Thank you for stopping by. We are into our second half of our first quarter and I want to talk to you about downtime. Over the past couple of years, I discovered that taking a much needed break was important to me for a number of reasons. Whether it be to get caught up on housework, to take care of those doctor's appointments, or to even get in touch with friends and family, I wanted those things to happen. However, I knew that taking time off from school could be a bad habit to get into. I was afraid that taking time off would ruin the good run of school work we had been accomplishing. I was fearful that the kids would get "lazy" in their learning and simply not do the work. Truth be told, I was also afraid that I would get "lazy" in my teaching. Taking time off was a "want" basis at that time. If was it wasn't a necessity, we didn't do it. And that was my first mistake.
This year, I planned differently. Because we enjoy an extended spring break, I thought about how many days we would need to homeschool. Since it is not mandatory for our state, that our kids attend homeschool a specific number of days, I thought about a nice round number - 200. That is 20 more than the typical school year, and I was certain I would be trying something new. I scheduled 240. I scheduled our holidays, our field trips, and our out-of-class learning.
Then I thought about Downtime. The time we would simply break from learning. The time we would not go to our classroom, we wouldn't relate our trips to learning. We would simply live and love. This was not unschooling. This was not quitting. This was simply resting our minds. We could read if we wanted to, but it wasn't mandatory. We could think or not think. Yes. Downtime for us was no longer a want - it was a need. A time for our brains to reflect on what we had learned, independent of lecture. A time to focus on treating our bodies well and to just breathe.
Mind you, we didn't want to take downtime too often, but we didn't want to be so exhausted that we felt like we had only rested a day or two before we returned to learning. No. I wanted to schedule our downtimes during the school year that would best suit each of the kids learning styles, and certainly, not to interrupt any heavy assignments, only to return and struggle to finish them because it had been a week or so since the kids last worked on it. I had to really be aggressive with this years scheduling.
And how wonderful it has turned out. After our first six weeks of school, we had an entire week off. We went to the park, we watched some television. We even treated ourselves a meal out of the house. It was great! Come Monday, the kids were rested (and so was I). We eagerly jumped in to our curricula and didn't give a moments pause to contemplate. They were excited to learn and I was excited to teach.
And in a couple of more weeks, we get four days of downtime! How wonderful it truly is!
Downtime is important for our family. I am thankful that I considered this objectively and made the decision to schedule in those much needed breaks.
Until next time,
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and graduate student. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!