5 Days of Homeschool Tips: Structure vs Flexibility

structure vs flexibility

I am sure you all have thought about this a lot. I know I have. Am I structured enough? Do I allow too much flexibility? Do I need to ______(fill in the blank)________?

Today is a great example for me of what I wanted to write about flexibility. Here is how our day went.

  • We started out exhausted from having a busy weekend at the Lads to Leaders 2016 National Convention in Grapevine, TX. Late nights + early mornings = really tired, irritable people in our family. (However, it was an amazing weekend. You will be hearing more from me about the awesome convention and all the joy and growth we experienced this year.)
  • I had to wake the girls up to take them to the dentist this morning. We had to be there at 9. I obviously scheduled this without realizing it was the morning after L2L Convention.
  • Frantically, we tried to get breakfast, brush teeth, and get out the door with their appliances for the dentist.
  • Got to the dentist only to realize that we had forgotten one of the aforementioned appliances. (Both Miss E and Miss L are in Perfect Start appliances, a wonderful alternative to traditional braces.) Luckily, At Home Dad was able to bring the appliance to the dentist for us. (We live just a couple of minutes away.)
  • Dentist appointments went well! No cavities. Miss E’s progress in her appliance is great and she’s moving on to the next. Miss L is going back to the habit breaker and will recheck in 6 months. Not the progress we had hoped for but no big deal. Everyone did great and everyone got their teeth fully taken care of!
  • Went back to the house and frantically threw lunches together and headed into town for lunch with the youth minister and other homeschoolers from our church. Got the call halfway there that it had to be rescheduled.
  • Called up the kiddos grandmother and headed to her house to see her.
  • Passing the church we realized one other family hadn’t gotten the reschedule call so we made quick plans to head over to a park and had lunch together.
  • Rescheduled with grandma to let her know we would come back by to visit with her (after we checked out the progress on their kitchen re-do).
  • Sat at the park and had lunch. The kids played and the other mom and I chatted for a couple of hours.
  • Went back to grandma’s and chatted with her for a couple of hours.
  • Then, as we were leaving, I realized I had less than two week until the banquet I am helping with. We had already used most of the day and the kids were still tired from the weekend so not many lessons would take place so we went shopping for supplies for decorating instead.
  • While out, we realized that Miss E needed tennis shoes so we found some of those.
  • Came home and found that we needed to go to the grocery store. Since we were gone all weekend, I had managed to forget that.
  • Pulled out hot dogs for dinner for the kids and made some rice for me. Simple and not too unhealthy.
  • Read the biography from YWAM that we are working on – Clara Barton – while the kids ate.
  • Listened to Heirloom Audio’s The Dragon and the Raven after dinner.
  • As we were getting ready for bed, we topped off the day by realizing that Miss J’s strep rash appears to be coming back. So, we may be making more doctor visits tomorrow. Again. Sigh.

Want to know our original plan for the day? School lessons in the morning, lunch at the church, and a couple hours at the park with the family we went with today.

When you look at this, what do you see?

structure or flexibility

Do you see the mess of two colors mixing together? Do you see some structure to the way the two colors are interacting? Do you see something done on purpose or do you see something accidental? All of those are correct! Life, like this work of art by Miss J, depends on how you view it.

Don’t worry! The kiddos are learning every day and in every setting. Whether we are guiding that learning or they are using their senses, something is being given to that brain because you are training them to observe and gain insight from what they see and hear. Tomorrow is a new day. And more structured lessons can happen then. Today, well, it was one adjustment after another and that is okay. We’ll jump back on the bandwagon tomorrow.

But today wasn’t a total washout. Not only did we read some on the biography we are working on and listen to a history lesson, there was time encouraging another family and fellowshipping with them and being encouraged ourselves. Every day contains some learning whether we are guiding it or not. Teaching the children to recognize that and learning to recognize that ourselves is really important.

So embrace the flexibility that is needed when days come that just don’t go as planned. Your structure is just fine and is good for your family in whatever way you have set it up. But don’t beat yourself up about a day that doesn’t go as planned. Life happens and it teaches us lessons about love and consideration that are more important than anything in a textbook.

At Home.


5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsAs with other Review Crew blog hops I have participated in, I encourage you to go check out my friends who are participating. There are about 50 of us and I’m sharing 10 of my friends’ links with you each day. So please go read about the tips these others have to share with you. Click on the image to be taken to a list of all participants or click below to go to the blogs of each of these friends.
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Latonya @ Joy in the Ordinary
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Megan @ My Full Heart
Melanie (Wren) @ finchnwren
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans

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8 thoughts on “5 Days of Homeschool Tips: Structure vs Flexibility

  1. KymPossible March 29, 2016 at 7:35 am Reply

    Well, the details are different, but often our days wind up like this too! Even today, right after I posted about being realistic and not overbooking myself, I looked at my calendar for the rest of the week and realized that I have managed to cram it very full. Oops. I love your color-mixing analogy – that’s an excellent way to think of the balance between structure and flexibility!

    • 3gigglygirlsathome March 29, 2016 at 3:39 pm Reply

      Thanks! I found it very appropriate when I stumbled onto it. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. brandymelissa March 29, 2016 at 10:04 am Reply

    Oh boy, we have days like this all the time. When I first started homeschooling it used to really bother me, but I’ve gotten a lot more flexible as the years have gone on!

    • 3gigglygirlsathome March 29, 2016 at 3:40 pm Reply

      I agree. Still, though, I find myself beating myself up after a day like this. I try to remember to give myself some grace. We all need to give ourselves grace. Thanks for dropping by.

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  6. Annette Tinholt Vellenga April 4, 2016 at 9:40 am Reply

    We all have days like this. …at the end of them I ask the day two things? ..did you have a good day? Did you learn anything? Then we chat.

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