Are you using a flexible homeschool schedule?
Hang tight a minute while I tell you a story.
We woke up and turned on the TV. It was during the time the Olympics were on and the first thing we did in the morning was catch up on what we missed while we were sleeping. But, in the process of scrolling through the channels, we ran across a documentary on Abraham Lincoln’s life and my daughter said, “Oooo! Can we watch this?”
We had slept in a little (because we HAD stayed up late watching the ice skating competition). We planned to spend a few hours at the library, not only on books, but also on a big writing project we’re working on together. Then, she had Spanish. On top of that, it was raining, which adds a little more challenge some days to everything outside of the home.
I hesitated some more.
How would we watch this documentary AND get her other items completed AND spend an extended period of time at the library working on the writing project AND get to Spanish on time (with possible rain traffic delays)?
And then it hit me: Where’s my flexible homeschool schedule?
What I was doing was the thing I do occasionally when the house is a mess and I have work project deadlines hovering and I feel like my kid isn’t schooling enough. My control freak self feels control slipping away and I start to tighten my grip and freak about, well, everything. And, I slip back into what I grew up knowing about schooling and forgetting all about the benefit of a flexible homeschool schedule.
So what if we didn’t make it to the library today? (There are six other days we can go and it’s only 10 minutes from our house.) And, that writing project? What if we miss our (self-imposed) deadline? And Spanish? What if we skipped a Spanish class this week? Would it be devastating to her educational experience?
I was missing out on one of the most important advantages of this lifestyle: THE ABILITY FOR A FLEXIBLE HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE.
We homeschool because we want to learn, not because we want to school (on a schedule). And, for us, part of that educational process is allowing my daughter to learn about things that interest her organically. A documentary about Abraham Lincoln that piqued her interest? That was learning (not schooling). That documentary prompted a discussion about the Underground Railroad and to plan visits to those historical sites that are in our state, along with a visit to Lincoln’s boyhood home.
This flexible homeschool schedule facilitates LEARNING. This is interactive homeschooling!
That day after the Lincoln documentary, she finished a book she loves so much that it prompted her to research when the next book in the series would be out. (It’s already out! YAY!) Then, she spent time drawing each of our dogs while they were sleeping. (Did you know that art not only helps with motor skills, but “the experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life“?)
A FLEXIBLE HOMESCHOOL SCHEDULE CREATES A LOVE OF LEARNING, which carries through an entire life.
All of that impromptu learning took place because I allowed homeschool flexibility and was willing to let go of schooling and instead allow learning. All of this because I was willing to embrace one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling instead of making it a negative.
We never made it to Spanish that rainy day, but we do know more about Lincoln. And about a book series that she loves. And, we also have some awesome art to show for that day.
Flexible homeschool schedules. What a concept.