You Don’t Have to Teach Every Subject Every Day. Really.

Welcome back as we continue our 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling!

Click to go to first post.

I am so pleased today to introduce you to Marlene! Today Marlene shares one of the best decisions she has made, which is one of the best *I* ever made in our homeschool as well…

Marlene is not a blogger (YET, she’s thinking about it scratch that! She just started one!) -she’s one of my loyal Facebook fans! When she asked if she could help out with this project I was thrilled! Be good to her and leave her a comment? Y’all enjoy…

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When everything else gets in the way:

taking the stress out of homeschooling.

One of the parts I loved the most about being able to stay home (after our second daughter was born), was that we could finally take our kids out of public school and teach them at home. I figured that staying home meant my schedule was free and I’d have all the time in the world to do everything I ever wanted.

Boy was I wrong! My schedule filled up so darn quick, I was literally gasping for air.

Homeschooling became a chore and I never thought I would feel that way towards it. I was so disappointed. Not having a good support group didn’t really help either. I kept comparing myself to the other homeschooling families, and wondered how they had it all together. Little did I know, they struggled just like I did…but they had learned the lessons that I was just starting to
encounter.

I obsessed about keeping a strict schedule, and keeping all the plans I had for the day was a MUST! We found ourselves staying up late nights just to keep up with the schedule! Needless to say, it eventually drove me crazy and teaching at home became a chore. I beat myself up emotionally so much for not being able to keep up with school, and I began to feel like a failure at everything. Very quickly I gave up and was ready to throw in the towel.

I wish I could say that I learned how to address this within the first year (although it would have been convenient), but the truth is that I learned this lesson only recently. Now (in our 3rd year) I have finally come to realize that it’s okay if we don’t get everything on my schedule done.

One of the blessings of being able to teach kids at home is that sticking to a strict plan is not necessarily required.

After a few encouraging conversations with my husband I remembered that keeping my children home means so much more than just homeschooling. It’s more like “life-schooling” them and molding them into this world’s future adults. Addressing and approaching life the right way, especially when things it get in the way of what we want (or planned) to do, is one of the best lessons I can teach them. So in light of that, we totally revamped our schooling structure.

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What works for us now, is NOT trying to teach each subject every day. Switching from subject to subject really overwhelmed us. Now we really enjoy each day because school time is a lot more relaxed and gets nowhere near the stress level it used to be at!

If you realize (like we did in our home) that trying to tackle each subject every day is just not working, here are a couple of options (at least that I can come up with, but I’m sure the sky is the limit ) that you can sort through. One is breaking up each subject by assigning them to a day.

Example (this is somewhat how we do our school week):

Monday: Math
Tuesday: History (We need to tackle this one early in the week because it’s where I struggle the most!)
Wednesday: Language Arts
Thursday: Science
Friday: Bible

History and Science are our most time consuming, so I don’t like to have them right after each other. Our Bible classes are structured in such a way that we work on a main verse each week, and we do work on that every morning before starting the day, then on Friday we get really in depth in our study for the week.

Here is another example that may work well for you if you think one a day isn’t enough, or if you feel a subject needs to be tackled every day to ensure full understanding of it. So let’s say Math is a struggled area for your kids (or you), and you want to make sure that they at least get in some practice each day to stay on top of their skills:

Monday: Math & Language Arts
Tuesday: Math Practice & Science
Wednesday: Math & Elective
Thursday: Math Practice & History
Friday: Math & Bible

The options are endless, and you can really have fun playing around trying to see what works for you and your kids! Don’t let schooling interfere with their education; instead provide the proper conditions in which they can learn and in which you can teach!

Marlene is a wife to an amazing husband, and a mommy to three wonderful kiddos. During the day she is teaching their oldest while chasing around their toddler and caring for their 3 month old. She has a passion for Christ, family, and all things fitness! She and her husband operate Fit Mom and Fit Dad, which you can also find on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. She also JUST started a brand new baby homeschool blog: A Diligent Heart!

Image Source: Book & Pen:Attribution Some rights reserved by Generationbass.com
Image Source: Colored Pencils:
Attribution Some rights reserved by Tim Ebbs

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Getting a handle on a routine for your day/week is so important! How have you experimented with your homeschool schedule to make things work best for your family? What is working best for you?

Thank you for following along on our journey through 10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling!

If you’re just now joining in, you can start at the beginning by clicking here.

“The 10 Days” Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

To find ALL the blogs participating in this run of “The 10 Days” Series, click the image below, a collage of photos for all 28 ladies participating. You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much, much more. Many thanks to iHomeschool Network for organizing this fun blog hop!

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hsmominmo
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hsmominmo

“life schooling” – YES! EXACTLY!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. I have seen this work in many families.

Marlene
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Marlene

It’s funny when that “clicks” in ones head, huh? 🙂 So Glad you enjoyed the post!

Julie
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Julie

It’s funny you mention “life-schooling” because that’s what I’ve come to realize that homeschooling is. It’s the name of my blog too. Good reminders in this article. Thanks!

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, Marlene!! We switched things around a few years ago and it turned out to be such a blessing! We didn’t divvy things up that much, we do bible, math and language arts every day. But the language arts rotates through grammar, reading, writing, spelling, etc. We don’t do ALL of those things every day. The biggest thing we changed was history and science. We do history M-W-F and Science T-Th. By doing this we can block off a bigger piece of time to spend on history or science in one sitting and not feel like we’re cramming too… Read more »

Marlene
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Marlene

Yay! It was me pleasure! 😉

Laura
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Laura

“life-schooling”: Yes! That is exactly what we do.

We don’t do just one subject each day, but we do science and history each twice a week in small bits and sprinkle in a poem here and some art there. It really helps our homeschool to relax about things a bit.

Nicole Anderson
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Nicole Anderson

We do the same. With the curriculum we use for our core (math, reading, language) subjects (A Beka), we need to hit those things daily, but for our others (science, history, art, music, etc.) we try to do it once a week. I originally tried a couple or few times a week but found that if we take a chunk of one day instead of breaking it up, we are able to go deeper, study more, do more projects and labs because we can just focus on that one subject and not worry what else there is to do! What… Read more »

Marlene
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Marlene

One of the BEST parts about homeschooling!! – being able to find out what works for the kids and mom 🙂 I wish I had met you when I first started! I was so focused on going by what everyone else was doing or what a curriculum told me to do. It’s so nice having this new approach, makes life much happier 🙂

Rebecca
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Rebecca

When I started homeschooling, I had to have everything finished…every subject…every step completed…every day.
Now…I so agree with this: “sticking to a strict plan is not necessarily required.” I truly believe in homeschooling being about discipleship…with our children…having goals and plans (written in pencil) provide guidance..but giving God total control means using my eraser, a LOT! Thank you for your great series!

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Lisa M (Farm Fresh Adventures)
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Lisa M (Farm Fresh Adventures)

I realized that hitting all the subjects was going to drive me crazy really fast during out Kingergarten year! Needless to say I was overjoyed with the layout of the 1st grad curriculum we got. It was so easy to add in Geography on T/TH and History on M/W. I feel like our 1st grade experience is going to be much better!

Cara
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Cara

Thank you for posting this. I have started to get overwhelmed by next year’s curriculum and schedule. Science, Bible and History always fall by the wayside because it takes so long to get through Language Arts and Math. I think I may try this next year.

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