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We start our homeschool year tomorrow. When I first started seeing back to school supplies in stores I thought, NO summer can't be over yet, more summer, more summer! But now I'm ready, I'm excited. I'm excited to get back to our routine.
We get very lax in the summer. Chores don't always get done, days are spent flying by the seat of our pants. We play at the creek for hours, we play video games too long, we stay up too late. Which to me is what summer is for. But it's about now when I see a few yellow leaves creeping on the trees and the chokecherries are ripe on the bushes that I start to crave routine. The loosy goosy summer days are fun, but it's time to get back to normalcy, back to our routine.
Somehow our routine brings comfort to me. I know many homeschoolers thrive on following their interests, going with the flow, more of an unschooling approach. I thinks that's awesome. We let our interests guide us to an extent and are definitely flexible. If we want to go on a tangent with something we're studying in history for example, I'm all for a trip to the library for more books on the topic. If one son is struggling with a concept we definitely spend more time with that lesson. But for the most part we have breakfast about the same time, chores about the same time, then our subjects in the same order. I have lesson plans mapped out for which lessons we'll do when. That routine is somehow more comfortable, relaxed, reassuring to us.
I can have a tendency to get distracted and really off track. Routine helps me with this. I have a notebook with all my cleaning tasks listed in morning routine and evening routine. My kids have Chorepacks with all their chores in there. I also have my Blackberry set to go off and remind me it's 'math time' for the teen, or 'phonics time' for the 7 year old. These things help me to stay on track. I need that routine or I'll turn around and it's 3 pm and I realize the 5 year old is still in his PJs and the teen is just eating breakfast.
I'm not a naturally organized person. I always thought that I was when it was just me. But somehow when that changed to a family of 5 all my 'organizational skills' went out the window and I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. I know that I need a little help, and so I look around and find what helps me. I'm not ashamed to say that. I'm not perfect. Never will be. But I keep trying. I want to improve, to be the best wife/mom/homeschool teacher I can be. Routines are my secret weapon right now. They work for me, they feel right for my family.
For me it's not Back to School, it's Back to Routine, wooo! I'm ready.
Do you thrive on routine or a more laid back approach?