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Are You a Negotiator or Tyrant in Creating Routines for Your Homeschool?

Are You a Negotiator or Tyrant in Creating Routines for Your Homeschool?

Why do we gravitate towards routines? Why do they matter?

The practice of minimalist homeschooling embodies the spirit of simplicity and intentionality. And within this framework, routines play an essential role. They guide our actions, shape our days, and, more often than not, influence our overall well-being. But, have we ever paused to deeply ponder why we even need routines? Why, intrinsically, are we saner, more balanced, and often happier when our days are structured? Let's delve into the psyche of routines and understand how they shape our minimalist homeschooling journeys.

 The Science Behind Routines: Why Do We Need Them? Seeking Order in Chaos

Science consistently underscores the idea that routines grant us a semblance of order in an otherwise chaotic world. By setting predictable patterns, we arm ourselves against uncertainties. The human psyche craves predictability. This craving is not a mere whim; it's rooted deep within our evolutionary biology. Having routines can make us feel happier and saner because it assures our brain that we're in a structured, predictable environment.

Yet, as enticing as routines can be, it's essential to understand their purpose. A routine isn't a prison.

Isn't the true role of a schedule to be a tool, not a master?

Crafting the Ideal Day: Responsibilities and Rewards

  1. The question isn't about what tasks your schedule contains, but rather, what kind of day you're setting up. Do you approach scheduling with a sense of dread, listing task after task you 'have' to do? If so, you're looking at it all wrong.  What kind of schedule are you setting up? "I have to do x,y,z.." That is wrong! 

So, when thinking about setting up a homeschooling routine, where should one begin? Often, the first impulse is to list down all the 'must-dos'—the lessons, the chores, the commitments.

But here's a radical thought:

 Instead of setting up a day full of 'have-tos,' why not design a day you'd love to have?Set the schedule up that you have the day you want! That is the trick.You say to yourself: "I have tomorow, if its the best possible day I could have, practically speaking, what would it look like?" 

Yes, responsibilities are a reality. They anchor us, remind us of our commitments, and often guide our actions. But it's also vital to remember that every responsibility can be paired with a reward. After an intense math lesson, perhaps a walk in the park? Or after an hour of history, maybe 15 minutes of a favored book or a craft? 

So, Imagine waking up tomorrow.... 

If you were to design the best possible day, practically speaking, what would it encompass?What would it look like? 

Negotiating with Yourself: The Heart of Effective Scheduling

You can ask yourself: What is the right ratio of responsibility to reward? Ask yourself that, just like youd negotiate with someone who is working for you. 

Perhaps the most profound insight I have implemented in my life is the idea of negotiating with oneself. When crafting a homeschooling routine, or any routine for that matter, it's not about tyrannizing yourself with an ironclad set of tasks. Instead, envision this process as a negotiation with someone you deeply care about.Negotiate with someone you care for, that you would like to have a productive and have a good life.  

If, hypothetically, 40 minutes of a particular subject feels like a responsibility, could it be followed by 15 minutes of an activity you or your child relishes? This ebb and flow, this give and take, is the crux of a schedule that feels more like a gentle guide than a stern dictator.

That is scheduling: A negotiation between yourself (maybe your child) between responsibilities and rewards, negotate a day that you can look at and say: "Well, if we had this day, that would be good." 

Have a conversation with yourself, a negotiation, because you are not your own servant, you are someone you negotate with. 

For instance, The Story Weavers minimalist homeschool curriculum encapsulates this spirit beautifully. It provides a structured framework yet leaves ample room for those spontaneous moments of joy and discovery.

 Progress, Not Perfection: Embracing the Learning Curve

It's likely that the first routine you craft may not be flawless. And that's perfectly alright. Maybe you aim for a goal and achieve 70% of it. Celebrate that! It's progress. The subsequent week, aim a tad higher. The objective isn't perfection but growth, understanding, and self-awareness.

Each day is a conversation, a negotiation with oneself. It's about rediscovering oneself, understanding what brings joy, and what feels burdensome. It's about recalibrating, realigning, and reimagining the best possible day for oneself and our learners.

Isn't it imperative to realize that growth is incremental, and each step, no matter how small, takes us closer to our ideal homeschooling vision? 

Embracing the Dance of Negotiation: Crafting Days Worth Living

In conclusion, as you contemplate your homeschooling rhythm, be reminded that it's less about rigid routines and more about creating days you'd love to live. Engage in a conversation with yourself. Recognize your desires, acknowledge your responsibilities, and then craft a dance that gracefully oscillates between the two.

Perhaps the most significant takeaway is this: Know yourself, not as a master knows a servant, but as one knows someone worthy of negotiation and care. In this dance, in this ebb and flow, lies a homeschooling journey filled with joy, purpose, and fulfillment.

After all, isn't the real aim to create homeschooling days that elevate, inspire, and bring joy?


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