I firmly believe that everyone has a learning disability. Mine happens to be organization. I am severely challenged in this area, and it was not benefiting our homeschool. In fact, we almost imploded.
Normal things that are obvious to normal people are not obvious to me. My oldest son – then 8 – would start his math at around 9 a.m. Instead of giving him a time limit and moving on, I let him work. And work. And work. It was not unusual to have him still laboring over a page of math while I was cooking dinner. Needless to say, this caused much tension and frustration.
The day my husband found me in a fetal position under a load of laundry on the bed, we both knew something had to give. There are times when a weakness simply needs to be overcome for the sake of others. I had to do this for my children and my sanity.
I wasn’t quite sure where to start. After sending out a distress signal to a friend, she answered that she’d already told me about a scheduling system the previous year. Of course I’d lost the email.
The $30 I paid for that book and scheduling kit will save my children thousands in adult therapy. It saved our school, it saved our family, and I have no doubt it saved me.
At that time, my oldest son was in third grade, my second was in first, and I had two toddlers. Most days, we finished math, some days we got to Language Arts, and occasionally we dabbled in science and history. To me, I was failing miserably at our homeschooling pursuits. I was depressed and scared that this dream was crumbling.
Despite the fact that I’d been a teacher for four years, making a schedule for our school day never registered on my radar. The thought was a revelation to me and has revolutionized our homeschool experience. Yes, I had to read a book about scheduling, a book that most of the population might read and say, “Duh.” But read it I did, and my life started all over again.
Since that time, we rarely refer to our daily schedule, but it still hangs in a prominent place on our wall. We don’t refer to it because we don’t need to. All my children know that breakfast is at 7 and over at 7:30 (this, too, was a revelation…. Breakfast would often last over an hour.)
Chores happen from 8 to 8:30. School starts promptly at 9, and my students know to go get their math books and get to work. They also know they only have until 9:30. Anything not finished by that point will have to be done in the afternoon on their own sweet time. And so the day goes in a steady cadence, and we accomplish a great deal. We finish every subject every day.
With this amazing (or, for some, obvious) system, we also finish the school year in a tidy amount of time, thoroughly enjoying our summers.
And I haven’t been found under a pile of laundry since.