How to Make ‘Plans’ to Enjoy Your Homeschool Life – Right Now

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From Our House to Yours

How to Make ‘Plans’ to Enjoy Your Homeschool Life – Right Now

Making plans to enjoy your homeschool life might sound silly. Especially if you equate ‘fun’ with ‘sporadic’ and ‘unplanned,’ this concept of making plans to have fun might seem depressing. However, as busy as life is for most homeschool moms, I think making ‘plans’ to enjoy your homeschool life might be the only way you really DO enjoy it! The first part of making plans to enjoy my homeschool life is picking a curriculum I enjoy. Heart of Dakota takes care of that! Another part of enjoying my homeschool life is just making sure I have time to homeschool. However, what I do within that set aside time is a big part of enjoying my days as well. Likewise, taking time off to have breaks in homeschooling is yet another big part of enjoying my overall homeschool life. If you are not enjoying your homeschool life, the good news is, you can – and right now! But, how?

How to Make Plans to Enjoy Your Homeschool Days

Each homeschool day has Heart of Dakota plans to complete, and I enjoy my days most when we successfully finish those plans. However, how we go about completing those plans makes a big difference in how much I enjoy our days! To enjoy my days, I had to first think about what my children and I really enjoy. For example, to finish my plans and to be to work on time, I need to plan to start my day early. However, to plan to enjoy starting my day early, I plan to first make my favorite hazelnut cup of coffee and take it up to my room. I also plan to teach in my room in my pj’s while drinking that coffee. I love this relaxed start to my day, so I can actually enjoy starting at 6:15 AM (first with my Bible Quiet Time, and then with my children arriving one at a time in segments from 6:50 to 7:50 AM). My kids love this start too!

How to Plan for Small Vignettes of ‘Fun’ to Enjoy Throughout Your Day

So, I already shared my first ‘vignette of fun’ involving coffee and pj’s. My second vignette of fun I plan for is our break at 8:45 AM. I love listening to Christian praise music! I also love hearing my sons sing, hum, or whistle along! Cooking/baking is another thing I love! So, this second vignette of fun for me is turning on Christian music while I make breakfast and drink favorite coffee #2. My sons love music while they do their chores and love eating homemade breakfasts, so this is fun for them too! A third vignette of fun for me is simply reading aloud HOD materials on the couch. I turn on the fireplace, we grab fuzzy blankets, and I’m usually drinking favorite coffee #3 at this time.

My third vignette of fun is just a break alone for me and for my sons. Emmett, my youngest son, loves to make homemade hot cocoa. So, around 11 AM, he takes a break to make hot cocoa with whipped cream, marshmallows, and even sprinkles sometimes. He puts them all on a tray and takes them to our addition. They’ve kind of turned this into a ‘boys’ club‘ meeting, no mom allowed time. Fine with me. I am having a break of my own! No plans. Just a break for whatever. No more coffee though (I had you worried, didn’t I?!?). My fourth vignette of fun is exercise. I know, not everyone thinks of exercise as fun, but I do! So, from around noon to 12:30 or so, I exercise while my sons work on independent work.

How to Make ‘Plans’ to Enjoy ‘Unplanned’ Days

I sometimes equate ‘fun’ with sporadic and unplanned. However, taking off unplanned days often means we don’t finish our school year on time. So, my way around this is to make ‘plans’ to enjoy ‘unplanned days.’ I do this by adding about 7 or more extra days before the end date we want for our school year. That way, I know I have at least 7 days throughout the year that I can just take off at any time. Sometimes I surprise the boys and say, “We’re taking today off! What should we do?!?  Where should we go?!?”  Other days, I surprise them the night before, letting them know we’re sleeping in and taking a lazy day off at home tomorrow, to do ‘whatever’ anyone wants to do. Finally, I make ‘plans’ to enjoy ‘unplanned days’ for each of our birthdays, Valentine’s Day, days around Christmas, fishing/hunting days, etc. We have no set plans on these days, other than we are taking them off.

Life is meant to be enjoyed – today!

Jesus said, …I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)  Life is meant to be enjoyed – today! It will not do to tell yourself you will enjoy your life when                        (fill in the blank – i.e. when the kids are older, when we move, when there is a job change, when my youngest graduates, when we don’t have so many little ones, when I’m not pregnant, when I’m done homeschooling, when my husband retires, when I’m healthier). Jesus does not intend for us to put enjoying our life on hold. He came that we may have life, to the fullest, today! If you are downtrodden, if you find yourself complaining about your life, make a change! Or, make lots of changes! Even my Dad, with pancreatic cancer, tried very hard to enjoy his life. This was not possible every day. However, he did enjoy most days! People visited him and left happier than they came.

