Homeschooling Goals: Five Healthy Habits to (re)Develop

I am aware that the habits I instill in my children now are probably habits they will keep for life.  As most parents, I have done well in certain areas and not so well in others.  I have also worked hard at certain habits with my older three but have been less diligent with my younger two.

We spent five weeks over the summer focusing all our efforts on Shakespeare during which certain habits were neglected (for example quiet time and dinner at the table) and we have had the past four weeks off.  It has been glorious and very needed but we have now forgotten habits which were second nature a few short weeks ago.  We have also formed some not so healthy habits.  This term is about returning to some old comfortable habits as well as beginning one or two new ones.

So my home schooling must-have habits to retrieve over the next five weeks are as follows:

  • Morning Meeting – this is the time we all come together.  We have our snack, work our way through our Bible curriculum as well as discuss any issues which need resolving.  It’s also a time for read aloud and is generally a time enjoyed by everyone.
  • Quiet Time – this traditionally happens after lunch for us and is the time we all separate and have a break from each other.  This is essential to maintain healthy relationships as well as an opportunity to explore interests, read just one more chapter of a book or simply lie back and dream.  Whatever we choose to do, this has always been an essential part of our home school day.
  • Nature Walk – Whilst we were doing our one year pond study we spent time outdoors on a near daily basis.  Since that has stopped we haven’t been so good at gathering for time in nature.  This year we have decided to abandon the garden study which was going nowhere fast and carry out a meadow and woodland study.
  • Dinner at the table – During the Shakespeare summer we didn’t have a table (it was moved next door to mum’s to make room for our stage) so we got into the really bad habit of settee dinners.  No more!  We now have our table back and need to start sitting at it more regularly!  This is important because it is when the children are able to chat about their day and share with Daddy what they are learning.
  • To stay more up to date with current affairs.  I purposefully choose not to listen or read the news.  I know vaguely what is going on in the world through Gary but really, I avoid too many details.  I have good reasons for this.  I am a naturally upbeat person, but I have a brain which never seems to stop working.  If I allowed myself too much exposure of the horrors which go on, it would not be healthy for my mind.  My children are different, as is Gary, and I think in the main would benefit from knowing about the current affairs of our world.  I have been searching for the right type of news to give them.  By that I mean a slightly diluted version.  To this end I have found two such avenues.  The first is a weekly newspaper for children age 7-14 which costs a little over a pound a week and is delivered to your door for free each Friday.  The second is Newsround, a bbc television news program for children.  We can’t access it through our TV (we only watch DVD’s not broadcast telly) but we can access it and many other news videos for children via the computer.  This year I want us to watch the daily news on newsround as well as have the children read the weekly newspaper

What essentials do you ensure happen every day?

17 comments

  1. I try,each morning, to make time for piano practice(half hour), then some worship, to invite the Spirit into our day, then our Bible. I was curious what time of the day you begin, and how much time is spent per subject(if it is segmented). It has been nearly impossible for us to squeeze in all that I would like to everyday. In hopes of improving retention and increasing his interest, we are notebooking some subjects. Surprisingly, it’s working,but it’s time consuming(worth the effort, I think). He is able to do small amounts of work independently, but he prefers doing it together(I’m ok with this because there may come a time when he desires to do it all without me. Have to take in the time together where you can).
    I always look forward to your posts! Blessings!

    1. We begin at 8am. The children do an hour on their Conquer Maths, which is computer based and requires very little from me. I do sit with the little ones though, to over see them.
      Between 9 and 10 we do English/writing for an hour, whilst A7 is at my mum’s. A lot of this is independent for my older ones which allows me to somewhat concentrate on B4.
      Between 10 and 11 we have morning meeting, which handily falls at snack time so we have tea and toast at the same time.
      We go for a nature walk (we only began this week but it is already a favourite with everyone) afterwards and then have lunch. Quiet time is between 1230-130 afterwhich the children work on their independent and interest led studies. We finish our school day at 330.
      Hope that helps!

      1. Thanks so much for sharing your daily plan. Sounds like it works, and your kids like it as well. Now I don’t feel so guilty. On a good day, we cover everything and are done by 230. We’ve added an outside activity this year, so we’ve had to come home after 330, and take another hour and a half to get the rest all finished. But I do suppose that is the luxury of homeschooling–flexibility. Blessings!

  2. Our habits are all out of whack too!!! The only habit we kept during this move was piano practice and read-aloud time. Once we are moved in I plan to re-establish our habits gradually over October.
    I do not keep up with the news either…especially politics.
    My youngest has OCD so I haven’t been as strict with him as the older three. He has far more self set rules than I can keep up with sometimes!! He is handling this move far better than any of us expected. We are hoping he will be able to remain free of some of the OCD habits he had.

      1. I wasn’t sure about read-aloud time when I first started homeschooling but now it truly is the “heart” of our day together.

  3. I am enjoying these posts, Claire. Thank you again for your honesty and letting us into your lives. Such a blessing 🙂

    Off the subject…..Just curious….have you all heard the song Through it all by Colton Dixon? A friend mentioned it to us….we watched a youtube video with lyrics……very good lyrics.

    Have a great day!

    Brenda

    1. Oh my goodness. I am sitting here crying my eyes out. Thank you for sharing. My daughter is bringing it up on our tv and all the children are gathering to watch and listen to it. Great stuff, thank you Brenda x

  4. Oh! We can watch clips from Newsround online – thanks for the recommendation…it work great for current affairs!

    1. Somehow, we get more achieved if we take the time to rest away from each other. On paper it looks like we can’t afford the time and yet it really does make us more productive.

  5. It is amazing what a good routine does for a home schooling day. I am not much on the news, Since we don’t have television, I only see what pops up online, and I am making a decision to stay away from that even more. Maybe I should bury my head in the sand. Current events are important, but with what is happening over here, I’d just like to hear very little. And I do need some quiet time.:)

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