A Change in Our Homeschool Schedule & Plans | Growing Up Herbal | I’m changing up our homeschool schedule to follow along with the natural rhythms of the season, and I’m sharing all the details in this post!

You guys. I have a love-hate relationship with homeschooling. Don’t get me wrong… I know it’s the right choice for us, and it’s something I definitely want to do with my kids. I’ve seen so much good come of it, I love watching them learn, and I like that I have control over the what and how of their learning. However, many days are tough, and there are some days where I’m ready to give up and send them to public school. Thankfully, those days are few and far between.

Over the years, I’ve changed my homeschooling style up a bit. This usually comes after learning some new philosophy, discovering new curricula options that are a better fit, or gaining another year of experience as a homeschool mom. This year has been the first year where I’ve not deviated from the previous year’s style too much. Sure I’m immersing myself more deeply into the Charlotte Mason/ Classical styles of homeschooling, but I’ve not switched gears, per say. However, I have made a big change.

Instead of changing our homeschool style or curricula choices, I’ve switched our homeschool schedule around to better align with the rhythms and cycles of nature.

Let me explain.

A Journey Towards Seasonal Living

A Change in Our Homeschool Schedule & Plans | Growing Up Herbal | I’m changing up our homeschool schedule to follow along with the natural rhythms of the season, and I’m sharing all the details in this post!

For the past few years, I’ve been slowly learning more about the seasons and cycles our world goes through and how all things on this planet (and perhaps the universe) flow in this rhythmic pattern. It’s all very fascinating to me, and I find the more I learn, the more I begin to see the benefit in aligning my life with these cycles. The more I align myself with these cycles, the less stress and the more balance I seem to notice in my life.

It’s strange. I’m not really sure why that is, and I certainly don’t have any scientific evidence to support this. It simply feels right to me. I mean, I believe that God designed and ordered the world to work in a specific way — a way that creates balance and harmony in the universe. Maybe it’s intuition that goes back to how we were designed and how early man lived. It’s as if this rhythm is buried deep within us, covered up by all the convenience of modern life, just waiting to be discovered again.

So what do I actually mean by “aligning my life with nature’s cycles?”

Well, take winter for example. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter season means our days are short and our nights are long. The weather is cold. There’s less energy in this part of the world. Many plants and animals have slowed their growth or are hibernating. I, too, feel these same things in my body. I tend to want to sleep longer. I have less energy for big projects or rather, for projects that require a lot of energy output. Instead, I’d rather be reading or crocheting. I want to snuggle up by the woodstove, sip warm winter drinks, and take more baths. I think and reflect more, and it seems I’m more mindful of things during this time of the year.

With this in mind, I was doing my yearly homeschool planning this past summer, and I realized that I just wasn’t ready to start the new school year come fall. I was already feeling anxious and stressed, and we hadn’t even begun. I also wasn’t quite as organized as I would have liked to have been. As summer was ending and fall was beginning, I felt like the time wasn’t to begin something, but rather to come to a close on something. Fall is a time of gathering and bringing in — of putting things to rest after a long productive season. What was I bringing to a close or putting to rest by beginning our school year here?

So as I thought about this more and more, seriously trying to convince myself that this didn’t matter in the least, my mind didn’t change. In fact, things weren’t sitting right with me, so after sharing my thoughts with Dean (who always helps me figure things out), I decided to alter our homeschool schedule to better fit with the natural seasonal cycles. 

This meant that during fall, instead of starting our next school year, we would continue with the last school year — reviewing, recapping, and covering anything we missed. It meant that during winter (which is technically November 1st), we’d be taking our end of the year break — a winter break instead of a summer break, and then come spring (technically February 1st), we’ll be starting the next year of our schooling.

In my mind, our homeschool schedule would look like this.

  • August 1st – October 31st: 2018 Fall Term: Term 3 (one week of fall break scheduled in here)
  • November 1st – January 31st: Winter Break (holiday studies, reading, and handicrafts will fill our time here)
  • February 1st – April 30th: 2019 Spring Term: Term 1 (one week of spring break scheduled in here)
  • May 1st – July 31st: 2019 Summer Term: Term 2 (two weeks of summer break scheduled in here)
  • August 1st – October 31st: 2019 Fall Term: Term 3 (one week of fall break scheduled in here)
  • November 1st – January 31st: Winter Break (holiday studies, reading, and handicrafts will fill our time here)

So as you can see, this follows more of the seasonal rhythm of slowing with winter and gradually speeding up through spring and summer and beginning to slow again come fall. 

Now, if you’ve been a reader of Growing Up Herbal for long, you’ll know I’m a Type-A, ENFJ person, and I don’t make change my routine often. However, as I’m getting older and wiser, I’m learning not to ignore my intuition (going with my gut, as they say). The more I thought about this new homeschool schedule, the more sense it made, and the better I felt about it. And besides, what could it hurt? If it didn’t work out, we’d simply go back to our regular way of doing things. Right? Right.

How Our New Homeschool Schedule Is Going So Far

A Change in Our Homeschool Schedule & Plans | Growing Up Herbal | I’m changing up our homeschool schedule to follow along with the natural rhythms of the season, and I’m sharing all the details in this post!

So here we are, mid-fall (the Autumn Equinox is this Sunday), and we’re half-way through the fall term. We’re finishing up some American/Modern History, reading books on animal, plant, and human sciences, practicing Spanish and math drills daily, reviewing grammar rules, practicing spelling through daily reading, copywork, and dictation, and so much more.

We’re about to shift into our first holiday study about Halloween. I’m super excited! I’ve loved Halloween ever since I was little (I mean, what kid doesn’t like to dress up, get candy, and play tricks on people!), and I’m excited to dive into a focused study on it with the boys. We’ll be taking a unit study approach with it where you teach various subjects around one topic studying things like:

  • History — We’ll be studying pagan and Christian influences on Halloween, symbolism, how various cultures celebrate it.
  • Reading — We’ll be reading Halloween-themed books. 
  • Math — We’ll be doing some fall baking where we’ll focus on measurements and making things using both the imperial and metric systems.
  • Handicraft — We’ll be doing some fall scented soap-making as well as making some fall-themed craft projects and putting the boy’s costumes together.
  • Science — We’re going to review bones, blood, mammals (bats, cats, and dogs), and plants (leaves, pumpkins).
  • Nature Study — We’ll be continuing our regular nature study activities as they’re already centered around the seasons. 
  • Poems — We’ll be reading a daily fall/Halloween poem and memorizing one or two.

So, as you can see… we’ll be covering almost all the basics of school, only with a seasonal theme.

At this point, I feel that things are going great with our new homeschool schedule. Our school days are productive, yet more laid-back, and I’m excited to see how our Winter Break goes. I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks again for taking the time to read this and keep up with things that are going on here on the mountain. I’m so grateful for you! And as always, if you have any questions, the comment section is open, and I’m happy to answer them!