One of the strangest things about homeschooling is that in between the lessons, learning, housework, and the running around of everyday life, it can be far too easy to forget to set aside time for quality family time. Building the strong bonds of relationships between family members is important.
Take your Teacher Hat Off.
Before you get started doing family stuff, make yourself take that teacher hat off. Family time might be an educational experience, but it’s not intended to be a time where you are the teacher and they are your students. It’s about building and growing your relationship as parent and child – that’s more important to nurture and grow than looking at every experience as a learning opportunity.
Set aside times that are specifically designed for family time. It could be every evening, you have supper together and talk (with everyone off their tech devices!) It could be that Thursday nights you ask everyone to be home, you sign up for no extracurricular activities for those nights, and you do something together – movie night, board game night, family outing, etc. This can get more challenging as the kids get older and busier, but aim to get everyone to intentionally put it in their calendar, establish a routine, and make it happen.
I know it might sound like the complete opposite to the intentional time blocking idea, but allow for spontaneity is important too. So often, these fun family building moments just pop up in our day and we need to take a hold of them. It could be as simple as a sockball fight while doing laundry, a snuggle on the couch with a book, stopping for “coffee” time at the local donut store, or just a moment in the day where there’s nothing planned so you hop in the car and drive off to something fun.
It can be really challenging to be fully focused during family time. So many demands on our time can easily pull us away from what we intend to be doing. But dishes can wait. So can laundry, checking your email, folding the laundry, and figuring out what’s for dinner. Try to write down your to-do list for later so it is out of your head, put the phone or other potential distraction away, and truly be present for your family during this period of time. That way, the time becomes quality time together. Which is the whole point.
Want more tips on how to better handle the different parts of your busy life? Check out the other posts in this 10 day series: Homeschooling & The Myth of Balance.