This is our third year of homeschooling and I have tried countless schedules, systems, charts, and routines to keep us on track with school as the days go by.
In the middle of last year, sometime after our extra-long Christmas break but before Spring Fever set in, I came up with a theory as opposed to a schedule. I call it Sacred Hours.
Instead of trying to adhere to a minute-by-minute schedule, or even a routine of how our subjects would flow that day, I simply resolved to sit and do school from 8am until 1pm that day. That’s it.
No laundry, no phone calls, no peeking at email or scribbling a blog post. In fact, I turned my computer off for the day.
The next morning, we awoke a little late and after a mishap with the dog, we didn’t get started on school until closer to nine. No big deal. My Sacred Hours that day would be 9am – 12:30 because we were going to the park. We still managed to finish our day’s assignments.
Not a Schedule, An Attitude
By setting aside time to focus on nothing but school, we get through far more in a day. Sure, there are times when both girls are working independently and I can switch the laundry, but when I set our hours for school and abide by it, we get so much more done in so much less time.
I determine our hours each morning, and my kids don’t even know about it. It is just an awareness I myself have as we go about our day. Until 3:00 today, I am sitting here, in this room with my girls and doing school. Nothing else. The beauty of setting it each day is that I can cater to whatever is going on that particular day. I’m not setting myself up for failure by saying that every day at 7am we will start school and do nothing else until 3:00. As if that would happen.
Not Stuck in the School Room
Please understand I am not saying that I sit and do nothing but school six hours a day, five days a week. Most days, my hours in school are different than my girls’ hours in school. There are some subjects even my seven year old can do independently.
If I need to take a few hours to do chores around the house, then my Sacred Hours in school might only be from 8am to 11am. I am still available to help after 11, of course, but I feel free to begin working on housework at that point and do a little multi-tasking. Again, my kids have no idea of this, they just know I get up around 11 and start cleaning as they’re going through some school work on their own.
Not Just For School
This concept works for just about anything. I’ve cut down on blogging and writing so I can spend more time on school, housework, and the raising of a family. Nowadays, when I do set aside time to write, I set aside time to write… and nothing else. It might only be two hours a week, but it is a focused two hours and completely guilt-free because I know I’ve set the time aside and I’m not eating away at family time.
Could you set some sacred hours yourself?
I’m linking up to Homeschool Hints at Many Little Blessings.