If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that we’ve been on a four-day homeschool week for years, and it has worked very well. Four days of formal learning helped me check off the “must learn content” box while leaving most of our days open and Fridays available for field trips, enrichment classes, visiting with friends, pursuing personal passions, or just chilling. This schedule made it possible for us to have a realistic balance of working hard and playing hard. Until recently, I didn’t plan on changing it. Enter the shenanigans that is the year 2020.
What once worked for us had to evolve, which meant that I had to find a compromise that kept us moving forward, even if in small increments, and kept me sane at the same time. Could there be a sweet spot in all of the chaos? Yes, and it’s been our saving grace this year, and I think it may be able to help your homeschool, too.
When I’m in the midst of a storm, I find my footing by putting my physical, emotional, and mentally needs above all else. This typically means that I lean further into the “less is more” approach to everyday life. I’ve been on a minimalist journey for years now, so the idea of doing and having less is my default, but I wondered if I could do more of that in our homeschool. By some standards, our pre-COVID schedule was “not enough school time,” whatever that means, but I knew that we needed to scale back even more. It felt like the right thing to do, so I embraced it without guilt, fear, or worry. It’s important to trust your gut and the signs you receive from your family as to what’s the best route to take.
In the end, I decided to change our homeschool days to 3 days per week, Monday through Wednesday, for 2-3 hours a day leaving Thursday and Friday for other things like enrichment classes. I also switched our block schedule from 6 weeks on/1 week off to 5 weeks on/1 week off. I found that I was dragging that sixth week, and having experienced extreme burnout in the past, I listened to my mind and body to avoid that at all costs. Sometimes it’s ok to push through, but not so much in 2020. Self-preservation is everything this year. The last thing I did was to focus only on the most important subjects (determined by me and my children) and let those be enough. They have been plenty to keep up with, believe me.
So, how can you do this, too? One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that you control the schedule and what and when subjects are covered. You can pivot, pause, or completely shift gears to fit your family’s needs. Even if you have to meet day/hour requirements for your state, you still have the autonomy to find unique ways to do so. Remember, nothing is set in stone. All it takes is staying aware of the energy in your home, being willing to change things when needed, and to be consistent, flexible, and unapologetic about doing less if that’s what you think it best. After all, your sanity, your relationship with your children, and what happens within your four walls is ultimately what matters. Yes, and amen.
Hey, I’m Camille, The Intuitive Homeschooler!
I’m a wife and mom of 3 busy kiddos who I’ve homeschooled for seven years. When I’m not homeschooling, gardening, or watching yet another documentary, you can find me writing on this here blog. Oh, and I just wrote a book called Coming Home. If you’re a homeschooler or you wanna be one, I recommend it. IJS.
Subscribe to know when I post new, awesome content, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for even more awesome content. Awesome content is what happens in my corners of the internet. That’s just how it is.