My kids need novelty. I need novelty. Doing the same thing every school day would make us all quite frustrated and bored. Every day needs to be different. We also need our days to be structured. Structure and novelty seem like opposites, but we have found some things that have enabled us to have novelty and structure at the same time.
1. Explore lots of subjects
Our homeschooling is broad and deep in its scope. We do LOTS of subjects and explore many topics in depth – more depth than a standard grade-level curriculum would provide. With a wide assortment of subjects, we can’t do them all each day. As a result, our days don’t look like each other.
2. Use a variety of resources for one subject
I often use a variety of resources for one subject and many times make up my own unit studies or change the way I use a curriculum. This provides even more variety and depth to my children’s studies. At the same time, this also means that I have to be super organized or it would all just be one big jumbled mess. I mentioned that my kids need structure. They do not do well with a big jumbled mess, so organization is necessary for it all to work for us. I need novelty too. Simplifying our homeschooling would just make things more boring for all of us. It might make things a bit easier on the surface, but it would make things more challenging in other ways. I’d rather spend lots of time organizing and planning than face everyday boredom. But this is me…others like simplifying and it works well for their families.
3. Vary the organization of the day
Another way we manage to combine novelty and structure is to vary how are days are organized. Every month or two, I totally change up what our day looks like. We might go from a block schedule to a daily list or a loop schedule. Our curriculum choices or activities remain the same, but the way we approach our day is different. I have all of our curriculum and subject resources organized in chronological lists of what we should do next so we can be very flexible as to when and how things are accomplished. This has been an awesome way to keep everyone engaged.
When things start to lull and the days get too ordinary, I change things up. My kids like it. I like it too. Some changes are utter failures and last a couple days and some schedules work beautifully and last several months. Right now we are using one that I will probably change later this week. Sometimes I use a schedule we have tried before and other times I try to make up something different. As I said before, some are big failures.
I’ve been told many times in my life that I do things the hard way. I see the matter differently. I just do things in a way I find interesting. It may take more time and effort, but it works well for us. We can have novel days. We can have structure too.