I have heard it for years from experienced homeschooling moms, and yet I never really took it to heart until this year. We REALLY don't have to do everything every day. Really. They're still learning a lot.
This change of mind/heart/schedule may have come from switching up our curriculum choices a bit this year (see what we're using here). We were using a pre-planned curriculum (which I really enjoyed) but I found myself wanting to check off every box for every day's lesson plan. I'm not even a Type-A person, but seeing those boxes waiting to be checked gave me some angst.
This year we are doing things differently, possibly even doing less (I'm not sure we've done any history lessons yet this year) but we have such a happier household. Managing twin toddlers in addition to homeschooling two children, and dealing with some personal family issues has made this the Year of Letting Go.
I'm not an unschooler (yet), because I still love to buy curriculum, and I worry that my kids would only want to study magical princesses or unicorns for their entire school career. However, I have found ways to be flexible. Some days we'll start at 8:30 and finish at 12:30. Other days we'll go to the park or library in the morning and start school after lunch. Some days we'll start at 9:00 and take three breaks plus lunch, and finish up somewhere around 4:00. Once or twice I've even looked at my kids and said, "that's it, we're done, you need to get outside and play". It has been SO freeing to not feel the need to check a box. Even if I go back to a pre-planned curriculum, I am going to have to use it on my terms.
My homeschool planner isn't even a planner, really. It is more of a record of what we have done after we have done it. If there is something coming up that I don't want to forget, such as a holiday activity, I'll pencil it in. Pencil it with real pencil, because I'm going to erase that sucker if my plans change.
The other day this dance party was happening at 10:00 a.m. because breakfast wasn't even ready yet. Ok, I'm not totally proud of that part, but the kids were having a great time and we still did everything I wanted us to do that day.
My kids are so much happier, and so am I. We are enjoying homeschooling in the midst of our craziness.
Now if only I could remember to blog about our experiences again, I can share some of our fun times. I've relaxed myself right out of blogging, it seems. Well, tomorrow is another day.