Homeschool FAQs: Do you have a schedule that you follow?

A current iteration of a “schedule”. Looking at the “big”, weekly picture rather than day by day and hour by hour.

My first response to this question is usually a firmly wish-washy: not really. When I am asked this question (as I often am these days), it makes me recall a conversation I had in the pediatrician’s office on a visit with a newborn A. When it came to the “do you have any questions time,” I said sheepishly, as if the grey-haired woman sitting across from me was my confessor rather than a medical doctor, “we don’t really have a ‘routine.'” Her response was, “You probably do, you just don’t know it.” In other words: don’t worry about it. I would be wise to have the same response to this issue of a schedule these days: don’t worry about it. But, I’m not wise.

But, in truth, we really do have a homeschool routine, we just don’t always realize it and it’s not really based around subject areas the way a more traditional classroom is. In fact, it’s not based around subject areas at all. It’s based, in part, around Eric’s work schedule. It’s also based around the girls’ “extracurricular” schedules which right now include rehearsals for the Christmas play “Angel Alert” which our parish is putting on, their “Little Flowers” meetings (which is a little like Girls Scouts and a little like informal play dates), and their music lessons. But it’s also based on the mass schedule at our church, which affords 9 yo A and I two daily masses a week and 6 yo Z one a week, and also 19 mo M’s daily naps. Other times of the year, they might also have sports practices and games.

So, yes, we have a routine and schedule when it comes to activities that involve other people, but, by and large, their “academic”/ subject-based learning is directed by what their own interests and skill levels are. For a short period of time this year (maybe six weeks?), we tried to follow a more structured academic schedule but it felt like all the down-sides of school (externally directed structure and control) without any of the upsides (socializing with peer and easy access to resources).

So, yeah, we have a schedule and a routine. We just don’t realize it.

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