I am the type who needs to get things done.
I absolutely love schedules, routines, and time management (agendas and calendars and such) but the problem is, I prioritize getting things done over relationship building. Since I feel such a powerful drive to get things done, it tends to take over our homeschool and, as you can surely imagine, this is not good.
Enter in looping. Ever hear of it before? Me either.
Until I came across Sarah of Amongst Lovely Things. She has a great post on it and she also mentions it in her fabulous book, Teaching from Rest. Then I got this email, inviting me to a QuickStart Guide to Looping. I had to know more….
The basic idea of looping is that you have specific hours for homeschooling, and no matter how many subjects were done the day before, each day begins with the next subject in the loop. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant! This totally allows homeschoolers to really enjoy all those things (music, art, latin/greek, creative writing, geography, lap booking) without rushing through each thing, or not having time for certain studies. Maybe you don’t have that problem, but I sure do 😛
The general concept of looping in a nutshell is this: rather than assigning daily tasks through the week, you instead list tasks and then attend to them in order, regardless of what the day is. If there is a task you would like to see done more frequently, just write it more often on your list. I plan on having math and handwriting repeated on mine as well as grammar. Ideally I hope to see two chunks being done each day, perhaps writing and math on one day and geography and Latin on the other. (just as an example) On those days when there are appointments or classes outside the home or field trips, we simply do what we can and just pick up where we left off on the list the following day.
You can do this with any tasks that need to be done on a regular basis too 🙂
As I imagine our looping will work (I am still getting it together – this is my rough draft):
We Shall Loop:
Language Arts Loop
I would include spelling and vocabulary in this loop but really, these are such a big part of reading and writing….I consider them done along with those tasks.
I also plan to loop our daily time reading aloud. Of course we read in the Bible each day; we also do daily devotions in the morning time. I expect that we will also incorporate our language studies (German, Latin and Chinese) into this loop. I highly encourage with our foreign language studies time reading, writing and speaking (sometimes listening even). I think it gives that experience of immersion and can make such a difference in how one progresses when it comes to this.
I would also like to slowly incorporate things like: picture study, composer study, arts and crafts instruction, poetry , and piano/guitar for a bit more variety. Since my son takes guitar lessons too I think this could help with his progress musically too.
So again, to loop your homeschool take anything you would typically schedule on a certain day of the week (from nature studies, to science, to grammar and geography) and put them into a loop instead. Less stress; we don’t forget about that math work; mapping the states gets done as do all those other little things.
Loop the Housework:
I do not like to clean (who does right?) Since thats the case and since I have read and heard looping can be done for anything that needs to be done regularly, I want to give this a try for myself.
For me, making my bed, tidying the kitchen (approximately 3,000 times), wiping down the guest bathroom, doing laundry, and preparing meals are all done daily. I mop the kitchen floor on Saturday evening (for some reason having a sticky floor puts a damper on my Sunday mood, so that one stays where it is.) Those do not go on my loop.
I plan to put these tasks on my loop:
Clean the bathroom
Dust & vacuum
Clean a bathroom
Honestly, most of the time my kids do the vacuuming and mopping. I encourage my oldest to help clean the bathroom and they are required to tidy their room twice a week, at least.
Its so important to me to have a clean and orderly house, yet with four children, one being a brand new sweet, snuggly, nursing baby, I need to manage my time. In this season everything doesn’t have to be spic and span but it must at least be clean-enough to be tolerable for our current crazy season of life.I recently had the idea to start looping meal plans. I don’t know what that would look like, exactly, so if you want to help me brainstorm in the comments, we could have some fun there.