What can you do to enjoy your homeschool life, right now?

So, let’s brainstorm! What can you do to enjoy your homeschool life, right now? We often think we need big changes, but in reality, little changes pack a big punch! I know a homeschool mom of 6 who plans to run down her country road. She loves it! She ‘plans’ for this every day, even though she has always had a baby in the mix. This is her vignette of fun! Another mom I know sleeps in while her husband teaches math. He loves math! She loves sleeping in! It works. When I had many littles, I loved to take walks with the stroller. I had picnics on blankets on the living room floor. Sometimes just a planned nap (for me) was heavenly! Moving my teaching time around and having my oldest play with my middle son while my baby napped made this possible! Don’t wait to enjoy your homeschooling. Or you may not be doing it next year. Enjoy your life – now! A happier mom makes a happier home. So, please! Make plans to enjoy your homeschool life – today!

In Christ,
Julie

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Author: Julie Grosz, M.Ed.

Some passions of mine are homeschooling with Heart of Dakota, cooking with All Recipes, reading Jane Austen in a bubble bath, singing along with lyrics that strike a chord, making family traditions, creating organization out of disorganization, and writing words - in emails, posts, and books - that glorify God. I'm a teacher and an editor by trade. Here's a quick rundown of my numbers... 24 years of teaching (7 public school, 17 homeschool), 6 years of college (4 undergrad, 2 graduate for my masters in education), 18 years of working for HOD, 48 years old, 24 years of marriage, 3 sons who are 19, 16, and 12 - and I believe that should about 'sum' it up! You can view my blog here - https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/

4 thoughts on “How to Make ‘Plans’ to Enjoy Your Homeschool Life – Right Now”

  1. What a great post Julie!! I was just thinking about this the other day as I started getting sassier during school hours. When I start to feel more controlling or frustrated at how the day is going I realize often it is because I am forgetting about the fun and adventure part of homeschooling whatever that looks like! Getting out in nature is so important for my boys and me, however I haven’t even gone on any hikes or other adventures I just realized. Thank you for reminding me to be spontaneous to shake things up a bit…like hey let’s do our reading outside today…or lets have a picnic in the basement after a scavenger hunt. They are only young once and school should delight equated with it as we are trying to go through our days. Laughter keeps us young too right?

    1. Thanks, Michelle! The devotional I am reading right now reminded me that Jesus really does want us to enjoy life, and that as we are only promised today, we might as well start enjoying it now! I love my homeschooling with Heart of Dakota, but it is the way I approach my days, months, years that make all the difference. I love your hiking and picnic ideas! Laughter DOES keep us young – it is good medicine! Hope you have fun ‘planning’ to enjoy your days!!!

      In Christ,
      Julie

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with Michelle’s comment. Also, do you build sick days into your schedule along with the 7 fun days?

    1. Good question, Deanna! I plan extra days off throughout the year, as well as extra days at the end of the year, with an extra early end date set. So, I think of these days as either fun days or sick days, and if I run out of them, I still have some extra time at the end for either, since we don’t really have to be done with school as early as I’m planning. So, for example, I have 5 days off in November for my husband and sons’ deer hunt, but they’ll probably only be gone 3 days. I have 2 days off for Thanksgiving, as I’m making the meal, but we may or may not take the extra day. We have 4 days off in December before Christmas. We may use these days to bake cookies and Christmas shop, or we may combine this with Wyatt’s day off for his birthday. We have days off after Christmas until Jan. 6, but we may not take them all if my sister doesn’t come home from Texas. I have 4 Fridays off for my husband to take the boys fishing in April, but certainly they won’t all be nice weather. I have 5 days planned for testing at the end, but we can always do it in 3 if we want.

      So, the schedule allows for change, and the last days may or may not be for sick days or unplanned fun days. By planning extra days off, there are almost always enough days to enjoy ample breaks (planned and unplanned), and to still finish ‘on time.’ In fact, we often all ‘vote’ on whether we want to take the day off or not. Sometimes the day we were going to take off has bad weather, so we’d rather do school. Or, sometimes we want to move it to another day because something more fun came up we want to do. We always take off for birthdays, for Valentine’s Day, for holidays, for the deer hunt, but the rest of the days off are more fluid. Hope that makes sense!

      In Christ,
      Julie

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