Tuesday, September 18, 2012

figuring out a schedule

I have been trying to figure out a good schedule over the past few weeks for homeschooling.  Our homeschooling "day" does not take a lot of time to complete.  We typically will get a good 2-3 hours of dedicated time for homeschooling before everyone loses interest and wants a snack.  Our homeschool curriculum only takes an hour or so to complete, but we usually end up reading more, or doing more math pages, or practicing writing letters for a prolonged amount of time.

My kids wake up early, and they both seem to need 3 breakfasts, so our breakfast time is typically a long one.  This is what we have come up with for a rhythm.

4am - I am awake and immediately looking for a pot of coffee, I realize that the coffee fairy has not magically dropped off a fancy starbucks coffee, so I put on the tea kettle to heat water for my french press.  This is my time to be on the internet, to sit in the quiet and prepare for my day.  It is ridiculously early, but I always feel better when I get up at this time.

6am - Everyone is awake and looking for food.  I am still drinking coffee and hoping that I can watch a little bit of Squawk Box before I really need to feed them.  Then we make oatmeal, and when oatmeal is gone I make eggs, and give them some fruit.  My kids eat a huge breakfast and the meals tend to get smaller throughout the day - perhaps because they prefer what I make for breakfast and not what I make for dinner!

8am - Breakfast is done and the kids play while I get a load of dishes in the dishwasher and get bread mixed up so it is rising or beans going on the stove.

9am - School starts:

Circle time - circle time for us consists of saying a thank you prayer, doing some stretches/yoga poses, singing a few songs, looking outside to say what the weather is like, and saying another prayer for our day

Bible time - Read our Bible story and then sing our Bible verse for the week from the Sing the Word From A to Z.

History - read what we are supposed to for the day for history, do our timeline.  Our main history book is the Usborne internet-linked Children's Encyclopedia, which is a really great book and has links to more information to explore online.  My kids love doing that - anything where they can play on my computer is a big hit with them :-)

Read-aloud - There is typically one chapter book that we are reading, and then a few short stories and poetry to read.  We almost always read more chapters than are scheduled.

Math - I let Emma do as many pages as she wants in our math book each day.  Sometimes if she is struggling and wants to move forward, I will try and come up with some similar exercises for her to work on and put the book away.

Science - Our main science text is also the Usborne internet-linked Children's Encyclopedia.  We haven't really started doing any of the science experiments yet, we are still outside quite a bit, and we tend to find bugs in the garden and then look them up online to learn more about them.

Language Arts - I am still up in the air about language arts.  Emma is struggling a bit on the writing end of things, and that is fine with me because she is 4 :-)  She is really good on identifying the letters, knowing which pictures start with the letter we are working on, sounds etc.  But, the writing isn't quite at this level, so instead we make copies of the letters over and over again, and then decorate the pages during "art"

Depending on how everyone has been doing during the listening portion of "school" dictates when we finish up.  Sometimes Jack is really great and will sit and listen through all the stories.  Sometimes he will talk through all the stories asking questions constantly, which means it takes a little longer.  I tend to give him a book to look through while I am reading, sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.  I have tried giving him other things to work on while I am working with Emma, but he mainly wants to do what Emma is doing and gets upset if it is something different.  After we finish all of Emma's school stuff, we read a few stories from the P3/4 curriculum that I bought for Emma a couple years ago.  Then it is free play while I fix lunch.

After lunch there is more free play and then I put on a show for Emma around 1 while I take Jack upstairs for rest time.  Once Jack is asleep I then bring Emma up for rest time as well.  Most of the time she will talk for about 15 minutes with me, and then I will start reading my "boring" books to her (Jane Austen, CS Lewis, whatever homesteading book I am currently reading) and she falls asleep.  They wake up between 3:30 and 4 and then get to have craft time while I fix dinner.  I will set up their little craft table in the kitchen and give them some water color paints, and they will entertain themselves quite well.  Unfortunately, a lot of that entertainment is painting each other, but I have learned to deal with that because it keeps them entertained for over an hour :-)  Matt gets home around 5:30 and that is when I try to have dinner ready.  Sometimes he is late and we eat before he gets home.

Overall this schedule has been working really well.  What I like about the school stuff is that each subject doesn't take a huge amount of time, and then we move onto something different, so the constant change is interesting for the kids, and it keeps them engaged.  Jack will sit with us while I read, and that is nice because I am sure he is absorbing something, if nothing more than good literature, and he ALWAYS has to have whatever worksheet Emma is doing.  Now I make sure to make copies the weekend before of all the different sheets we will use.  Then when she is doing the worksheet, I give Jack his box of crayons and markers and he works on the worksheet as well :-)

I am still trying to figure out how I am going to be able to do school with two when Jack gets a little older, not sure how that is going work out, but I am hopeful!  And I still have a couple years to think about it!

How do you schedule your day?  I would love to hear about schooling multiple children as well.

I am linking up at the Hip Homeschool Hop.


  1. Your schedule looks fantastic! Glad to hear it's working out so well :) oh, and if you find that Starbucks coffee fairy, let her know she missed my house as well!!!!

  2. Great schedule...I guess it does take time to get into the "groove". Beautiful blog.

  3. You sound like you've got a great system going!


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