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.
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 Families, English 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.