Tuesday, October 22

on homeschooling :: changing up the routine.

As much as I would love it to, that word really doesn't exist in my day to day life.
But with as chaotic as it can be, with changes to my work schedule each week, I still try and fit a bit of routine or normalcy into our days.
One way I've tried to do this is by being strict with our homeschool schedule.
But given that I'm home some mornings and then at work some mornings, and then home some evenings and at work some evenings (and not every work shift is the same week after week), this has been a bit hard to keep up.

My original plan was to do school Monday - Friday, and be completely done each day by the time Bryan got home from work.
Considering that at least 3, but most often 4, mornings a week I have work, this has been routinely giving me about 3 hours to get everything done.
And that's with starting the moment we walked in the door, and including lunchtime.
Also, several evenings a week I work as well, so some days were pretty much following this pattern :: wake up, make breakfast, get dressed and ready (x3), drive to work, work, drive home, make lunch, eat, put Lawson down for a nap, do schoolwork and clean simultaneously, spend some time with Bryan when he gets home, make dinner, pack up and leave again, drive to work, work, drive home, put kids to bed, read a bit, go to bed. Repeat.

All of that to say, I've been overwhelmed.
My expectations of what I should be accomplishing, both in school and with home stuff, have been ridiculously high.
I've been treating homeschool and housework like I was a stay-at-home-mom.
Which, even though I kind of am, I also am kind of not.
I work upwards of 30 hours a week outside the home.
So, it is definitely ridiculous of me to try and act as if I don't.

This has all been weighing super heavily on me lately.
I do not, by any means, regret our decision to homeschool Audrey.
I am so happy that we made that decision.
And I only wish that I had a little more time at home to be able to devote to a more "traditional" homeschooling method.
But alas, this is not the case, so I might as well work with what I've got, right?

A few weeks back I had a conversation with the hubs about just this subject.
He could tell that there was something not quite right with me, so I finally admitted to how I was feeling.
Rushed, overwhelmed, impatient, frustrated, and inadequate all come to mind.
So, as we talked it out, I finally gave myself permission to ease up and change things so that things more accurately represented our current lifestyle and schedule.

Here are a few of the changes that I'm making regarding our school schedule....
*The days where I work morning and evening, school will not be a priority.
On those days, I've had little to no downtime and have been super rushed and frustrated.
*The days where we are home all day will run pretty much the way they have been.
*The days where I work in the morning, but have the evening off, we will start school later in the afternoon (after a quiet time period) and will continue even after Bryan gets home, with no specific end time.
*Since we will be taking 1-2 days off during each week, Saturdays will now be school days. 
Our Saturdays are traditionally pretty quiet, with us spending a bulk of our time at home, so this will fit in perfectly.
*Sundays will continue the same, with no school, since this is generally a pretty busy work day for me.

Also, I've pretty much given up on the idea of Audrey getting any real amount of schoolwork done in the mornings while we're at work.
Initially this seemed like a good idea, but I've realized that, on the norm, it's really not.
There will be a few things, here or there, that she can do on her own, but it's a better use of both of our times (and my sanity!) if she is in a classroom helping out with the younger kids.

This is all slowly, but surely, coming to fruition.
It's definitely a work in progress, and will take some time to get used to.
I am also giving myself permission to tweak it here and there as needed.

I really feel like this will take a weight off of my shoulders and improve my overall mood, as well as our time at home.
And, as always, I'm so thankful to have a life where any of this is at all possible.
And for having a husband who supports me and my decisions, and continues to encourage me. :)

peace, love, and all things sparkly.

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