Yesterday was the first day of family boot-camp:September. Our lifestyle is very relaxed. We like it that way. But there’s a difference between relaxed and plain lazy. Sometimes, especially after a major event, we need some down time. But invariably there is a time to get up and going again, lest we fall into being plain lazy.

drill sergeant mum

During the lead up to the wedding and wedding week, Jays (16yods)  lessons ambled along as he is enrolled with a DE school however Cee’s (14yods) daily work time depends more upon me. In that I mean that I need to see that he tends to his lessons. If I drop the ball in this area, then he tends to lose motivation. If I don’t inspect his work regularly then he is at the stage where he loses interest and focus.

Before the wedding we took some time off. We took another week off after the wedding as John was home and we really needed the down time. We never really got back into it all. Hasn’t helped that John has been home from work a lot with a bad back. That completely throws any and all routine out of whack.

It’s time to get going again. I needed to put my thoughts onto paper before attempting to commit them to action. I have never found it beneficial to over schedule our day. I prefer to leave room in order to be flexible- see what the day brings!

Blocks of Time Boot Camp style

We usually work well with Blocks of Time and Family Boot-camp is arranged similarly. The main difference is that I become a drill mama, enforcing adherence to the schedule. I feel like it sucks all the fun and joy from the day… but it is Boot-camp! We need it. It’s that kick in the pants we need to get up and going again.

So, I put a few times on paper, printed it out and gave a copy to each of the boys and one goes on the fridge. I explain to the boys the purpose of Family Boot-camp, taking full responsibility for us getting into the mess we’re in. I told them that just because we are free-range homeschoolers doesn’t mean that we don’t need to learn valuable life skills like time management. (I explained this after John quickly pointed out that we are always learning. Ha, trying to beat me at my own game)

So after explaining the purpose of Family Boot-camp, I quickly went over the practical outworking of it. I didn’t labour over it to much as it gives too much room for disagreement and disgruntlement. It’s better to just do it rather than talk about it.

We do this style of Boot-camp at the beginning of each term, or after a holiday period… whenever we need to. But we don’t overdo it, otherwise it becomes burdensome and we lose the speciality of what makes up our family.

The basics of Family Boot-camp in our home are:

  • Early to bed, early to rise.
  • Set times of study and chores.
  • Set time for computer usage.
  • Learning to manage our time wisely.
  • Learning to manage our resources wisely.

Here’s what the daily schedule looks like, although be aware that John follows his own schedule due to his phone/computer lessons being at different times.

Time Breakdown

7.30am – 9.30am

9.30am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1pm

1pm – 3pm

3pm – 4.30pm

4.30pm onwards

Breakfast / Chores / Hygiene

Study period

Lunch / Free time

Study period

Productive free time

Chores / Free time

Family Boot-camp goes from Monday through to Friday. Any work/chores that have not been completed by Friday will be tended to on Saturday or consequences will apply. (That usually gets things tended to promptly)

The hardest aspect of Family Boot-camp is me. I have to be on my game. The success of boot-camp depends upon what I ‘inspect, rather than expect’. No point in setting these things in place and then slacking off and not following through with it. I have such mixed feelings about boot-camp. On one hand I despise how drill sergeant like I become yet on the other hand I really like the results of boot-camp living.

Book camp will look different in each family but I find that having a clear purpose and schedule that suits our lifestyle and goals are the important factors.

How about you? Do you have a boot camp or kick-in-the-pants time? Will you share with me about it?