honey 35 high

Sacred Hours

a sneak peek at our new school room

This is our third year of homeschooling and I have tried countless schedules, systems, charts, and routines to keep us on track with school as the days go by.

In the middle of last year, sometime after our extra-long Christmas break but before Spring Fever set in, I came up with a theory as opposed to a schedule. I call it Sacred Hours.

Instead of trying to adhere to a minute-by-minute schedule, or even a routine of how our subjects would flow that day, I simply resolved to sit and do school from 8am until 1pm that day. That’s it.

No laundry, no phone calls, no peeking at email or scribbling a blog post. In fact, I turned my computer off for the day.

The next morning, we awoke a little late and after a mishap with the dog, we didn’t get started on school until closer to nine. No big deal. My Sacred Hours that day would be 9am – 12:30 because we were going to the park. We still managed to finish our day’s assignments.

Not a Schedule, An Attitude

By setting aside time to focus on nothing but school, we get through far more in a day. Sure, there are times when both girls are working independently and I can switch the laundry, but when I set our hours for school and abide by it, we get so much more done in so much less time.

I determine our hours each morning, and my kids don’t even know about it. It is just an awareness I myself have as we go about our day. Until 3:00 today, I am sitting here, in this room with my girls and doing school. Nothing else. The beauty of setting it each day is that I can cater to whatever is going on that particular day. I’m not setting myself up for failure by saying that every day at 7am we will start school and do nothing else until 3:00. As if that would happen.

Not Stuck in the School Room

Please understand I am not saying that I sit and do nothing but school six hours a day, five days a week. Most days, my hours in school are different than my girls’ hours in school. There are some subjects even my seven year old can do independently.

If I need to take a few hours to do chores around the house, then my Sacred Hours in school might only be from 8am to 11am. I am still available to help after 11, of course, but I feel free to begin working on housework at that point and do a little multi-tasking. Again, my kids have no idea of this, they just know I get up around 11 and start cleaning as they’re going through some school work on their own.

Not Just For School

This concept works for just about anything. I’ve cut down on blogging and writing so I can spend more time on school, housework, and the raising of a family. Nowadays, when I do set aside time to write, I set aside time to write… and nothing else. It might only be two hours a week, but it is a focused two hours and completely guilt-free because I know I’ve set the time aside and I’m not eating away at family time.

Could you set some sacred hours yourself?

I’m linking up to Homeschool Hints at Many Little Blessings.

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  1. says

    Love this post! I need to make this work for me as I tend to get distracted, scattered, tempted to peek at email, etc. Everything worth doing is worth doing wholeheartedly. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Hannah´s last blog post ..Sunday Inspiration

  2. says

    So glad I found your blog tonight and YES, I could set some sacred hours myself!
    I do work best also, when I determine that I’m going to be in the school room for a certain period of time. So good to read about it from your perspective.

  3. Jenn says

    Angela, you inspire me! Thank you for taking the time to write this post. I like the idea of set hours and not feeling guilty. This is my first year homeschooling and sometimes I catch myself getting so distracted. Yesterday this happened actually (peeking at e-mail). I want to be all there! Blessings to you and your family.

  4. Mamala says

    Hit it on the head, Ducky.
    It is the lack of guilt that propels us through joyful pursuits.
    God is not the author of confusion or guilt–so this premise of attending to one thing at a time is freeing. And then the old evil one cannot get a toe in our holy door.

      • says

        I used to be homeschooled. My mom tahgut me until the sixth grade (except for a few months that I spent in public schools) by herself while driving a big truck across the country by herself. So homeschooling your kid shouldn’t be that challenging. To the point, she used Alpha Omega. Basically it is a set of workbooks (ten for each subject) and a teacher’s manual with all the answers. Your kid does the work and then you send the books back to be filed. At least that’s how it was the last time that I did them about five years ago.

  5. yo says

    How funny…I didn’t know what i was doing had a name :)

    That’s what I’ve been doing since we started learning back in Jan. Whatever time we get up, eat breakfast and get going, I take notice of the time from that point and go for about 4 hours. It has worked out so well.

    so funto see someone else doing the same thing!

  6. says

    This is what I do, but always felt guilty about not having all those neat charts and schedules that I see all over the blogosphere!!

    Thanks for putting into words what I couldn’t and helping me realize that even if it’s not hanging on the wall with the newest, cutest clipart, it’s still order and accomplishes what it’s suppose to!!

  7. says

    Visiting from the Homeschool Helps meme. Love this idea! After many failures with “schedules” we pretty much have settled into “routines” that work for us. But of course everyday distractions happen no matter what. You have reminded me what is important and that if it’s important I should treat it as such. Thanks!
    Julie´s last blog post ..Homeschool Hints- Usborne Internet-Linked Books

  8. Caleb's mom says

    Thank You for the post. I’m a single parent and I work full time, so for me it seems I don’t have enough hours in the day. I am new to homeschooling so I’m learning how to manage my time.
    This is a big help, I was completely overwhelmed. I love your site and I will definitely revisit. There are so many great resources here. With God’s help I am determined to make this work. Thank you again for allowing God to use you in this amazing way.

  9. says

    I love your blog. Having 2 small children, activities, a husband, a household to run plus working from home myself it can sometimes get overwhelming. I often felt “scatterbrained” and your tips really helped me organise my time better and get those “sacred hours” in with my children and husband and rto just relax again.

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