Monday, January 5, 2009

Our Homeschool Schedule 2009

So last month, we didn't do a lot of school work. I took some time during the tough weeks of this pregnancy to rest as this baby continued to grow (now 15 weeks and feeling better). The kids enjoyed a break during the month as we participated in holiday festivities.

Learning is always going on, but it wasn't following any sort of curriculum or guide. It was a fun month, but I was ready for a routine again.

Our former schedule just wasn't exact enough and needed some tweaking. Inspired by Jolanthe's schedule, I decided to attack mine and at least get a start. I knew I'd have to plot out 4 versions because we have 4 different types of days.

Monday and Friday are the same. We are home without any outside activities to participate in, although we often run an errand or have a playdate. I decided we would try to commit our Mondays and Fridays to being at home.

The schedule looks like this, but with colorful titles and headings (just like Jolanthe's). I have no clue why the file looks this way: (The columns go in age order with D (23 months) being the first column, then T (age 4), then K (age 6), then Mommy)

Some explanations
In the past we only accomplished the AM board and FIAR in the morning. I wanted to have handwriting done in the morning too.

We built a home gymnasium in the basement for Christmas. (basically some rings from IKEA in the ceiling, a trampoline, tunnel, roll up balance beam, and a gymnastics mat) The kids love it and it is a great way to burn off some winter energy! Our first "break" is free time in the gym, which they want everyday.

Games/Reading was something I took from Jolanthe's schedule. I don't know what it means in her house, but in my house it means that mommy sits and plays games or reads with the girls. It always happens when D is in bed. It gives me a block of focused time with them.

One of my goals was allowing my kids plenty of free/imaginative time, as my oldest is only in kindergarten. I also wanted to have focused time to play with them as well, so I was sure to incorporate those goals.

Our bible time in the AM on Monday consists of introducing our new ABC bible verse. We read the devotional and discuss it. We also review former verses. We end in prayer for our day, which includes a prayer for peace in our home. (as that is something God has laid on the forefront of our minds at this time...the specifics of our prayer will change with time) On Friday we spend some time on an aspect of studying our hymn for the month.

Devotion time in the afternoon consists of 15 minutes of personal time with God. The girls are on their blankets with any bibles or bible stories they want to gather. We begin with prayer for our time, then K (age 6) can read her bible while T (age 4) looks at pictures. I sit in the same room with my bible and journal. After 15 minutes, we come together to share something God taught us during our time (or a story we liked looking at).

Finally, I wanted a well laid out schedule, praying it will help to end some of the complaining, whining, and boredom. We have been dealing with some of that and I think some of it was due to the lack of a good routine.

The results after only ONE day: (which isn't a great measure, so I'll evaluate in a month)
This schedule really made the day go fast! I have a hard time staying at home (believe it or not), but today didn't seem bad at all. We had very clear guidelines and the schedule helped keep us on task.

There is a lot of give room in this routine. Most activities did not take the amount of time allotted. My kids don't need a half hour to eat. Our FIAR activity only took about 20 minutes. Our morning board did take longer then 15 minutes today, so it all evened out.

I liked knowing there was so much give room so we can run an errand or deal with the little things that come up on days that don't run as smoothly!

Complaining was non-existent this AM!!!!! Now, I am not crazy. I realize that the complaining isn't gone forever just because of this schedule, but it definitely helped without a doubt! My daughter, K (age 6), really got into this schedule. She watched as I developed it yesterday and we talked about it. Today she continually looked at our schedule to see what we would do next and began to do it without the protest.

By the time their afternoon quiet play time rolled around, they were so ready to just relax and play together. It gave me some much needed time to work out some insurance things since our new year kicked off with new insurance AND to type this post!

One day chores for the kids will be added. I plan to have them take over the toilets and sinks in the bathrooms as well as empty the small trashcans throughout the house. That will be our kick off for chores sometime in March!

I am thrilled there was as much free time as there was! I was worried about how we were going to fit in first grade work next year, which adds in grammar, spelling, and more in depth studies in general. But after walking through this I am assured that there is PLENTY of time!

So it works for now. Below, I have posted Tuesday and Wednesday to show our routine on days we have bible class and co-op. Most homeschooling moms are like myself...the more schedules to grab ideas from, the better! I am always on the hunt!


Classical Conversations said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start in 2009!

You may have heard the buzz already, but since you're a regular at my blog, I wanted to give you a personal heads up about my exciting news this week.

I'm going to be interviewing Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on my NEW talk radio show Wednesday, January 7, at 1pm.

The direct link for the show is:

I'd love for you to call in to talk to the governor - just call after you hear his voice so the lines aren't tied up for his call.

In the meantime, would you pass on the message to anyone you think would be interested?

Thanks! Hope to hear from you Wednesday!


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

That's awesome, Mary! All your hard work paid off. I'm excited to hear that K enjoyed the schedule. That's one of my motivations for fixing mine... my A loves to point to the time on the schedule and ask what we should be doing. Which all to often is NOT what we're doing! LOL (He can read the time numbers, but not the words in the description.)

Way to go getting this worked out and into use! I love your document - I wish I was more computer savvy and could get mine to cooperate that way. I still use the MOTH post-it system and a pen! ('course I'm an old lady now...)

Mike Saxton said...

whew that's alot of planning. you rock!