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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Our Homeschool Schedule 2013-2014

Our Homeschool Schedule 2013-2014 (The Unlikely Homeschool)


I just wrote the very last lesson plan in in my school-year planner and I've re-organized my homeschool cupboards.  With only one more day until the 2013-2014 school year begins, I think it's probably time to look over our daily schedule and make some final adjustments. (This post contains affiliate links.)

The only thing is...WE DON'T HAVE A SCHEDULE!  and we probably never will.

Having a rigid, unbending schedule would not afford me the flexibility necessary to teach multiple grade levels AND care for a toddler.  Nor would it allow my children the luxury of exploring an educational "rabbit trail" from time-to-time.


All that being said, our days do have a natural flow to them. 

Here's a short video all about that.

 

But as I know most homeschool moms love to compare notes, I've put together a short sample of what a typical day might look like for us.  As I mentioned in the video, I rotate a TRIO of activities throughout our school hours.  This year, because I have added and subtracted a few elements to our curriculum, our TRIO will look a little different than last year's.  It will consist of the following three elements:

  • A group subject- a subject that we will do all together 
  • A CORE subject- a subject that is grade level specific and often requires one-on-one time with me
  • An independent subject- a subject that might require a few seconds of explanation from me, but one that is mostly done without my input or teaching

I will begin each TRIO with a group subject, since it's much easier to START together than try to END together.  Then, the core and independent subjects will be tackled.  While I am teaching a core subject to one particular child, the other children will be doing an independent subject.  Eventually, I will rotate to each of them in order to teach a grade-specific lesson to everyone.

Play breaks are earned at the end of each TRIO.  These breaks are great intrinsic motivators for the children to complete the assigned work in a timely manner.  The quicker the work is completed, the more time the child has to play until the next TRIO starts.  No nagging required!


Here's a peek of what a typical day will hopefully look like.  (While I never assign actual time frames to our schedule, I've done so here for the sake of the curious)...


  • 7:30-9:30  Good Morning Board (I do my own version of the "board", spend a lot of quality time with the baby, and then schedule social media posts for this little blog, while the older children complete their "board" tasks.)
  • 9:30-9:50  Group subject  (Sing Bible/Praise songs together, Manners Made Easy for FamiliesEnglish From the Roots Up, and the You Can Change the World book)
  • 9:50-11:00  Core subject AND Independent subject rotated (Language/Reading and handwriting)
  • 11:00-11:15  Snack time
  • 11:15-11:30  Play Break
  • 11:30-12:00  Group subject (History on Mondays and Wednesdays, Science on Tuesday and Thursdays)
  • 12:00-12:30  Independent subject while I make lunch (Rosetta Stone, Typing, Independent project, logic...depending upon the day) You've probably figured out that THIS trio is really a DUO since there isn't a CORE subject involved.  Don't tell the scheduling police.
  • 12:30-1:30  Lunch time while the Hubs is home
  • 1:30-2:00  Afternoon chores and piano practice (After I do my share of lunch-time clean up, I usually use this time to return phone calls and answer emails.  As soon as their chores are completed, the children may begin play time...INTRINSIC MOTIVATION!!)
  • 2:00-2:30  Free time (I read a few board books to the baby and then put him to bed for a nap while the other children play.)
  • 2:30-3:00  Story Time (I read two picture books and one chapter of our current Read Aloud book.)
  • 3:00-3:30  Group subject (art, creative writing, Phy. Ed...depending upon the day) I am not always involved with this group subject.  I still call it a GROUP subject since the children ALL do it together, however.
  • 3:30-3:45  Snack time
  • 3:45-4:00  Play time
  • 4:00-5:00 Core subject and Independent subject rotated (Math and whatever else hasn't been completed for the day)

And that completes our NON-Scheduled homeschool day!!

Someday, I'll give you a peek into "the rest of the story"...what happens AFTER 5:00.  In the meantime, head on over to the NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop to see the schedules of other homeschooling families.  


