“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
I just love the way God set up the seasons, don’t you? He tilted our earth so that differing amounts of daylight and warmth reach us as it rotates around the sun, and that gives us a variety in temperature and plant life. If you live in New England, like I do, you see quite the range of temperatures and weather conditions during a year. Yet, with all that variety, there is a consistency to it all as well. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease,” proclaims God’s Word. January will have cold days. July will have hot days. We can count on that being consistent every single year in this part of the world.
As it turns out, we human beings also need both variety and consistency. God wired us that way. Consistency gives life a predictable rhythm that helps us relax. A bit of variety mixed in keeps life from growing dull—and helps us have fun!
Here are some ideas, gleaned from my years as a homeschool mama, on ways to create both consistency and variety in your homeschool.
Maintain a consistent structure:
- Each day started with Bible time, giving God “first place” in our school routine.
- Each day also began with a chore that each of us (Mom included) had to complete—to keep our home at least somewhat tidy.
- Each day’s first subject in our classroom was the one the girls found hardest: math. I discovered that getting the hardest one out of the way first, was the best way to make sure it happened.
- We always had “read aloud on the couch time” – devouring wonderful books along the way.
- We belonged to a homeschool co-op that met once a month for outings and fun.
Create variety within the consistency:
- We always started with Bible time, but varied what we did. Sometimes we memorized a chunk of Scripture. Sometimes we studied the life of a Bible character. Sometimes we read through a devotional book. Once in a while, we’d go outside, sit in the grass, and just listen to the sounds of nature and pray.
- We always started with a chore, but we rotated the chores by week. I made sure I had a chore, too. I learned that because I was working with them, my girls felt like we were all on the same team. Together we’d sweep the house, clean the bathroom, and wash the kitchen floor (each taking one task).
- We did one more crazy thing to create variety. I called it Fantastic, Phenomenal, Fabulous, Fun-Filled Fridays! (How’s that for a title?!) Each Monday, I gave the girls the assignments they needed to complete for the whole week. If they finished in four days instead of five … we had a Fantastic, Phenomenal, Fabulous, Fun-Filled Friday. We went to museums, parks, the zoo, had picnics, took a boat ride, sat on the couch and watched movies back to back with root beer ice cream floats … you get the idea. Those Fridays were wonderful motivators for the girls to get their routine work accomplished in a timely manner, so we could “play” together.
Each homeschool family is unique. Still, I believe that the overarching principle of providing a flexible rhythm—consistency with some variety—is a great way to help all humans live well, no matter what their age.
May God guide you, dear homeschool mama, as you seek Him on ways to create both consistency and variety for your children within the precious days you have with them.
PS – Those days go by so quickly. Savor them. <3