Kendra Adachi’s book The Lazy Genius Way and her Lazy Genius Podcast, on which she applies her Lazy Genius principles to all sorts of different decisions, scenarios, and topics, are brilliant. You can learn more at her website: https://www.thelazygeniuscollective.com/ One issue that she rarely addresses is how to apply those principles to homeschooling. That’s because she was homeschooled as a kid, but she isn’t homeschooling right now. But I’ve used many of her ideas in my homeschool, and you might want to use some of them in yours. (If you missed the first part of this series, you can find it right here.)
4. Live in the Season
I have to stay in the season that I’m in. Right now, I have young adults who are in high school. Some of them can’t drive yet, so if they sign up for a class outside of the house, I need to be prepared to transport them and fulfill any parental responsibilities for that class. I’m actively home educating two, a freshman and a sophomore, and my older son is a sophomore at a nearby university. My husband works from home, and I mother, teach, tutor, chauffeur, and write. It’s a good season.
I’ve had other seasons.
When I had babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, I embraced that I’d have a break at nap time and be doing all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundering. At least I didn’t also need to teach school aside from lots of play and reading aloud because my troops could make a mess faster than I could say, “Stop!” It was a good season, and it passed.
When I had some in elementary school and some in preschool/kindergarten, we did a lot of school work together, only doing math, phonics, and grammar separately. That arrangement lasted for years until the older was starting the seventh grade. It was a good season, and it passed.
When I had one in middle school and two in later elementary, I worked with the elementary students separately from the middle schooler. It was a good season, and it passed.
That didn’t last long before I was dividing my time between high school students. Last year, Covid canceled most outside activities, and I did a lot of online tutoring. This year, I’ll be driving more, so I’m not accepting many students to tutor. However, I know that my boys will learn to drive soon, and then I’ll take on more tutoring students because my time will be more available. I’ll miss the car conversations, and I’m sure we will find another way to have them. But, I’ll also enjoy that new season. That’s a rule of mothering. Do the best you can to enjoy your current season because the season is going to change. Live in your season.
5. Build the Right Routines
Kendra says, “a routine is a repeat and act of preparation, not the destination” (Adachi 76).
Do not worry so much about what other people’s routines are. Just create one that works for you. Maybe you need a beginning of the school day routine in which everyone gets ready for the day. Perhaps you need an end-of-the-school-day routine in which everything gets put up. Maybe you need both. Setting a routine for your morning may help direct your attitude for the day, and creating a routine for your evening might help you shut down and sleep better. There’s plenty of evidence that a bedtime routine helps the kids settle down the sleep better. It’s bound to work for adults also.
Do you have a routine to start school each day? When my kids were younger, we’d gather around the table to start the day with a prayer, a hymn, and memory work. I’d pour my second cup of coffee and help the boys make tea or hot chocolate, and we’d read a bit of scripture, sing a hymn, and start the school day. Times have changed in my house. We typically all do our devotions on our own as we prepare for the day, but we meet up for algebra with tea/coffee/hot chocolate mid-morning.
What is currently bothering you? Can you find a routine that will avoid it? That’s the routine that you need to create.
6. Set House Rules
House rules tame the household craziness. The rules we have in our house may be different than yours. But I’m making rules to tame my craziness, and you are making rules to tame yours.
We have a rule of “No laundry, trash, books, or food on the floor.” That all seems logical, right? But I did four loads of laundry yesterday because one of my kids was shoving laundry under his bed instead of putting it in the dirty clothes basket. AND wet swim towels were hiding under there too. GROSS. What I don’t want: Bugs. Or destroyed books, but really, I don’t like bugs. Therefore, the mess must be controlled, even in the teenagers’ rooms, where it mainly resides.
A second house rule is “No electronics on the bar.” The bar is next to the kitchen sink, and any device on it is in the splash zone. I don’t want the drama of “You soaked my phone!” I don’t want to replace a ruined computer. So, no one can leave their device in the Splash Zone, not even my husband, not even me.
A third house rule is “No video games until today’s schoolwork is finished.” Enough said – work first, play later. Am I an ogre about it? No. However, I have to plan to get my work done. My husband has to plan to get his work done. So it’s likely to be good training for our students also. Adults can’t just stop during a workday to play a video game without risking some pretty major consequences.
You don’t need a hundred house rules. Just make the few rules that will serve you and yours well.