why do home education Moms often feel stressed and say, “I can’t fit it all in?” I often ask them …what is “IT”, and then you hear that they have extra murals three times a week and this child goes here twice a week and you discover that all morning they are trying to get all the household functions and the learning done and then in the afternoon they are running around and stressing that they can’t fit it all in. My suggestion is that they drop some of the “It’s” . Drop some of those “its” out of the plan, I remember asking a Mom to just drop all extra mural activities for one term and see how it goes. The result of that is that they didn’t go back to extra mural activities the next term either. Three terms down the line, each child chose only one extra mural activity instead of the two of three they were doing before. Their life changed, it was not so stressed, there wasn’t so much going on, that they felt other things were suffering.
Why don’t you look at some of the “its” that don’t need to be there, it might allow you to feel more relaxed? At the end of the day ask yourself this question. What is important to God, what is He looking at, in my day and what is in it that is of no consequence to Him if it is in your day or not, in fact it might be better if it weren’t? Then get those things out and then ask yourself the question again. Can I fit it all together?
I hope that has been helpful in some way, fitting it all together really is possible, it isn’t something you should be worried about when starting out. If you are still really bogged down then maybe your should consider some of the things I have mentioned here today.