Throughout this ABCs of Homeschooling series, I’ve shared a few things that I consider keys to homeschooling success – balance, flexibility, and joy. Today, let’s talk about another key to homeschooling success. Know your limits.
Everyone’s family is different. We all have different things that impact our homeschools and lives. Our budgets are different. Our family dynamics are different. Our daily structure is different. Therefore, our limits are different.
These differences make our individual homeschool days look different, as well. What makes my day run smoothly will not work exactly the same for your day. The choices I make for curriculum will not be the same ones you make for your family due to budget constraints and individual needs.
Know Your Limits
Limit #1 – Budget
When I sit down each year to plan for the next year’s curriculum, the first thing I have to consider is my budget. It changes from year to year. Some years it’s bigger than other years.
Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. If your budget is tight, look at some options for homeschooling for free. There are homeschooling for free that I use frequently in my homeschool that available for free. You can also look for used curriculum or even just rely on your library.
If you have your eye on a pricey item, look for areas where you can cut back in your homeschool or family budget. Sell things if you can. Save up until you have enough to purchase that coveted item so that your budget doesn’t add stress to your homeschool day.
Limit #2 – Time in your day
Another thing that impacts my homeschool year is time in our day. Right now, we homeschool 4.5 days each week, because Emma attends a co-op on Friday mornings. Next year, she may attend a full day so we’ll only homeschool 4 days. If I didn’t make allowances in my schedule for those hours away from home, our school days would be full of stress as we try to “cram” it all in.
If you have outside commitments like co-op or medical appointments, you will need to take those hours into consideration when you plan your days. You may need to work around sports and clubs, as well.
I readjust our schedule as needed to accommodate co-op, doctor appointments, and dance competitions. It’s part of our life so it’s part of our school. When Emma auditioned for and was cast in a big ballet performance last year, we had to adjust our schedule to accommodate early rehearsals and daytime performances. Know your limits.
Limit #3 – Family dynamics
Your family dynamics will dictate your homeschool, as well. Your newborn may make it necessary to start later in the morning so that you can catch up on your sleep. Your toddlers may require you to juggle for a few hours each day and hit it hard when they lie down for a nap. Adjust your schedule so that you can go with the flow.
My son is a senior in the local public high school. We currently follow his school schedule so that life runs a little smoother in our house. It is an all out battle to get Emma to sit down for a math lesson when Isaac is playing on his Wii on an inservice or snow day. Next year, when he is off at college, we won’t have to work around his schedule. We’ll be able to move right along and take breaks when they’re most convenient for us instead of our breaks being dictated by the school system.
What limits must you take into consideration as you go about your homeschool day?
This post is part of my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.