Afraid of the Clock?

Afraid_ClockWe’re homeschoolers. This means we have the freedom to wake up when we want, go to bed when we want, start school when we want, take breaks when we want, and even do learning in the middle of the night if we want. Time is our friend and we take advantage of every moment we have. But, in all our lovely freedom, have we developed a fear of the clock?

love living by routine. Ask anyone who knows me well. I enjoy having a fixed schedule and working within parameters. After having several kids and homeschooling for over ten years, I’ve needed to learn to lighten up. Just because I enjoy working under more strict guidelines doesn’t mean this works for everyone. Our family routine tends to be much more flexible than I would have originally preferred, but it’s what works best for our life style.

While I understand the need for a more laid-back learning style, there seems to be a growing trend within the homeschool community at large. Some of us have developed a hatred of our clocks.

I wonder why this is? We shy away from group activities which force us to be available at certain times. We stress if expected to be somewhere at a given time. We hardly ever administer deadlines to our children. And, most interesting of all, we avoid timed tests in our homes.

Now, I don’t expect everyone to homeschool in the same manner. Nor do I expect anyone to embrace a rigid timeline of learning. But, I’d be curious to know why some families feel as if the clock is our enemy. I also wonder if a complete abandonment of our clocks is a good thing…

Adults are constantly up against deadlines. Bills have to be paid on a certain date. Tickets have to be purchased by a certain time. Material can be time-sensitive. Certain jobs must be done within a given time-frame. Show up five minutes late and you miss your train, bus, airplane, or get fired!

Life shouldn’t be lived according to the clock, but learning to work with the clock might be of benefit. I don’t want my children to be stressed by confined learning times, but I also don’t want them to treat time with nonchalance. There are times they will have the freedom of time, but others when time is of the essence.

May they learn the difference between the two and make the most of the time they have.

🔔Time to Chime In: How big a role does the clock play in your homeschool routine?

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9 thoughts on “Afraid of the Clock?

  1. Interesting thought, last time I quit working many years ago, the first thing I did was ditch my watch! lol You are correct, now I homeschool and workout side the home the clock has once again power over my life. I miss the days of freedom but perhaps I can teach the children you can live with Timed expectations and life is not over. Thanks for the food for thought 🙂

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  2. So many times I read one of your posts and it is exactly what has been on my heart! I’ve been saying for weeks now that I have this battle with time. I don’t shy away from commitments at a certain time. However, I do find myself getting anxious and upset with myself when the day seems to fly by and the things I hoped to get done haven’t been done yet. Thank you for this post. Having my seventh cHild has been humbling me in many ways, forcing me to let go of many things I allow to be road blocks.

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  3. I see it as a tool – more a guide, perhaps? Of all the things I learnt from over a decade of management experience, time management was the hardest. External pressures being prioritised against internal pressures; expectations from within and those imposed from without, both spoken and unspoken. Drop the ball and it can all get real overwhelming, real quick. I bring that experience to how we homeschool, but still wrestle with it. This year I’ve been monitoring in a diary the time we spend on lessons. Reviewing time in order to say “yes” to the things that matter and “no” to the things that don’t matter so much. The hard part is not falling into the temptation of micro-managing the timetable or getting all O.C.D about beating the clock. Our year has been full of timed events and some very sad ones, but it’s helped me to put time into perspective for our homeschoolers. Every moment is a gift, we need to be careful not to miss; time, as they say, is precious.

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  4. Great post! I think we have a good balance between the two in our homeschool. Both of my kids have online classes and they have the option to watch those classes live, which is what I prefer so they stay caught up (less chance for procrastination). What ends up happening is that they watch their classes live, at certain times and then we are flexible before, in-between and afterwards. For example, they can sleep in if they need to as long as they’re up and going by their first online class, which for my daughter is 8:30am. This means that some days I teach my son his math lesson before his two (back-to-back) online classes, but other days I teach him math after those classes.

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  5. Routine is the most important. Especially with little kids. As far as time goes – I need to have a general time to follow. I feel good if my planned goals are complete withing the set hour or two. There is lots of give and take. I make sure there is margin for flexible timing and going with the flow. I am a list and time management person and so living life with a more flexible approach is difficult for me. I want things done when I schedule things to be done. It’s been a huge change for me to follow my kids lead and appreciate the fact that we can be more flexible with time.. Great post!!!

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  6. I saw you liked my post, so I traveled over to your blog, and this is everything I’m feeling. I have an 8 year old in mainstream grade 3, and I homeschool my 5 yo. I hate how we are so controlled by his schedule and that we have to set time limits to learning to get big brother and such. Being a single mom, I just can’t be in both places. I crave the flexibility! !!!

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