Homeschool Requires Consistency

I've saved the best (or worst) in this blog series for last.

(Did you miss an installment?  Don't worry - find them all here!)


Some people are wired for consistency, organization, and all of those other Type A traits. 

Some people are not.  {ahem. Like me}

Some people learn over time, however, that consistency really does aid in so many areas of life -- especially the homeschool life!  

Maybe I saved this post for last because it's the most challenging for me to write - or maybe I was afraid I might get a little push back. Whatever the case - here goes my thoughts on consistency and homeschooling. 


Homeschool Requires Consistency

When I think about consistency and our homeschool there are two big categories -- consistency in the little things of every day homeschooling, and consistency in the big things of LIFE.

We must have consistency in our routines and procedures, and we must also have consistency in how we live our lives (I supposed that speaks directly to the commitment required of homeschooling, too).  

Consistency in the BIG and consistency in the LITTLE - two very important things.

Consistency in Your Approach and Commitment

Remain Consistent in Your Homeschool


When you commit to homeschool your children you must completely alter your life and put homeschooling on the FRONT burner. Homeschooling won't succeed if you lack commitment. 

I know people say they decide it they are going to homeschool on a "year to year basis" - and to a certain extent I have felt that way in the past. For our family, however, we are in this for the long haul.  Just as some people are firm in their commitment to a traditional school, we are firm in our commitment to homeschool. 

Make a PLAN for your children's homeschool years.  Then, remain CONSISTENT in that plan. 

Yes, I would have a plan for their elementary, middle and high school career (or at least a general idea of where you are headed).

Would you open a business without a plan?  Would you even feed for your family for a month without a plan? 



{ Then, be prepared to be flexible with that plan and let God do the rest. }

One of my biggest regrets in our homeschool journey is that we jumped around in the first few years and went where the wind blew us. I wasn't consistent with a homeschooling method or approach in my daughter's early years. By the time I had wised up and was homeschooling my son, we had settled on the Classical approach and it has made every difference in the world

(Please don't leave scathing comments about the Classical approach - I realize your can be consistent with ANY homeschool approach. Just BE CONSISTENT!)

This is one of the reasons I recommend all homeschoolers read The Well Trained Mind.  It is probably the best general homeschooling book out there, and it will give you a BIG PICTURE of what consistent homeschool can look like all the way through graduation! 

One of the reasons we left the public school was because of the LACK OF CONSISTENCY from year to year and even from day to day. 

I watched friends with children in public school - the math curriculums kept changing at the high school level and those children paid a price because of the inconsistency in the teaching approach. 

As homeschoolers we can insure our children have a consistent math education.  

They can also have a consistent history education. By learning history in cycles, children gain such understanding and a love of history. 

I can consistently offer my children arts education and not be at the whim of funding being cut in the public schools. 

Do you get the picture? 

I'm not saying there will never come a day when you might put your children back in school, but being consistent in your approach, methods, and goals is going to serve you well in the long run.

As homeschoolers we also fall prey to the "I think there must be something better out there" mentality - which can lead to jumping from curriculum to curriculum or program to program. 

We've schooled through death, illness, job change, puberty (I'm not kidding - puberty can be like the death of one child and the birth of a completely different child!), and more -- but we always knew our commitment to homeschool was firm - the consistency was there. 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Aristotle



Consistency in Day to Day Homeschooling

To achieve your long term homeschool goal, however, you need to be consistent in the day to day of homeschooling.

We've always done better with consistency in our homeschool days.  (Believe me, I went a couple of years with very little consistency and it didn't work very well.)

I realize there are seasons when consistency might be very difficult - a new baby is born, a family member is sick, or you're just going through a tough time in general. 

But, I would also argue that consistency sometimes GETS YOU THROUGH those tough seasons, too. And, when your children reach their pre-teen and teen years they are trained to almost school themselves - and THAT is a great feeling. 


I like to sleep as much as the next person, but in our homeschool getting up and moving at a decent hour is important. 

We all wake up to alarms - mine normally goes off at 6 or 6:30 a.m. and the kids' go off around 7:15. 

When the kids were younger they were naturally up early, but as they have entered the teen years getting up is HARD.  (I do sometimes give grace if we've had a very late night or someone isn't feeling well - or it's a particularly cold and dreary morning - but for the most part getting up on time in a non negotiable in our house.)


Simple Morning Time

Friends tease me about this, but I am a compulsive bed maker. My kids need to have their beds made, too. 

My theory is this: if you get up and make your bed you have accomplished one thing at the very beginning of your day - your room looks neat and you are ready to carry that sense of accomplishment throughout your day. (Plus, it won't drive your mother nuts whenever she walks by.)


Even when my oldest was in public school we had our own version of morning time. We would gather at the breakfast table at 6:30 a.m. (for the life of me I cannot believe I put my five year old through that early morning routine), have a warm breakfast, read a devotion, and then she would be on the school bus at 7:10. 

Now that we homeschool morning time happens at 8:30. It is a time for us to start the day together with truth, beauty, and goodness.  


I encourage my kids to tackle that one hard subject first, then it's DONE.  

For us it has always been math - and one year it was Latin. 

Then, no matter what else happens in the day you've had your morning time and accomplished the hardest thing in your day. 

Plus... your bed is made! 

With these simple, consistent routines we can accomplish so much by 10 a.m.

And, my children have always known the expectations and really crave the routine. 


Quiet time was always a coveted time in our homeschool. 

Our homeschool shut down from 1 - 2 (ish) most days until my kids were in upper elementary school.  

Whether it was taking a nap, listening to a book, or playing quietly in their rooms, quiet time gave all of us a chance to recharge and have some alone time. 

Even now it seems that my house gets very quiet around 2 p.m. -- it's just a natural time of the day where everyone needs a break from each other. 


Whatever routines and rituals you value in your home, keep them consistent. 

These are the routines and consistencies that have worked for us -- but the beauty of homeschool is that we can do what works for OUR family. 

It's all up to you, but I believe consistency is KEY. 


The Rewards of Homeschool Are Great

With Commitment, Love, Courage, and Consistency, the rewards of homeschool will be GREAT!

I am not telling you it will be easy.

I am not telling you it will always be fun or gratifying. 

And, I am certainly not telling you there won't be days when you will question why in the world you are doing this.

Homeschool Requires Consistency

But, when I look at pictures of my children from that pivotal year when we made the decision to homeschool (2008) , I see so clearly WHY we did what we did.

As we enter 10th and 6th grade life is changing.  I find myself adjusting and changing to meet the needs of my children.

I love, however, that certain things have remained consistent over time, and that is what holds our homeschool together. 


Homeschool Requires Consistency