Monday, January 11, 2010

Our new and improved homeschool schedule, no really

Have you ever been in unchartered territory and felt like you were groping around in the dark trying to find your way? Homeschooling is like that when you first begin.

I have been so blessed by you experienced homeschool moms. You've inspired me and encouraged me and shown me the way. I knew we needed a change, but sometimes wasn't even sure what change we needed.
Making a change in schedule, especially when starting earlier in the morning, isn't easy.
It takes work and determination.

But it looks like this schedule might just be the one that sticks.

I’ve revised our schedule yet again due to some ongoing frustration with finishing up later than 3pm as a result of different activities. The Charlotte Mason method encourages school work in the morning and activities in the afternoon. That sounds ideal, but we didn’t have enough time in the morning. At least not enough baby-free time. So here’s what we’ve been doing lately.

7 am School starts for my 10, 8, and 6 year olds. We quietly congregate in the living room while the 3 yr old and 15 month old are still sleeping. This is when we have our Bible time which includes Sonlight’s Bible reading plan and The Bible Field Guide, Scripture memory and catechism using our TAG books, character training using ATI booklets, and currently we’re also reading a couple of pages of Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. This is my favorite time of the day! My older kids are still sleepy enough that they are quiet and attentive, rather than bouncing off the walls like later in the day. I sit on the ottoman very close to them so I can talk softly and know they are listening. And even though I realize we’ve moved breakfast back an hour, so we haven’t really gained any time, it’s such a great feeling to go into breakfast with an hour of our day already under our belt.

8 am Breakfast- We read an attribute of God each morning (so the littles will have some devotional time) and the older kids work on their Greek while I’m making breakfast. (Our 3 yr old thinks B is called “beta”. Oops, I guess I need to work with him a little this summer!)

After breakfast the 3 big kids get dressed and make their beds and straighten their rooms while I get the younger 2 bathed and dressed.

9 am Individual studies- Math or Reading/LA (In reality they get started closer to 8:45. The two older kids read the same books so while one reads in the morning the other does math, then they switch in the afternoon.)

10 am Read aloud- Sonlight history and literature, Mystery of History, Science. We usually read for an hour and fifteen minutes then the kids have 15 minutes to clean up the living room before lunch. Since this is a long time to sit quietly, especially for my 3 yr old, I’ve started letting the kids work on things while I read. The older ones draw, trace, or color pictures of what we’re studying. Right now it’s knight’s armor for Monk and horses for Twinkle Toes. Measle is on probation because every time I ask her a question she can’t answer it. So she just has to sit and listen. American Boy works puzzles or plays games quietly. And Baby Lu is napping during this time, which is why it can be so productive.

11:30 Lunch

12 pm Individual studies and finish any other assignments

This means we should normally finish up by 1:30 in the afternoon. We also read our Sonlight books for a little while most evenings which keeps us from falling behind.

The key to our schedule being a success is starting early, but not too early. I actually tried starting at 6:30 am for a few days back before Christmas, but I kept having to poke the kids and wake them up every few minutes. I decided it was probably counterproductive!

I love several things about this new schedule. First, I love that the kids can take piano lessons on Thursday afternoons and we don’t have to do school when they get home until 4pm. The same goes for Fridays when I take the 3 older kids ice skating in the early afternoon. Second, I love that it frees up my afternoons for a couple of hours!! I have been missing this time greatly! It gives me a chance during afternoon nap time to read, work on my Bible study questions, blog, or run errands (like today since my husband was home). I really don't understand how 1 hr at 7 can free up 2 hrs in the afternoon, but hey, I'm not going to question the math!)


  1. It seems that as the children grow and our school work load changes we are always having to "adjust" the schedule. But thats okay!

  2. i love adjusting our schedule to make things work better

  3. Not only have I changed my schedule, again, I moved our morning routine from downstairs to upstairs! It seems with the little people changing so fast, I need to change to keep up with them. I hope your new schedule works great for you all. I need to change my schedule a bit more, but we are leaving tomorrow for a quick trip. So, I will tackle that when I get back.

    Glad your bible reading is going well. I wrote a quick post about ours. I also read a night, and am trying to stay just a few chapters ahead. Last night my baby was up with a cold, so I didn't get it done, but at least I am not a whole days reading behind!

  4. Your schedule sounds great! I like your idea of Bible time in the early mornings before the little ones wake up. I really, really need to to do that! Especially before my 3 year son gets up. Once he's up -- well, he's just a tornado. Seriously. Never stops. It's very hard to get anything done when he's awake. And of course he no longer naps....ahhh, gotta love 'em, tho. He's a sweetie. Just a very busy sweetie:)



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.