Anchors That Hold Your Homeschool Day Together!
Do you sometimes feel that your homeschool day literally runs away from you and before you know it, it’s time to start dinner? The kids are grumpy; you are wondering what exactly you accomplished today and walk into the kitchen hearing those lying voices whispering in your head, “You can’t do this. It’s too hard. You’re not cut out to be a homeschooling parent!”
You are not alone. As a second generation homeschooler who has been teaching my kids at home for over 26 years (my youngest is 9) I still have days like this. Let me share with you one of my favorite tactics that keeps us going and silences those awful voices in my head.
Anchor points. Rather than feel like I have lost all control of my plans for the day, anchor points hold us to a rhythm and provide natural breaks in our day where we can come back to refocus and maintain the momentum.
Here are anchors I have found helpful:
▪ Meals eaten together (sometimes with a specific discussion)
▪ Family Reading Time: Read an exciting book everyday (we read at 12:30 while the kids eat lunch)
▪ Morning Time: A time where everyone comes together and follows a short routine - I often combine this with breakfast (I like to read a fun history story at this time)
▪ 10-Minute “Everyone Moves”: This activity can be linked to a time or a specific subject
▪ Digital Hour: At my house no screens are allowed prior to 3:30 - this way they don’t ask and there is motivation to finish their checklists by then
▪ Quiet Time: This can be a time for reading or napping depending on the family needs
▪ Snack Times: Having snacks available or prepared helps this to be a stress reliever instead of a stress inducing time - and always a favorite for the family
When used with grace and flexibility, these anchor points can serve as place holders in your day - times or activities that both you and your children look forward to and help keep you on a steady track. If everyone loses it during reading, then stopping for a 10 minute movement break and a snack can serve as a reset and bring everyone back with smiles, ready to tackle math.
Keep your anchors steady but flexible and they will serve you. They are meant to help not provide another rigid framework to make you feel like you are failing. Fit the anchors into your day that make the most sense and change them up as the needs of your family change.
Catherine began her formal education journey in Montessori preschool. Following a short stint in regular school she was homeschooled from 5th grade on. After being her college's first homeschooled graduate, she and her husband decided upon home education for their five children. 27 years, and many adventures later, she is till homeschooling their youngest 3 children. The foundation of Maria Montessori's principles have been a consistent thread throughout their learning journey and Catherine was delighted to discover Shiller Learning and join forces with them in 2020. In her sparse free moments she can be found reading with her children (or hiding in a corner reading by herself); writing articles for her blog, books or various clients; playing with her children; or dressing up in various time period costumes and traveling to historical sites.