When a schedule isn’t working…

calendar-151591_960_720So my son and I have been doing the same homeschool schedule since around September.  It seemed to be really working for us and I LOVE routine!  I could have kept this routine for a really long time!  But it occurred to me today…perhaps his reluctance and “bad attitude” at the beginning of school this week isn’t just him being “lazy” and “difficult.” Perhaps the schedule is just no longer working for him for valid reasons!

Here is what we were doing:

Breakfast, Brush Teeth, Morning Prayers, Short Play Time, School Routine

School consisted of:  short prayer, My son writing date on white board, Reading at least one Saint life from Prologue of Ohrid, Bible memory verse, Reading, Phonics, Break, Math.

I really liked the idea of putting our spiritual life first and I think we still should!  With my son’s particular personality, however, I have noticed that by the time we get to reading, phonics, and math he is already tired from the first activities because they seem to require a different kind of focus that is harder for him.

I really liked the idea of teaching my son discipline (doing something daily even though it isn’t “fun”) and writing the date on the board seemed like a great idea!  And I still think it is….But, and this is another blog post altogether, my son may have different needs than I expected and I may have to change my expectations and our schedule.  When we first started the date thing, he was fascinated by the calendar, learning how the date was configured, learning to write numbers, copying words, there was so much new!  Now he gets it.  Writing the date in Semester 1 paid off and now he seems really unmotivated to continue.  One of the many reasons we are homeschooling is because I do not think my son would do well in a traditional classroom setting, at least not at this age.  So I might as well take advantage of homeschooling and be more accommodating!  So while I really hope I am not surrendering, I decided to replace date writing with handwriting practice in our new McRuffy Press Curriculum.  And I will probably make handwriting last so I can go play piano if he feels like taking a really long time on this though distraction!  We will still learn about the “calendar” but it will be sprinkled in occasionally rather than every day.

So after deciding this, it got me thinking even more.  What could I do so that when our “homeschool” starts my son can be immediately engaged in work, which is actually less tiring for him that trying to be still and listen.  So I brainstormed some ideas, talked them over with my son, and he seems to really like the changes.  We will see how it goes on Monday!

We will now try to do our school prayer right after his morning prayer rule.  We are Orthodox Christians so he now says with me, (or stands with me while I say) the Trisagion Prayer, Our Father, Creed, and Patron Saint Prayer daily.  We will now say the school blessing prayer as part of his morning prayer rule, before I finish the other Morning Prayers.

I also asked my son if I could start reading the Saints Lives during breakfast instead of during school and he really liked this idea!  I also like that we are incorporating this into our daily life now regardless of if we are doing school.

Lastly, I told my son, “We have removed the date portion of school, moved the morning prayer and Saints Live, what do you think we should do about the Bible Verse?”  I honestly wanted an idea!

It was my son’s idea do this during lunch.  I am a little skeptical but we will see how it goes. Instead of doing this in our “classroom,” I am going to print our memory verse large on regular paper and tape it to a cabinet while we read it together.  We usually do two days of repeating the verse three times, while discussing any context, and then a third day of playing a memory game with the verse. ( Like erasing words continually until the verse is memorized.)  Now that I will be typing and printing out the verse, I can cut out the words and have my son arrange and paste them onto construction paper.  He loves to paste!

I hope our new routine works out!  Change is hard!  Not to mention our new math curriculum isn’t working out and I am waiting on the new one to get here, and we are starting a new language arts curriculum from McRuffy Press also on Monday!

Thanks for reading!