Episode 167

Welcome to Episode #167 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast! Listen in and follow along with the show notes below as we dive into scaling back for homeschooling success during challenging times. And then layering in the learning to build back up to a rich, comprehensive, inspiring block schedule. 

Scale Back When Necessary

One of the things I advise homeschooling parents over and over again is this: scale back until it works and then build from there.

Because we all hit bumps in the road. Challenges in our family’s life, in the rhythm of our seasons, and even in our personal experiences.

Truthfully, just accepting that we will need to simplify sometimes goes a long way. 

Homeschooling involves A LOT of juggling, especially when you feel inspired to weave the lively arts into holistic, hands-on lessons.

With the Waldorf-inspired approach, for example, we’re reciting poetry, singing together, form drawing, watercolor painting, presenting new concepts with beautiful stories, and more.

It’s ok to layer up and layer down. We can’t do it all ALL all the time!

Life’s challenges, such as holidays, sickness, or major life events necessitate simplifying.

My 20-20-20 rule is a good rule of thumb for times when you need to scale back. Try twenty minutes each of reading aloud, math practice, and time outside in nature. I call it the minimum viable homeschool day.

With the minimum viable day, you can scale back during challenging times without totally throwing in the towel.

And when you’re ready to build back up to a full block schedule, you can layer in the learning.

Master the methods and mindset you need to layer in all the lively arts with the Homeschool Simplicity Bundle.

Layering in the Learning

Layering in the learning allows you to build back up from the minimum viable day while keeping the needs and interests of your child (and yourself) in mind.

Because when we’re interested in something, when we sense that spark of curiosity, we are way more likely to tune in and engage in the learning. That goes for both children and adults!

To illustrate this idea of layering in the learning, here are four possible paths to building back up from a minimum viable day without resistance or burnout.

Crafts Focus:

  • Integrate a handwork project into read-aloud time.
  • Gradually add elements like paper crafts or origami.
  • Continue to incorporate one or two elements of the block schedule during the week.

Art Focus:

  • Use whatever chapter book you’re currently reading for inspiration in creating paintings or drawings.
  • Progress to writing captions or titles for the artwork.
  • Gradually add copy work or free writing by the end of the week.

Games Focus:

  • Include math or word games in the minimum viable day.
  • Start with short games like Math War or Hangman, and progress to longer ones like Bananagrams.
  • Follow with short skills lessons or copy work.

Skills Focus:

  • Begin with reviewing a known skill in either math or language arts.
  • Add something new, gradually building complexity.
  • End the week with a drawing, diagram, or main lesson book page.

The Ups and Downs of Homeschooling

Not every day or every season is the same in homeschooling families. Remember that you can scale back until it works using the 20-20-20 rule of the minimum viable homeschool day. And then build back up when you’re ready by layering in the learning through one lens of focus ~ whether that be crafts, art, games, or skills practice. 

And that’s how we handle all of the joys and challenges that life brings our way. Homeschooling can be sustainable! I hope this episode has helped you feel more at ease on YOUR homeschooling journey.💜

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And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a cup of tea!

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