Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety
When I began the journey of home schooling 15 years ago, a friend and veteran home-school mom gave me some advice that has literally directed the intentions of my home schooling decisions. She said, “Guard your time.” She went on to explain that many outside of the home school commitment assume that now you are ‘at home,’ you must have more time on your hands. You should be available for service projects and their ‘emergency‘ errands. You probably look forward to unexpected drop-in visitors and can spontaneously drop-everything and participate in trips away from home. She suggested that I not be afraid to be protective of your daily routine.
As the years passed, I witnessed these interactions myself and realized what sage advice it was. It was so easy for well-meaning people to presume on my schedule. Some were even offended because I had to set boundaries for “school.” After all, wasn’t ‘freedom‘ the advantage of home schooling?! They simply misunderstood the whole process we were undertaking.
To be sure, as a home school family, we do have flexibility and can take advantage of scheduling shifts that a structured, traditional classroom full of students cannot. For me, however, I could build the ‘freedom and flexibility‘ into the schedule. Furthermore, when those truly delightful but spontaneous opportunities presented themselves or when the true-life emergency happened on us, panic and anxiety didn’t overshadow our decisions. Due to a little intentional time management, what wasn’t finished today could be finished tomorrow. Finally, as my children have grown older and their subjects have become more demanding, they appreciate and rely on the consistency of our schedule.
I am so grateful that my friend gave me that counsel early in my venture. It not only guided my routine, but it gave me the confidence to do it guilt-free. Knowing that other families face the same struggle and interruptions relieved me of the pressure to be everything for everyone. My kids weren’t ‘missing out on the joys‘ of home schooling; rather, the organization and routine has taught them some valuable life-skills lessons in boundaries, time-management and prioritizing.