Thursday, December 8, 2011

We're all thriving on our new schedule!!

I always hesitate to write about our new schedules, because as soon as I do, something changes and it's back to the drawing board.  This new schedule is very rigorous in the morning and more lax in the afternoon, allowing the kids to practice music daily and me to nap.  Yes, I said nap.  I've been staying up late and getting up early and can't make it on 5 or 6 hrs a night without a nap!  I'm also spending a LOT more time in the kitchen these days.  I can't believe I've actually given my children hot breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all week.  No sandwhiches or cereal AT ALL.  That's a change for us and it's keeping me busy!

Here are the benefits of our minute by minute schedule (as opposed to a check-list or flexible schedule):

-My easily distracted son is staying on task and doing great!  He has so much to accomplish in a given day that it can be a bit overwhelming, but rather than start dropping subjects, I wanted to try organizing his time for him.  I only allow him 55 minutes for math (seems like it used to take him an hour and a half) and 45 minutes for reading.  He gets 50 minutes for science.  If he isn't finished with the subjects when his time is up, he moves on.  In the afternoon, he has an hour or so to finish up any remaining work.  This has really revolutionized his homeschooling.  He's such a great, independent kid, but needed a little help with time management.  I'm so encouraged by this positive change.

I finally know what I'm doing and when!  Reading aloud to two kids at the same time has always been a bit of a challenge to coordinate.  Now I have their schedules in-sync and we all know what time read-aloud is each day.  I've also been struggling to fit in read aloud time for two cores this year, up from just one the last two years.  I now have two back to back read-aloud sessions scheduled while Calvin takes his morning nap. 

I have 45 minutes schedule for making lunch so I actually have time to make a hot lunch daily.  Always before we would read or work right up til lunch then have to race around and figure out what could be ready quick.

Monk and Twinkle Toes are not wasting as much time waiting around for each other now.  They share the same readers, the same computer for Rosetta Stone, they share Eastern Hemisphere Explorer notes, etc.  It was only a few minutes here and a few minutes there, but it adds up.  Now it's clear to everyone who's turn is when for each of these things.

Even my 8 yr old has become so much more independent.  She knows what she's supposed to be doing each moment of the day until she's finished.  The schedule has really helped her to feel more in charge of her day.

Here's a look at our schedule:

6:05-        Mommy gets up and makes breakfast. (I'm keeping those 5 minutes, thank you very much!)
6:30-7:00 Kids make beds, get dressed, eat breakfast
7:00-7:30 Catechism and character sketches with family
7:30-7:55 The kids do their daily Bible reading and Scripture memory work
8:00-8:55 Math for Monk, Reading for Twinkle Toes (they read the same books)
9:00-9:45 Reading for Monk (Math for Twinkle Toes, but her times are a little different.) And this is when I read-aloud to Measle Bug each morning while Calvin naps, peacefully.  Ha ha, no it's not usually that serene, but it is working.
9:50-10:20 Read aloud with Monk and Twinkle Toes
10:25-11:15 Science for both Monk and Twinkle Toes while Mom makes lunch
11:20-11:55 Lunch
12:00-12:25 Rosetta Stone Mandarin for Monk while Twinkle Toes does art
12:30-12:55 LA for Monk while TT does Greek (this is Measle's turn for Rosetta Stone Mandarin)
1:00-1:25 Greek for Monk while TT does RS Chinese and Measle is done with school now.
1:30-1:55 Computer Science for M while TT does LA

That's it.  They're pretty much finished by 2.  Monk usually has about an hour of school to finish up as homework in the afternoon after music and before swimming.  Measle is usually done by 1 and Twinkle Toes by 2.  And notice I'm finished with school and lunch duties by noon!!

I cannot emphasize enough how much this schedule has helped our family.  I'm not a natural leader.  We all needed this structure and we're all happier for it!  I was seriously considering Switched on Schoolhouse and plugging my girls in next year for the sake of my sanity.  I think it's safe to say, that's off.  We're all enjoying doing school together and I'm wondering why we didn't start the year with this schedule.  (Probably because I would rather get up at 6:30 or 7!)  I didn't write it in, but this schedule also helps me know when I can run to the store, and I scheduled around our daily drop-offs and pick-ups.

Thanks for those of you who gave me advice and emailed me.  You guys are a great encouragement to me!  Thanks also for your prayers.  This schedule truly is an answer to prayer.  God is good!


  1. I am so happy for you! Hooray! I did not want you to go to SOS! :) The read alouds from Sonlight are so good, and I am so glad you found a way to continue with those. I am smiling for you! I am really glad that you have found a system that works for you. One little piece of advice: when you are keeping such a strict schedule, make sure that on your off days, you just go with the flow. I think that helps avoid burnout. If you schedule your off days, and you get up at the crack of dawn on those days too, you will probably give up your strict school day schedule. And I also think it's great that you are napping in the afternoon! That also will encourage to keep up with the rigorous morning.

    Looks like your days are going great! Yay!

  2. We get so much more done when we are on our schedule. We have a fairly rigid schedule in the mornings and then things seem to fall apart after lunch. We have tweaked and tweaked it, to no avail. Never give up! That's my motto! LOL So glad this is working out for you all! Keep it up!



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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.