Homeschool Routine: It starts with Me

Remember that elusive routine I’ve been trying to capture? We’re making progress, but mostly because I’ve changed my focus. {Hint: it’s not about the kids.}

My focus: Me.

Mama sets the tone of the homeschool

Turns out I’m the one who needs a routine. Though it’s clear the kids all do better with a loose routine, it’s me who gets the most off kilter without it. I mentioned how I’ve realized I’m “sensitive,” and the events of the past year (not the least of which was adding two active, noise-producing little people to the family) have highlighted this. Right now I’m working on mornings, because when my mornings go well, the rest of my day goes far better. And when my days go better, the tone of our home is generally more pleasant.

A good morning:

  • Get up without hitting snooze more than once
  • Exercise
  • Shower
  • Make tea
  • Bible reading (little kids get up but play quietly til breakfast)
  • Wake Kathryn with hot tea or cider
  • Make breakfast

Sounds simple enough, but getting that part right gets everyone off to a good start. The rest of the day is slowly developing a rhythm, and I will gradually add in specific things I want to do as a family and with the kids individually. But if I try to do All The Things, I get overwhelmed and turn it into None of The Things. For the past two weeks I’ve made good progress on my morning goals, so next week I’ll add one more thing to the routine.

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Sadly, that old saying is true. But the opposite tends to be true, too. I’ve realized that I — the Mama — am the key to establishing not just the rhythm/routine of our home, but the overall feel of our home. Over the past couple of months, I’ve spent time analyzing what is and isn’t working in our homeschool, and been doing some reading on the subject, too. I’ll be sharing more on that in coming posts.

For now, a few highlights from the past couple of weeks…

Mitzvah, Snow, and Birthday Dog!

bat mitzvah

Two weeks ago, at Kathryn’s messianic bat mitzvah, I watched her lead shabbat service and read/chant Hebrew from a 200+ year old hand-written Torah scroll that survived the holocaust in the Ukraine. This was the culmination of two years of preparation and study. Her dad and family attend there, and this was a combined service and celebration with her stepbrother and stepsister, who also did a wonderful job! I don’t fully understand all of this, but I ask questions and she teaches me.

snowy playset

We had more snow! This time around, it was mostly ice with a layer of fluffy snow on top. On the rare occasions we have ice storms, they can be very bad, with many trees and power lines down, and hundreds of thousands of folks without power. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been and thankfully, we never lost power. Ice isn’t as much fun to play in as snow, but before temps rose and began the thaw, the kids played in it and built a snowman. It was not as frigid as when it snowed a few weeks ago, so the kids (and Ken!) were able to play outside longer and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Also: today our Lacy the WonderDog turns seven! Another small member of the family has an upcoming birthday as well. Too bad cupcakes (particularly chocolate ones) are bad for dogs or we’d let her in on the celebratory goodies!

Georgia snowman kids

I’ve been doing all kinds of sewing projects lately: making curtains for the living room, and a headboard and bed skirt for the master bedroom. Creative outlets help my sanity and make me nicer. 😉 Kathryn has already learned some basic crochet and she’s going to help me learn, too!

If you missed Wednesday’s post, it’s about an awkward but necessary parenting topic, and I hope you’ll read my friend Barrett’s guest post on the subject!

–> I’ll be linking up with Kris and Mary, and Carlie!