The story behind the photo: Aim for the cup! Did the above shot slowly tip into the hole? Well, I'll have to ask the guys because I wasn't there for this outing.
I'm sure Justin was aiming for the cup... whether or not he made it on this particular shot... that's a different story! I'd like to think that it was a fabulous putt that landed only a few feet from the hole. Then, with one more gentle and swift stroke, the ball swirls around the rim once, twice, and then swishes right into the cup!
Are you wondering why I chose this golf picture? Well, I have a good explanation! Every athlete has a goal; they're aiming for a successful end result. Golfers want a hole-in-one, baseball players want the homerun, runners want the quickest time. They may not always achieve their goal, but they're certainly trying for consistency on a daily basis. Similarly, in teaching, we have certain goals to accomplish each day in order to achieve our end result - kids who graduate high school and are prepared to do whatever the Lord calls them to do.
I recommend making and maintaining a set schedule to attain our goals - as much as possible, that is! Certainly, there are times when routines must be abandoned whether it's due to sickness, appointments or other unforeseen circumstances.
Of course, all of our schedules will look somewhat different, based on family size and the ages of our kids. I'd like to share with you my basic plan during our homeschooling days.
Now, remember; I only have the twins, so I felt that I had it somewhat easy in teaching. Both boys were doing the same things, at the same developmental levels. Again, what I'm trying to convey is that no matter what your family dynamic -- it's still good to have a basic schedule. So, here's what I did while the boys were (approximately) ages seven to twelve:
Breakfast & chores - around 7:30 until about 8:30
Devotions - 8:30
Music practice - 9:00 until about 9:45
Math - 10:00 - 11:00
Lunch - around 12 or 12:30
Either English, History, Science or Language (Latin in 5th - 7th grade) 1:00 - 3:00 ... English every day, but varied the other subjects...
3:00 - DONE
3:00 - 6:00 Exercise, fresh air, recreation (could be shooting baskets, bike riding, doing LEGO's, limited computer time /20-30 min. per day)
Around 6:00 Dinner together - Talk, relax, unwind.
6:00 - 8:00 or 8:30 -- Since we didn't (still don't) have TV, the twins usually spent time with Jay, indoors or outdoors, depending on the season. I usually caught up on some cleaning, e-mails, etc. The boys did LEGO's most nights.
Around 8:00 or 8:30 - mom's (or dad's) story hour... We piled on the king-size bed in the master bedroom to hear great stories & books.
Around 9:00 - Bedtime. "Good night, my good knights!"
You may be looking at our long breaks. Often the guys learned on their own with things such as: reading, drawing, thinking, attending music lessons, taking care of our little Koi pond, or making model airplanes - things like that. Once in a while, we went to the local nursing home to play music for the residents or ventured out on an interesting field trip. On sunny days, we headed to the park with other homeschoolers. I never structured the day completely, only generally.
My philosophy was: work, then play. Also, it was always about helping the boys to become well-rounded individuals spiritually, academically, physically and musically. From ages 7-12, school was mostly about fun.
I never believed in doing school after 3 p.m. From 3:00 until 6:00, the boys had to something physical. Me too. Whether it was walking the dog, or walking the neighborhood, I was a stickler about exercise. Of course, in the spring, it was baseball - but other than that this was the time of day to get away from the desks and take in some fresh air.
There you have it. I tried to maintain devotions after breakfast, then, it was usually music at 9, Math at 10, and dinner at 6. That's what I aimed for. Basically, everything else was secondary. It worked for us. And that's the thing; it's all about finding what works for you, finding your own family's rhythm, and sticking to it.
Before I go, I'd like to share some fun quotes with you. By the way -- although I went along to golf a few times -- I absolutely stink at it! Over the years, I learned that in order to survive in this family, it would be good to have at least a little interest in the game! Now I have many fond memories of the four of us walking nine holes on a few sunny Saturdays.
"Golf is a good walk spoiled." -- Mark Twain
"Golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result." --Tommy Armour
"What other people may find in poetry, I find in the flight of a good drive." --Arnold Palmer
Have a wonderful homeschool day! Enjoy your family.