Truly, one of the most excellent things about homeschooling is the flexibility that it gives to a family. You do not have to be stuck in a classroom all day, or you can be. You don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, or you can. It is completely up to you.
One of the hardest things from which I had to pull myself away was the idea that school could only happen from 8 AM until 3 PM and had to last for that entire stretch of time. I tried my hardest to work this out but it never seemed to fit. Schooling for that long was frustrating for me and the children. Plus, it just seemed like the lessons were much too long for the children’s attention span.
Why do public schools need that amount of time each day? First off, they have a room full of children to teach while we only have a fraction of that. Communication is easier and quicker when you only have to make sure a few understand. Then, we don’t have to line up, do fire drills, stand in line at the cafeteria, wait for everyone to go to the bathroom, march down long halls to get where we need to go and so much more. I am not saying that they waste time in public school but that the more children you have, the more time school takes.
The amount of time you spend in school each day will also depend on the grades and the needs of your children. As a part of Lira’s Autism, she can get stuck in a rut very easily and spend half an hour on one subject. Franc, on the other hand, is zooming through his work at lightning fast speeds and finished in 30 minutes. Once they get into upper grades, I know the subjects will be harder and will take more time.
I wish I could give you a schedule and say, “This is it! This is the schedule that you need. It is guaranteed to work for you!” That will not happen. You will not find that here. I cannot even tell you what my schedule is because we are in such flux right now that it varies a little bit each day. (During marching season, Bill is working 60 to 70 hours a week.) I can tell you what I aim for:
I want to wake up sometime between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM. That doesn’t always happen if I had a rough night with a gassy baby. I read my Bible, pray, do a little business (check email, social media accounts and blog for a bit), start a load of laundry, might exercise (if the baby is willing), take a shower and get dressed.
The “three-fourths” begin to trickle into the living area between 6:30 and 7:00 AM. I might let them watch a little PBS Kids or they can play quietly since others are sleeping.
Breakfast is served no later than 7:30 AM. During the week, breakfast is nothing special. Perhaps cereal or toaster waffles with fruit. During breakfast, we read our Bible devotional together.
8:00 AM The children do their morning chores: get dressed and straighten their rooms. When they are finished, they can play until I am ready to start school at 9 AM. In the mean time, I am nursing the baby and putting her down for a morning nap, doing the dishes, starting another round of laundry, or straightening the living room.
9:00 AM We begin school with our Social Studies or Science lesson. Then, the children do their workboxes at their own pace. I am always available, might be working at the computer or changing out the laundry, but I am more likely to be in the floor playing with Ruble or Ariary. I take turns reading aloud with the children and working with them on their memory verses. At 10:30 AM, I give them a snack. The boys head outside because, typically, they are finished and Lira remains to finish her work. (Sending the boys off to play gives her extra incentive to finish.)
12:00 PM Lunch is served. I check my email and social media accounts while I feed the baby.
After lunch the children can play for a little while. I clean up the kitchen and pick up anything left around our school area. I also fill the workboxes for the next day.
1:00 PM Everyone has “Feet Off the Floor” time. Ruble and Ariary nap. Lira and Franc read books or watch a quiet movie. I blog or
fall asleep trying to watch a movie with the kids.
About 3:00 PM We have snack time. The children will play until Bill gets home at about 3:30 PM (on a good night.) He spends a little time with them and/or gives Lira her music lesson while I prepare dinner and finish up any remaining business with my blogs.
5:30 PM The dinner bell rings. (Not literally. Lord knows we have enough noise around here!) After dinner, the children can play until Bill is ready to do baths. While he oversees the washing of the children, I am busy with the washing of the dishes. I also sweep the floor and mop if needed. The light gets turned out and the gate is shut. The kitchen is closed.
7:30 PM The children gather with us for family “Sing & Pray” time. At 8:00 PM, after the children are tucked snuggly into bed
and threatened within an inch of their lives if they get up, Bill and I have some time alone together.
About 10:30 PM Bill gives Ariary a bottle and I get ready for bed. If Ariary is easy to put back to bed, we pray together as a couple and then split to our separate sides of the mattress no later than 11 PM. On nights when Ariary is resistant to sleep, Bill stays up longer with her since I get the 3:30 AM waking. (Please God… let our baby sleep through the night soon!)
By the way, on Fridays we are done with school much earlier since it is just a day for tests. Then, we run any errands that I have not been able to run by myself at some point during the week. I also schedule any appointments for Fridays.
As I said, this is what I WANT to happen, but in reality, it might look very different. The key is to not get stressed out. Roll with it. So what if you go to bed with dishes in the sink? They are not going anywhere. (Believe me… I’ve waited long enough to know.)
How do you plan your day?
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