Are you one of life’s planners, organising down to the last meticulous detail? Or are you a complete free spirit, sailing on the winds of spontaneity? I guess most of us a a bit of a mixture, and maybe have tendencies towards one or other during different seasons of our lives. If we home educate, the level of planning we do will also depend on our educational style and philosophy. However, all parents plan to a certain extent, whether that be weekly meal planning, annual holidays, or the day to day coordination of kids clubs, parties, dentist appointments, driving lessons, and everything else which makes up the colourful kaleidoscope of family life.
I’ve found that in general I have to intentionally plan towards the traditions and celebrations which make memories and build a sense of identity into our family. This doesn’t mean that everyday life doesn’t hold many moments of laughter and fun which build us up, and I love it when get togethers happen spontaneously, but with the busy lives most of us lead (in pre covid days at least) these don’t seem to happen as much as they probably did in days gone by. So, I need to plan in advance for some of the highlights of our weeks.
It can seem tempting, during these days of lockdown, not to plan anything at all, as there is relatively little we can do. However, I’d propose that it’s even more necessary to inject some good and fun moments into our weeks; to add some highlights to an otherwise fairly grey landscape.
I plan our home ed learning at the beginning of each half of term. This is generally fairly broad and non specific, but helps me to concentrate my thoughts and acts as a good prompt on days when I’ve no idea what to do next! It’s also a reassuring exercise to look back over the previous half term and note all we have done….anything we haven’t can be carried forward into the next six weeks or put on the back burner. I use a plain exercise book and a different colour pen for each child. Nowadays the boys’ entries are much smaller, but I jot down things I want to help them with in some way; projects they may be involved in, exams, driving tests, sporting/music activities etc.
In addition I have a family page, where I note down upcoming celebrations, outings we may take, friends we would like to see, read alouds, audibles, and anything else which seems pertinent for the season. So, for this term I feel regular low key celebrations are important…just an excuse for a different meal, some games, a fun read aloud etc to add some light heartedness into these lockdown months.
Each Sunday night I sit with the calendar and weekly planner and try to plan meals and co ordinate six peoples’ activities. These days that takes about 30 seconds, but it sometimes used to make my head spin, and I know if it wasn’t on the calendar it wouldn’t get done.
So, to finish with, here are a selection of fun highlights which have punctuated the general monotony of lockdown days recently.
I hope you’re also able to add some fun to your lockdown days….I’d love to know how you celebrate life in the midst of it all. ☺️🌺🌸🌼