Thursday, July 26, 2012

Setting Home Hours

As we continue on our homeschooling journey, something I've learned is that the more we stay home - the better things go in our home. Not only for school, but for home management in general.

And, to be honest, this is something I've struggled with. Options come along and for a while I am good at saying no or sticking to our boundaries - but then I get weary of saying no and get lax at bending our boundaries and start letting more things creep in.

Earlier this summer, I went to a CC Practicum and the thing I was the most challenged and blessed by was the idea the speaker shared of setting home hours. She shared that in their home they have hours that they don't answer their phone and hours that they don't leave home.

Of course, every family would need to decide if this would work for them and if it did, what hours would suit their own home and family - but this idea has been rattling around in my mind and heart for the past couple of months.

This is something that I'm planning to implement this school year in our home in addition to Slow Day. Making appointments after a certain time each day, turning our phone off until a designated time, etc...  I look forward to experimenting with this.

Do you have Home Hours? How would this help or bless you and your home?


a mom of many said...

We don't have set "home hours", but during the seasons we are doing school intently my phone message is very specifically..."busy doing school".
We choose carefully outside investments, even field-trips or involvement in hs groups. Time away is attention divided and homeschooling 5 children from K to high school, I can't afford that.

Thank you Monica for sharing your thoughts on this subject....great food for thought as the new year approaches or has just begun. :)

Ami said...

We have really thought about it as the new school year and 4th baby approach. A new CC opened up near us, so there was that great option, and we have access to a very helpful homeschool p.e. class with swimming. The list could go on and on.

As we thought about being more service oriented and open to hospitality and possibly being blessed with more kids, we ruled out CC. This allows us to have a 4-day school week (for the most part). The 4-day school week is going to be our norm for as long as possible. The homeschool p.e. we're going to try to keep. The awesome homeschool library hour has to go. When we have to be somewhere at a specific time, especially promptly after lunch, I get stressed out and rush the kids.

I have started turning off the phone during school. But it's hard to remember to check it and turn it back on when we're finished! Still, it's worth it know what happens when the phone rings during school!

Another thing we do is make our appointments close by. We live in a small town and it seems like everyone travels 20 minutes away to the big city for appointments. I've been able to find everything we need with excellent service within 5 minutes of our house (midwife, orthodontist, family doctor, and so on). It is a huge blessing to only have to drive a few minutes when we have to make an appointment.

We just started school this week so I've been thinking a lot about this! It's been a crazy sickness week, which is just the way it goes the first week, and it's really worked to have some of these quiet boundaries in place.

One more thing - we've switched to 2nd & 3rd grade My Father's World from sticking closely to The Well-Trained Mind. It has been very pleasant and gentle compared to our previous school years, even though it's been a stressful week. This is such a relief and blessing!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed these thoughts on time management as the school year approaches. My children have been attending school the last couple years, but I am homeschooling this year, as well as, expecting a baby in October. It will be a challenge especially as my older 2 will be in 9th grade. It takes a lot of discipline to homeschool and keep things running smoothly in the home. I like the idea of set hours for schoolwork and keeping appointments to a minimum and after a certain hour. Thanks for sharing!

Debra said...

I'm in a little different position from you as I only have one child and she goes to public school. But I love the idea of home time because, no matter our circumstance, we all need to be at home more to make things run smoothly (my opinion).

In the summer it's easier for us to stay home and I try to have a few days a week at the least that we don't go anywhere. During the school year it's a bit harder but I try to have one weekend day at home and limit after school weekday activities. We also rarely go out at night unless it's a date night (a few times a month)& we don't get involved in night time activities as a general rule. So night time is our 'home' time which is nice since my husband is home then.

It really is a challenge to be slow and at home with the culture being go,go,go all the time. I love knowing there are others out there who want this too! :)

Anonymous said...

This is such a good idea! Like others above, we are expecting a baby in January, and I am intent on having a good rhythm in place before baby's arrival. ;) I know the weeks following a new baby will undoubtedly be a time of adjustment, for all of us, so I'm trying to allow for that time rather than "fighting" it. I'm completely stealing your "home hours" idea. Thanks! AK

Rachel said...

Home hours are a great idea! A big focus for school this year for all in my home will be consistency. And it is hard to have consistency when you are not in a regular schedule at home. One thing that has helped us is an afternoon quiet time for 60-90 minutes with everyone in their own spot. I really need this time to decompress from the constant needs and noise of the morning. As I plan for the coming school year I'll also be planning for regular errand/shopping times and how to manage the home. My biggest distraction to schooling seems to be the home and cooking. I need to keep it simple and scheduled, I think.

Brenda said...

Now that makes good sense! If you "worked from home" you'd have office hours! Hmmm...

*carrie* said...

In "unCarrie fashion," we stayed home every morning this week, except for a half-hour errand one day. If the kids are playing well, I have to say it's pretty nice not worrying about Naomi's "schedule."

Logistics are about to get more tricky when Nathan starts school!

Anonymous said...

What great advice. When I began homeschooling another mom shared with me something similar. I did do it and it works wonders. But I have let my guard down and see how I need to make sure to implement it in out new year.

angie said...

We are contemplatiing a new way of schooling for our daughter. If we decide to homeschool, I think it will be necessary to "set apart" those hours (perhaps 9-12) when we both need to be focused on this new venture.