Keeping on task while keeping an atmosphere of scholé

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    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15626

      Hi all!

      We’ve started our school year back up and I’m interested in hearing different ways that people balance between “getting things done” and keeping their kids from dawdling and procrastination while also fostering an atmosphere of rest, contemplation, and scholé.

      None of us has it totally figured out every day, but I’d love to hear stories of good days where this was achieved. I think if we catch a vision for what it might look like, we’ll be able to find ways to move toward it more and more.

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15627

      Oh my goodness! I so need this. Most days I feel like I’m herding cats and it’s hard not to get discouraged. My sister in law recently asked to observe a school day, since she’s just beginning with her 6yo, and I felt like I had to apologize for the chaos. But in a way I guess it was good because she got a glimpse of reality. And if I’m honest, there is lots of learning and growth happening in spite of the chaos (although I do wonder if there would be more if things were calmer).

      Things that do work for us: morning time comes first starting with prayers. Then I let everyone have a break before our math hour. Then comes lunch followed by our language arts hour.

      For awhile everyone had a checklist and were actually moving toward some independence, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside somehow and that’s probably contributing to the crazy feeling.

      I can’t wait to hear other’s responses!

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15718

      I think, for myself, order and getting things done are almost a pre-requirement for schole. I don’t have the temptation to double down and become a drill sergeant when I’m stressed. My temptation is to run away and hide with a book and let my kids do whatever. If I don’t have a detailed plan I just end up wandering around the house feeling lost and depressed, wondering what I’m supposed to be doing. But if I have a flow, if I have a checklist, it frees me from that anxiety so I can actually enjoy what we’re doing and relate to my kids.
      So on a practical level: taking care of my health and my relationship with my husband so I can be cheerful and keep my sense of humor, detailed plans and checklists put into a spiral-bound planner for me and my 10 and 8 year olds (btw, thank you Mystie, your planning pages have been a HUGE help), stopping and just hugging and thanking God for them every once in a while when I’m starting to get resentful, not taking my kids reactions personally (growing in virtue isn’t always pleasant, and sometimes they will take it out on me, but we’ll all survive), and prayer that is prayerful, which lately has looked like Liturgy of the Hours and Latin hymns instead of a laundry list of my worries.

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15798

      I would say that implementing schole for me has been very similar to what Angelique mentioned in needing order for myself first. I’ve recently been realizing that without a plan I am going nowhere and more often than not I get side tracked. I took some of the suggestions in Teaching from Rest (loop scheduling, planning with a margin), your blog posts, as well as Pam’s and used some of your planning printables to help get myself on more of a schedule. It has only been a couple of weeks now, so I hesitate to celebrate too early, but it has helped me SO much. And not just myself, as the kids have really been benefiting from the consistency and ability to expect the next thing. My oldest (who is 7) has been much better about applying herself to her math lessons with the schedule as well (although we still have our “it is taking 2 hours because she can’t seem to focus and finds her brothers work so much more interesting” days 🙂 ), but I am trying to remember that if I want it to look like schole, than maybe she needs more one-on-one, to keep myself from getting upset over it and that it really is OKAY if she just finishes half the lesson that day. (Although that last one is something I have yet to actually believe, but I’ve been doing it anyway! :P)

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15876

      Angelique…yes!! Without a framework for our day I get totally sidetracked and we end up going nowhere. I say “I” because more of the problem is with me than my kids! My oldest 2 (ages 13 and 11) are great at getting their lists done…when I actually get their list made ahead of time 🙂 My next 2 (ages 8 and 6) still both need me to be pretty much right with them while they do their work, and they *won’t* do it unless I tell them to! Not that they have a bad attitude…they would just rather be playing 🙂 I like to call our plan a framework, more than a schedule, because I really can’t stand strict schedules. But our framework keeps us on task while still having flexibility. And morning time…even if the rest of the day goes south, I can still know that we touched on the true, good, and beautiful together as a family.

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #15895

      This past year, my husband bought me an antique chime clock for my birthday. I wanted a beautiful sound to call us to attention each hour. It worked really well! I have assignments for each hour (like morning meeting at 9, math at 10, etc.), so the chimes would call us to the next hour. I also loved it because if we finished early, we could have a break until the chimes called us back. Or for those times when we needed a break whether we finished or not, we could take a break and begin again and with a new attitude when the chimes called us back. I guess I kind of use a block/loop schedule because we keep our hours’ assigned but we only do the next good thing for that subject.

    • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #44503

      Blessed Sunday Mamas!
      I just joined this forum and finding the discussions to be really encouraging. 🙂
      Jennifer, I just love the idea of your antique chime clock. What a thoughtful husband.
      I was inspired by Jenny Rallen’s talk on Liturgies to do something similar with a bell but it sort of fell flat. Maybe I wasn’t consistent enough?
      So much written here already resonates with my vision for home education: being prepared, taking care of mama and her relationships, developing (and adhering to) a structure…
      Do you all find that even when you have these things in place, some days just seems to fall apart?
      I do! But usually there is one child who notices and that is encouraging!

      • July 14, 2016 at 7:49 am #44504

        Oh yes. Things can still fall apart even when I think I have all my ducks in a row. It’s amazing how quickly it can happen! But something I’ve also learned lately is that even after things have fallen apart I can sometimes still pick up the pieces and get our day back on track. SO much depends on my own attitude!

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