The "Planning Your Homeschool Year" Tea with Julie series continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, August 7, 2021

Hi Friend,

Do you wish you were more spontaneous? Or do you think you should “stick to a schedule”?

Back when we homeschooled, my daughter, Caitrin, asked me and one of our boys, Liam, to take the dog for a walk with her. I hopped up from the computer and out the door we went.

As we walked, we had the following conversation. I offer it as a sample of how to include your kids in your planning. (Sometimes we forget to do that.)

Caitrin handed me the leash so she could climb a tree. Liam walked along with me as Rocky (our dog) dragged me forward.

Me: So would you prefer a routine this fall, you know, a calendar with activities planned on it, or do you like it better when we are more spontaneous?

We’ve done both in the past and I tried to get a feel for what the kids wanted.

Liam: I like being spontaneous best, but then sometimes we don’t do the things I like as often. But I don’t like schedules.

Me: That makes sense. What if we make a big calendar and add some activities to it sort of like place holders? Then we can decide that morning if we still want to. But at least we won’t forget what we wanted to do at one time when we were planning.

Liam: That sounds good.

Me: What would you put on our calendar?

Our calendar helped us create windows of time for spontaneity.

Liam: I like it when we take nature walks.

Me: How often? Once a week? Once a month?

Liam: Let’s go every other week.

Me: Okay. What about teatimes and reading aloud?

Liam: Every day!

Me: How about we definitely do teatimes once a week and then if other days feel right, we’ll do those spontaneously? And we will always read aloud every day.

Caitrin swung down from the tree and rejoined us.

Caitrin: I want to go to museums but NOT art museums.

This made me sad. She got tired of art museums in Italy and so she forgot how much she loved our Cincinnati art museum.

Me: Good idea. We’ll check out some other kinds of museums, and maybe the observatory. If anyone wants to come with me to the Cincinnati or Dayton art museum, I’ll be going. I love them.

Liam: I will! I still love them.

Caitrin: Well, I’ll probably come too. Can we go to the library every week?

Me: Yes. We need to do that again.

With bigger kids in the house, we’d gotten out of the habit of going to the library as a family and she missed that. So I wanted to make sure the younger ones and I would go again each week.

Then we discussed copywork and reading to me and freewriting. For each one, we looked at how they could participate in ways that fit their personalities, skills, and desires.

Liam wanted to improve his handwriting (his idea) but he found it a struggle to handwrite. He had been working on this alone for a week. He asked me to put it on the calendar so that he would remember to at least consider doing it each day. Nice solution. He wanted to remind himself.

Caitrin liked to work on reading but only every other day. She enjoyed copywork every day, on the other hand. So we put both of these on the calendar.

This is how we figured out the fall. It was so nice to walk and chat and let the dog sniff every mailbox in the neighborhood. By the end, they were looking forward to the routine and the spontaneity, both.





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Julie Bogart
© 2021 Brave Writer LLC™

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