Ignoring the clock is one of the best parts of homeschooling.
That doesn’t mean that homeschoolers don’t have schedules they follow, appointments they keep, and a plan for their children’s education.
Instead, It means that there is freedom. Freedom to literally stop and look at the stars on a school night. Or close the books and go outside because the sun is shining. Freedom to integrate homeschooling and life. And, to educate each child the way they learn best.
Our family has been ignoring the clock for five incredible homeschooling years.
Here are some ways we do it.
Take a Sun Day
Homeschoolers don’t usually get snow days. But, they do get sun days. Instead, of missing school because of bad weather homeschoolers get to change their schedules when the weather is good. We can put down the books and head outside on a nature walk or trip to the beach when the sun is shining.
Our family has taken full advantage of this over the years as we full-time RV and roadschool. When we’re visiting a new place we seize every opportunity to see new places, taking our kids on educational field trips and learning about the local history. We have been to several National Parks including the Grand Canyon and Padre Island National Seashore. As well as, countless museums and local historical sites in the places we’ve traveled to.
Stop and Look at the Stars
We also get to head outside once the sun has gone down to study the stars.
Astronomy is one of those things that is easier to teach in a homeschool setting. Because we can ignore the clock we have been able to sit out stargazing until way past my children’s normal bedtime talking about Mars and it’s red dirt, the Greek myths behind the constellations, and the incredible beauty of the Milky Way and our solar system. And then, we get to let them sleep in the next day.
If they were in public school I wouldn’t be able to let them do this. They’d need to be in bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep. And, until they were much older that would mean no time for stargazing. Without homeschooling, we’d have to hope that the skies were clear on weekends instead of taking the opportunities as they arise.
Set An Individual Timeline for Learning
As homeschoolers, we are ignoring the clock when it comes to anyone else’s idea of when our children should learn specific skills. We get to slow down and let them enjoy learning at their own pace.
We don’t have to rush through subjects or activities. Instead, we get to give them time to learn things deeply. There’s no need to teach children to read when they’re five if they’re not ready until they’re seven.
In our homeschool, we are just now helping our daughter learn to read and she’s almost seven. She just wasn’t ready until now. We waited and didn’t put any pressure on her to do it and this year she is asking to learn to read. She’s interested and motivated all on her own to achieve success.
Ignoring the Clock Makes a Close Family
It also allows for parents to work non-traditional schedules that can provide more money for their families. In our home, this has meant that my husband can work at night and on weekends because his job pays more when he works those shifts. If my husband worked nights and weekends, and our children were in public school, they would never see him.
With homeschooling, the learning doesn’t have to happen between 8 AM and 3 PM. Instead, it can happen at night, or on Saturday. Our schedule is completely able to be worked around whatever works best for the family. And, it has given my husband the chance to be a bigger part of our homeschooling.
Because our schedule changes so often while we’re on the road, I have to have a flexible homeschool schedule that takes into account our real-life routine. I plan our days using a Rhythms and Routines planning system instead of a detailed and time defined schedule. It has made a world of difference in the flow of our days. And, planning our homeschool around our life instead of the other way around.
How do you ignore the clock in your homeschooling?
Leave a comment and let me know.
Would you like some fun activities to help you ignore the clock and bring more learning into “real life”? Be sure to download Heidi’s Kid’s Constellation Kit – this normally retails for $7, but for one week only, it’s free!
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