Homeschool Planning: Finding the Balance Between Scheduling & Spontaneity
Do you wish you were more spontaneous? Or do you think you need to “stick to a schedule”?
Because I’ve been a writing fiend this summer, I haven’t taken the time I usually take to anticipate the start of our fall routine. I like fall because it gets cooler again and we can spend more time outside. One year we worked through a book on how to draw with charcoals and sat outside every day for a couple of weeks drawing!
We also tend to take nature walks in the fall because there is less rain and Ohio has the best trees in the world.
Yesterday my daughter asked me and one of our boys to take the dog for a walk with her. I hopped up from the computer and out the door we went. As we walked, we had this conversation. I offer it as a sample of how to include your kids in your plans. (Sometimes we forget to do that.)
Caitrin hands me the leash so she can climb a tree. Liam walks along with me as Rocky (dog) drags me forward.
Me: So would you prefer a routine this fall, you know, a calendar with activities planned on it, or do you like it better when we are more spontaneous?
We’ve done both in the past and I try to get a feel for what the kids want.
Liam: I like being spontaneous best, but then sometimes we don’t do the things I like as often. But I don’t like schedules.
Me: That makes sense. What if we make a big calendar and add some activities to it sort of like place holders? Then we can decide that morning if we still want to. But at least we won’t forget what we wanted to do at one time when we were planning.
Liam: That sounds good.
Me: What would you put on our calendar?
Our calendar helps us create windows of time for spontaneity.
Liam: I like it when we take nature walks.
Me: How often? Once a week? Once a month?
Liam: Let’s go every other week.
Me: Okay. What about teatimes and reading aloud?
Liam: Every day!
Me: How about we definitely do teatimes once a week and then if other days feel right, we’ll do those spontaneously? And we will always read aloud every day.
Caitrin swung down from the tree and rejoined us.
Caitrin: I want to go to museums but NOT art museums.
This made me sad. She got tired of art museums in Italy and now she’s forgetting how much she loved our Cincinnati art museum.
Me: Good idea. We’ll check out some other kinds. If anyone wants to come with me to the Cincinnati or Dayton art museum, I’ll be going. I love them.
Liam: I will! I still love them.
Caitrin: Well, I’ll probably come too. Can we go to the library every week?
Me: Yes. We need to do that again.
With bigger kids in the house, we’ve gotten out of the habit of going to the library as a family and she misses that. So I want to make sure the younger ones and I go again each week.
Then we discussed copywork and reading to me and freewriting… for each one, we looked at how they could participate in ways that fit their personalities, skills and desires. Liam wants to improve his handwriting (his idea) but he finds it a struggle to handwrite. He has been working on this alone now for a week. He asked me to put it on the calendar so that he will remember to at least consider doing it each day. 🙂 Nice solution. He wants to remind himself.
Caitrin likes to work on reading but only every other day.
This is how we figured out the fall. It was so nice to walk and chat and let the dog sniff every mailbox in the neighborhood. They are looking forward to the routine and the spontaneity, both.
Image by Todd Anderson (cc Changed to add graphics.)
Write, hike, and draw together!
Our Nature Journaling class turns your aspiration to study nature into a “dream come true”! Fun for all ages!
Click on the flower to learn more about using Nature Journaling in your homeschool!