Patterns and Routines for Homeschooling Success
Patterns and routines help us with self-discipline and order, right? God has designed us for regularity and some predictability. It anchors us and makes us happy to know what is coming. Children are even happier when they have some sequence to their day.
Over the years as I’ve helped parents to establish better routine in the home, they notice improvement in cooperation and conduct.
I’m a free person, loving lots of flexibility and adventure, but I also love the good balance that comes with good habits. And so, this is about a harmonious balance of freedom and structure.
Allowing freedom and creativity at the right times, yields great joy and contented living. Living that freedom without boundaries, creates imbalance and indulgence.
How do we get it right? Here are my tips for keeping your “absolutes” in place, and then building life around them:
1. Set aside your times of family prayer and guard them.
It doesn’t have to be an assigned clock time, but should follow other natural patterns. Examples: Once beds are made, breakfast eaten, and morning clean up done, we gather in the living room and it is prayer time. When Daddy finishes bedtime story time, we all meet together in our devotional corner to pray. Set up consistent habits of prayer.
2. Do things in threes and state them / write them down for your children to assimilate them into their schedule.
Rise/wash up/brush teeth
Make bed/ get dressed/ take laundry to laundry room
Lunch/2 nd Chore/Play time
Group in threes and set patterns.
3. Establish a quiet time each day where your household is silent. Make it ½ hour. Children may read, rest, or engage in a quiet activity (knitting, sketching, or colouring). This is a time of no talking and activities must be those that are individual and serene.
4. Leave free time in the afternoon.
5. Third chore comes after free time.
6. What is your evening routine? More free time? What do wind down patterns look like? Reading time, bath, a family movie, tidy up, music playing, and prayer?
Keep it simple and repeated (especially for young children). Get into your groove as a family but allow for some surprises. The idea is to take the chaos out of daily living.
When we set our lives within some parameters of expectation, children embrace it, and come to a place of familiarity with it. Our attitude as parents should be, this is what we do in our home.
Children will follow suit and find security and gratification in the sureness of life. They will delight in the times of liberty. If you think your world is too chaotic or disorganized, I can help you establish new patterns.