When I ask homeschooling moms what their biggest struggle is, many reply with one word: consistency. But achieving homeschool consistency doesn’t have to be difficult once we have the proper framework established!
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Confession time: I’ve never been a great housekeeper. But years ago I discovered FlyLady. She taught me that perfectionism and having a messy house sometimes go hand-in-hand. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it’s easy to get stuck in an all-or-nothing mentality that says, “If I can’t do it right, if I can’t do it perfectly, I’ll just avoid doing it at all.”
With FlyLady you learn to let go of the perfectionistic mindset and set up routines and habits to keep your home in order. (And avoid cramming weeks of cleaning into one day when you hear your in-laws are coming in for a visit!)
But what does FlyLady have to do with homeschool consistency?
I believe when we give up that “all-or-nothing” mindset and put a reasonable framework in place, we can learn to be consistent in our homeschools, too.
It really doesn’t matter what your homeschool philosophy is, what methods you choose to use, or what homeschooling style you identify with. When you set up a S.I.M.P.L.E. framework, you can find that illusive “consistency” you’ve been searching for.
A S.I.M.P.L.E. Framework for Homeschool Consistency
Framework refers to the initial structure of a building. If you ever wanted to walk through walls, you can get your chance when a new house has just the framework done, because the house will have walls with openings for windows and doors but no plaster or siding.
From the literal meaning of framework — the initial structure of a building — English added figurative meanings. The noun framework, for example, can be any underlying structure something is built on, so you will see examples like: a framework for solving the problem, a framework for the computer program, and a framework for a new relationship. (vocabulary.com)
Our homeschools, just like our homes begin with putting a framework in place before we add anything else.
Saturate yourself in God’s Word. If you are going to do this homeschooling thing as a Christian mom, you can’t neglect your heart. Picture a sponge. When you put it in a bucket of water, it begins to absorb that water until it can’t hold any more. When you pull it out, it’s dripping. It overflows with the water it has been soaking in.
And when you squeeze or twist that same sponge, water pours out. But it then has less water and once again needs to take in more.
Your heart is so much like that sponge. And homeschooling will sometimes squeeze and twist your heart. But we have life-giving water available to us. Soak it up, Dear Mom!
Individualize the education you give your children. Though we often talk about giving children an individualized education, I’m actually referring to your homeschool as a whole here. How you homeschool doesn’t have to look like how your friend does it, or how the experts say you should. Yes, those are great resources to get ideas, but you know your children and you know yourself. You have to keep both in mind as you set up your homeschool.
Embrace the freedom of homeschooling and find what works for your family.
Minimize in the other areas of your life as a homeschool mom. One of FlyLady’s mantras is “You can’t clean clutter.” That’s true whether its our hearts, our relationships, or our homeschools. Less things in your house to take care of means more time to do the things you love. Less “supplements” to your curriculum means more time to do the curriculum you already have well. Less “heart issues” means more time enjoying one another.
I think you get the idea 😉
Prioritize your non-negotiables. Ask yourself:
- What subjects need to be taught daily?
- Are there subjects that we can group together?
- How often do we need to do _____________?
I tend to to think of the skill subjects such as reading, writing, math as the ones that were our non-negotiables. Other knowledge subjects, like history and science, were often studied two to three times a week during the elementary years. When you start with your top subjects, you’ll know that no matter what happens later in the day you’ve done the most important things.
Limit outside commitments. It’s easier to homeschool when you are home more than you are gone. We found outside classes, sports, clubs, and our co-op to be an invaluable part of our homeschool experience. But we had to pick and choose over the years, limiting what we would commit to at any one time.
A lot of good things can end up not being good at all, and a few good things can be incredibly beneficial. You will have to find the right balance for YOUR family.
Equip your children to know how to learn. So many homeschooling moms worry that their children will have gaps in their learning, and the truth is they will! There is absolutely no way we can teach everything. It doesn’t matter if a child goes to public, private, or homeschool—there will be “gaps” in certain areas.
Since we can’t teach everything, we need to focus on teaching the skills that will prepare them to be life-long learners. As my friend Debbie Strayer, author of the Trail Guide to Learning series, would say, we need to teach them “how to learn, not just what to learn.”
Building Habits On Your S.I.M.P.L.E. Framework for Homeschool Consistency
Once you have this framework in place, you can build habits on it that will help you with homeschool consistency. Join the Heart-to-Heart Homeschooling community and get a FREE resource on how you can set your day up for success with a few simple habits.
Learn more about consistency: