|Posted by AFarmhouseFull on December 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM|
Continuing my recently (well…okay…NOT so recently) started “homeschooling series”, today’s topic is our daily school schedule. Over the years our schedule has changed quite a bit and I have posted past schedule that we have used in previous blogs. I usually review our schedule every fall (beginning of the school year). I look over what works and determine what changes are needed to better suit our needs for that year. I also tend to look at things in the spring as well because with little kids things change quickly. Also, ever since I have been homeschooling I have been either pregnant or nursing and each requires different adjustments.
We are currently finishing up our 8th week of school and our routine is working out nicely. While it very rarely goes EXACTLY like it is written below, this is our daily plan. Things come up, of course; a baby needs nursed, a boo boo needs kissed, an attitude needs gently corrected, a squabble needs resolved, a tween needs a heart-to-heart…..the list goes on! But that is what life is with 6 kids – the schooling is only a part of it.
Here is what our daily schedule looks like now.
6:00-7:45am –Wake. I usually pry my eyes open between 6 and 6:30 (lets be real here….. occasionally it is 7:00….but then I pay for it later!). Just for the record I am NOT a natural morning person! After I wake up and nurse Ezra, I get ready (dress, makeup, hair, tidy bedroom/bath), have a cup of coffee, and look over the day’s events (meals, appointments, etc.). I would love to say that I have a quiet devotional (like I did before having Ezra), but quite honestly, in this short season of my life (nursing a small infant and getting up in the middle of the night), it isn’t happening in the mornings.
7:45-8:45 – Breakfast. One day (or two, if I am being extra nice and/or lazy!) a week I let the kids have “crap” cereal. I used to never buy it, but after protesting Mike (my husband likes his sugared cereals) in the cereal aisle one day I self-righteously grabbed a box of his “crappy” cereal and compared it to my “most-certainly-more-healthy” cereal that I usually buy and low and behold there was NO difference in the sugar content….. So now the kids get to pick out a
“crappy”“fun” cereal once a week and it is a treat. Other days we serve eggs and toast, yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, whole wheat waffles, bagels and cream cheese, etc.
8:45-9:30 – Chores. After breakfast we all get started on our chores: unloading dishwasher, dusting, trash duties, wiping bathrooms, swapping laundry, etc. I will clean the kitchen at this time, trying to have it looking tidy and neat when done. Then we all make our way upstairs (where the bedrooms are) and do our personal hygiene. The kids brush their teeth, dress, put away their laundry and clean up their rooms. We have a chore pack system so they remember all the steps. I will share that with you in another post. I dress Ezra and Georgia and help Faith where she needs it. I also make the younger ones beds and supervise. I throw in the first load of laundry and then we head back down stairs to a clean kitchen/living room to start the day (SUCH a nice feeling!). If the kids get done unusually early or I have to nurse they have a little free time.
9:30-11:00 – Morning school. The little ones are included in a “morning circle time” that includes prayer, The Pledge of Allegiance, scripture memorization, calendar and some form of poetry reading and/or Psalms. Then the older kids get to work on the things that are more independent (handwriting, spelling, reading, typing, math facts) and I help Michael (my kindergartener) with his handwriting and math and we do a lesson in phonics. The little ones play in the other half of the basement (within eye and earshot) and in some dire situations (where they are not playing very well together or are unusually loud) I put a short educational DVD on for them. Once I finish helping Michael I will do a short phonics lesson with Faith (my pre-Ker) and then I will usually play with/read to Georgia, Faith and Michael and help where needed with the others. After school we do a “3 minute clean up” and head upstairs for free time.
11:00-12:00 – Free Time. After school I swap laundry upstairs and take care of any diapers that need changed. We then have a little free time before lunch which can include playing outside, board games, a walk or just hanging out inside.
12:00-12:30 - Lunch. I will usually read our literature selection at this time. We just finished “A Wrinkle In Time” and are now starting on “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”.
12:30-1:00 – Chores and Outside Time. The kids have 1 small chore to do after lunch. Currently AJ and Michael stack wood in the garage for the woodstove, Maddie loads the dishwasher with lunch dishes, Faith feeds the chickens and Georgia and Ezra just look cute. Afterward they usually play outside for a bit. When it is extremely cold I back the van out of the garage and let them have “open gym” in the garage.
1:00-1:30 – Naps. At this time I take the nappers up and lay them down for their rest time. Our 2 year old and 4 year old currently nap. While I am upstairs (after I lay them down) I fold the laundry and start another load if I am needing to do a little extra. Sometimes I get it all done; other times I will finish it when the kids are doing their nightly chores.
1:30-3:30 – Afternoon School. With the little ones down we dig into our historical fiction book we are working through (current selection: The Broken Blade). Our historical fiction book corresponds with what we are studying in history. After reading a few chapters we start math and grammar. We then finish up with history or science, alternating days.
3:30-4:30 – Media Time. This is the chance the kids get to play Wii, watch PBS, play on the computer, nook or ipod. They sometimes choose to play outside or do other things but it is their 1 hour of screen time if they choose to use it. If they have any school work left over from the day they must complete it before they engage in any media time.
4:30-7:30 – Family time. This time is not scheduled. While I cook the olders have a half an hour of reading time in their rooms without their youngest siblings. The younger ones ususally play or help mommy in the kitchen. We usually eat at about 5:30 – 6pm. After we eat dinner everyone helps clean up.
7:30 – Bedtime Routine. Depending on who needs baths/showers (we alternate: littles one day, olders the next….otherwise there is not enough hot water!), we bathe the little ones and have the kids run through their nightly chores which is basically PJs, teeth, and clean room. They gather in our room when they are done and we do a bible study with them which ends in our nightly family prayer. Right now we are working through the shorter catechisms in a book called Training Hearts, Teaching Minds.
We try to get the littles in bed by 8-8:30 and the olders by 9.
Before I go to bed (I am usually in bed by 11:00-11:30pm) I will tidy the kitchen/living room (I LOVE waking to a clean/organized house…make my day go SO much better!), workout (if I get to….lately I have been SLACKING!) and shower.
That’s what is working right now…..hope I didn’t bore you to death!