Consistency is key to successful homeschooling.
During the summer months I find myself reviewing our previous year of homeschooling. We actually talk about this with our children. We focus on things that worked and try to find solutions for things that didn’t work so well. And after 14 years of homeschooling, I can tell you, every year is completely different. We do our best to define our plans and goals for the new school year. Our most successful homeschool years have been the years we have embraced consistency.
One of the best aspects of homeschooling is that we can create our own schedule. Over the years we have adopted many different schedules. We have homeschooled year-round using a four- day week program. We have tried a routine of six weeks schooling followed by one week off. We have even tried nine weeks on and two weeks off. As we approached the high school years, it became evident that we needed a schedule that would lead us to a consistent schedule that would prepare our children for college dual-enrollment and eventually the business world.
Being consistent on our studies and schedules allow us to be flexible in our outside activities. Yes, you read that right. Being consistent allows for flexibility!
We have all had those years when we feel behind the eight ball so to speak. We feel we are behind where we wanted to be at that particular moment. I get phone calls every spring from parents wondering what they should do because they feel so far behind. My answer every time is stop whatever you are doing and set goals and then be consistent in working toward your goal.
Being consistent at our home is establishing a routine and sticking to it. We all get up and shower and accomplish our daily chores before meeting for a family breakfast. Family breakfast has been anywhere from 7:30am to 8am. After dad leaves for the office, we begin our well-established routine of Bible study followed by our academics. We come together again for lunch followed by any afternoon activities and any unfinished school work. Seems mundane and binding? Actually it is a very freeing routine. It allows for the children to respect our school time and studies. It shows our children how very important their education is to us. It also allows others to respect our school time, knowing when the best time is to contact us.
Being consistent in our school time and studies has allowed us to take time off for vacations and visitors as we are never behind. We can take on new opportunities, because we know when we are available. We are always done with our school year as planned.
Often times I hear excuses that really are just that, excuses. Yes, sports practices, working schedules and outside classes offer challenges to our homeschool schedules. But once again, we need to be consistent and show our children how very important his or her education is. We can’t ask our children to be consistent if we are not right there with them instructing and guiding them through their assignments. We need to examine our schedules and re-examine our priorities. Are they matching up? What changes can you make to be more consistent in your homeschooling?
Take a step up and plan for next year now. You will be so encouraged when it pays off this time next year, when you realize that your consistent hard work has paid off!
(This blog post was originally posted on the first Excellent Quests website back in 2009. It is amazing that this all still rings true for us after all these years.)