16 comments:

  1. This is wonderful! The more research I do trying to figure out how and what kind of scheduling works for me, I always seem to find the most "ah ha" moments from your videos. Thank you for all the work you do in helping us newbies!

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    1. Emily, thank you for such kind words. I'm so glad the videos have been helpful.

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  2. I'm fairly certain I just fell in homeschool-mom-awe of you. I agree with Emily-- this was definitely an a-ha moment for me!

    I'm only two weeks into our homeschool year and, while my three young kiddos are so much more open and cooperative about their education than I expected, I've felt like our days aren't going as smoothly as they maybe could. I start out feeling very overwhelmed, and this video made me see why; our two heaviest, most teacher-involved subjects are first thing. Your Trios idea is brilliant, and I think it could work especially well for our family. So thank you, thank you, thank you for being a wonderful resource and inspiration!

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    1. Wonderful! I hope the TRIO is as big of a success at your house as it is here.

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  3. Great looking schedule :) I tried to share a similar concept on my blog, but it didn't come across very well...lol. I completely agree that while we aren't super strict with our schedule, our days have a natural flow to them. And, I do well with a to-do list of sorts to guide our day (the things that we need to get done), to keep us on track :)

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  4. What is a CORE Subject? Is that related to 'Common Core' curricula?

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    1. Nope. Not at all. I explain about my definition of CORE in the video. Basically, I mean a subject that is of top priority to you. A subject that if nothing else gets done in the day THAT subject should at least be attempted. Everyone's CORE will be different based on their reasons to homeschool, state requirements, the abilities of their children, etc. Our core subjects are Language and Math because I personally feel that those are MUST DO subjects.

      My definition of CORE has nothing whatsoever to do with the common core standards/curricula. It is just a term I use to give priority to the foundation of our learning.

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    2. Those are my must-do subjects as well :)

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  5. Hi Jamie!
    Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into blogging. I love it! My question is... if all of your children hit their core subjects at the same time after your group subject, how do manage giving them all one-on-one attention in the same block of time?

    Thanks!
    Catherine :)

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    1. I also meant to ask if you still use your task card system? I'm having trouble understanding how you mesh that system with the rotating trio. Thanks again!! :)

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    2. Catherine, They don't hit their core subjects at the same time. If one is doing a core subject with me, the others are doing an independent subject. If they get done with their independent subject before I am ready to do their core with them, they get the luxury of having a short break. When I'm done with one, I start with another...even if it means I have to interrupt their independent subject. They can always come back to it after their core.

      Yes, I still use the Task Cards...although starting next year, my middle schooler will use an assignment notebook and learn to pace her own day.

      The placement of the cards is a guide to how the day should go. But, sometimes I have to say, "Skip that, we'll get back to that task card. Let's move on to the next card." In other words, sometimes the cards get done out of order, but we can easily see what still needs to be accomplished...or what we need to come back and complete.

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    3. Thanks so much for that explanation! I love knowing how other Moms organize their day. This year I'll be teaching 3rd, 1st, and K, with a 16 month old too so I definitely need a good system in place. :)

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  6. Can you share how you incorporate your note booking and timelines in your schedule? Since they hit on many areas, I was just curious. I'll be homeschooling my 4th and 1st graders for the first time this fall, and will have a 1-1/2 yr old all over :-) Thanks for sharing your balance of schedule and flexibility!

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    1. I don't consider Notebooking and timelines separate elements of the day. They are pieces of certain subjects. So, when we are doing science and need to notebook, I just incorporate notebooking time as one of the TO DOs during our group learning of science.

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  7. Ok, can I just say that YOU ARE FANTASTIC!! And God is so good to have led me to your blog. There are many homeschooling blogs that I have gleaned good things from (or,"from which I have gleaned good things"?) :/ But your blog hits the nail so exactly on the head for me on almost every topic that you tackle. I have found so many answers here. Thank you!

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