Ordering My Homeschool Day
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Our God is a God of order. Look at creation, the church, and the family and you see it. The Lord created me to be a very organized person. I believe that everything has a place and everything in its place. Chaos does not thrill my heart and I cannot function with a mess. My husband’s desk drives me nuts. While I can’t find a thing on it, he knows exactly where a particular item is located. When my house is messy I can’t function well until it is tidy. I even use lists to organize myself for my day, trips, projects, etc. This being said, I do not do well with a daily schedule. I have tried. I even tried using a “how to manage your day program” that just didn’t work for me. I found other useful organization tips, but that daily schedule was just beyond me.

I thought I had to have a strict daily schedule for my homeschool. However, all this did was frustrate my children and me. No day is exactly the same and things would come up that disrupted the daily schedule. Sometimes, we would have a late night and we would get started later on the schedule. Then I would feel like a failure and like I had not accomplished a thing when truly I had by ministering to my husband, a friend, or my church family. My schedule had become an idol. Being off schedule just upset me and I missed what the Lord was trying to do in me that day. Then I came to a realization....I needed order, but not time restraints.

So, with my new-found realization, I loosened up on my daily schedule and reorganized (remember, I thrive on organization). I decided that the order in which we did things was important to me, not what time we start and finish school. We developed a routine. Each year my children and I would sit down and look at their courses. I let them decide what order they wanted to do their classes for that year. The only non-negotiable was Bible. It had to be first. Starting the school day with the Lord put us all in the right frame of mind. After that, they could decide what the rest of the routine looked like for that year.

How was this helpful? First, it allowed my children to take some ownership of their learning. They decided if they wanted to work on their favorite class first or last. They had the opportunity to learn some order for themselves and what worked best for them. Second, it helped me, because even if we were not on a set time schedule, we had a routine to follow. This allowed for the interruptions in our day and I didn’t feel like a failure. If we got interrupted, we could pick up where we left off. I started to see all that we were actually accomplishing more with a daily routine than a daily schedule. Finally, it allowed me to organize my grading and lesson plans to match their order (remember, I thrive on organization). It also helped me develop a routine for grading and planning without feeling I was tied to a specific time that never seemed to work.

I am sure you are wondering how long it took for us to complete the school day. I didn’t have set times to complete a subject; some days were longer than others depending on what we were doing. However, I did not allow them to go over an hour on any one subject. Our day tended to be anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Some days we started early and were done by lunch. Other days we got started later, but we were usually done before Dad got home. I also made the rule that school came before play or entertainment. If they had something they wanted to do they knew school had to be done first.

I know that this way of ordering your day is not for everyone. Just as every day is different, every family is different. I feel structure and order are important for people to function in this world. I found that a routine gave me the order and structure I needed to thrive. I know there are activities and appointments that require a following of a schedule, however by following a routine rather than a time schedule I was able to follow the Lord when he moved us to something not on the schedule so that we could grow, minister, and follow His lead.

Nicole Haney

HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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