Today we've got a guest post from one of our creators, Kelly Briggs! You can check out her Ultimate Simple Meal Planning Guide in the resource library today!
I'm a good five years into homeschooling and over the past five years, I've gone through a lot of ups and downs figuring things out. This past few years being home so often because of the pandemic has in many ways been a blessing in disguise for our homeschool as we've really been able to figure some things out to create more peaceful homeschooling routines.
Today, I'm sharing about seven tips to create peaceful homeschooling routines. These are seven tips I've noticed the past year especially and will pull from them through the years to come. And I hope it's helpful to you too.
Seven tips to create peaceful homeschooling routines
Cut back until there is peace in the home. I heard this quote on a homeschooling video once. I believe it was from a Simply Charlotte Mason video. I didn’t take it to mean to do nothing to make everyone happy, but rather have the right amount of work and routine that's peaceful and creates a rhythmic flow. That will be unique to each homeschooling family and person too.
Stretch, but not break. My friend over at Delightfully Feasting penned this one. Pushing our children beyond their mental and developmental capabilities only leads to butting heads, and "breaking". I found that it's important to stretch our children and our homeschool, but not to the point of breaking - leading to grumpiness, burnout...the list goes on. There is a balance to be found, with trial and error of stretching the homeschool, but not breaking it.
Natural breaks between high/low energy tasks. I read a great blog about how to naturally schedule the days staggering low and high energy tasks and it was a lightbulb moment for me (I can’t find the exact blog, but it was on Simply Charlotte Mason’s website). Of course that makes sense! If we, even as adults, find it hard to focus on detailed, brain tasks back to back, kids are the same. For instance, math, a literature reading, followed by history may be too heavy all in a row. But math, exercise time, copywork, and then music may work better.
Lots of movement. Children are - energetic - and need a lot of movement. Some need more than others. When I'm more aware of this, I remember to remind my kids to move, sit somewhere different when I'm reading, for instance. Or pause for five minutes to do some exercise. Oftentimes, they are fidgeting with something during school time too. Movement can help many children stay focused longer and fills that sensory need for others.
Higher hands on (parent) time earlier in the day. For me, I have the most energy earlier in the morning and start fading as time goes on. So keeping anything that requires a lot of energy and focus from me gets put earlier in our homeschooling morning. And that, for me, are things like reading aloud, history, or singing lessons. And of course, that means that there are more independent activities as the day goes on. Since my energy levels naturally decrease as the day goes on, it made sense to push for more of those independent subjects for the kids. Less hands on for me and less brain power. ha!
Develop rhythms/routines to the day. Establishing a rhythm or routine has become so important because it becomes more predictable and has less resistance from all of us. If it is just the flow to the day, it happens, you know?
Have LESS on the schedule and use more loop planning. Having less on our schedule has become so good for our family. There is no peace in scrambling or jamming in as much as possible every day. It is a lot of trial and error and sometimes reassessing even when things that once felt good aren't working any longer, but it's worth it. It's been so worth it for us, for sure! Loop planning is a way to schedule things so that you go through a loop at your own pace.
Creating peaceful homeschooling routines is certainly not a one and done thing, at least that’s been the case for us. But, little baby step changes every day and careful reassessing periodically for what’s working and what’s not can be so helpful. I hope you enjoyed my seven tips to create peaceful homeschooling routines. Happy homeschooling!
Hi, my name is Kelly Briggs and I’m a simple home management coach. I homeschool our four children (ages 12-3) on the east coast of Canada as well as work part-time in social media. I left my teaching job over nine years ago to stay home and it was after that that I realized I needed to get better - much better - at managing the home. You can find me over at simplehomemom.com or where I hang out most on Instagram @simplehomemom.