As we return to the roots of our homeschool journey we’re returning to the garden and learning to dig deep into thinking and understanding the natural beauty of creation.

When we were young, had one car and less cash we automatically operated our homeschool in a sustainable way so that I could actually stay home with our four young children. As we gathered resources and were blessed with more cash we joined in on the expense and busyness of the homeschool community. Spending tons on curriculum year after year and being busy following someone else’s schedule.

Fortunately, we had a series of unfortunate events two years ago where I threw in the towel and decided I had to get back to our home and family. Wouldn’t you think after almost 30 years I would have this figured out? Oddly enough in many ways I had it more figured out at the beginning then I do now.

First – Family should come first. We’ve told ourselves over the years that we were doing that but when you add up all the various calendars from co-op to scouts, church, neighbors, 4-H, soccer or whatever else you’re doing, if you’re like us you’d put all of those thing on your calendar then try to figure out where “family” went.

Try this: Agree for 3 months to stop doing everything outside your home. (except work)

Second – Focus on teaching our children to be adults, prepared to live in an adult world.

Try this: For each child observe 3 ways you can help them manage themselves. 

Third – This means removing the word “school” from our vocabulary and replacing it with words like, work, jobs, learning, thinking and adventure. Notice the “homebased learning” concept above 🙂

Try this: Every time you say “school” stop and put another word in that an adult would use. i.e. learning, work, incarceration. 

Fourth – Schedule your stuff around your goals. Goal #1 – Dad has to get to work on time, Goal #2 – we want to reduce our expenses, Goal #3 – we want to grow our own food etc.

As you develop and organize these goals into priorities start your calendar with the first goal in mind and work your way down the list.

Try this: During your three months off make flash cards with all the things you want to do and put them in a box or envelop. At the end of that time take them out and prioritize them into what you believe is most important. 

Fifth – Communities of shared interest. One friend or family won’t be interested in everything you’re doing, so figure out what YOU want accomplished with your children and gather different people to do those different things with you.

Try this: Even if you didn’t take the three months off 🙂 Take one of your top priorities  that would work with other families and invite people to your house to learn that skill. Like canning or making sausage, raising chickens or something fun like camping. 

As the grown ups it’s your job to design your family’s schedule – resist being “normal” and start thinking about your personal family goals.

If there are long gaps between posts, you’ll know I was in the garden. If there are a gazillion posts in one day you’ll know it’s either storming or roasting hot. The garden is one of the main goals 🙂

Design away!