Our Homeschool Schedule???
Nope. That is not an accurate title. We really do not have a schedule in our home. We have more of a routine. Certain things happen in a certain pattern, but if I try to make school happen at a specific time each day, there will be meltdowns. Special thanks to our unique brand of Autism.
After spending the first three years of our homeschool lifestyle beating my head against a wall, I loosened up. Does it really matter if we are doing Spelling at precisely 9:35 AM? No.
So, I set times for particular items but they are really just goals.
Our typical day
Breakfast at 7:30 AM while I read the Bible aloud. Then, the children take care of their morning responsibilities: getting dressed, making the bed, brushing teeth/hair, potty, etc. When the children are ready, they go outside to play.
At about 9 AM, the children begin their work cards. We have a snack at about 10 AM and then finish the work cards and focus on science or history.
As I prepare lunch at 11:30, the children do a ten-minute tidy of our homeschool items: put text and manipulatives away, vacuum, wipe the table. After lunch, they unload the dishwasher. Once the kitchen is clean, the children can have free time until we all get our feet off the floor at 1 PM.
Then, at about 3 PM, the children do their daily chores in a particular zone of the house with parental supervision. My husband comes home around 3:30 PM and has 30 minutes by himself before entertaining the children while I prepare dinner or work on my blog. During dinner, we discuss our day and have Bible study. While I clean the kitchen, the children do a ten-minute tidy in their rooms and get baths. They have a little free time and are in bed no later than 8:30 PM.
See? It’s an achievable goal for a perfect day and most of the time, we get really close to hitting those marks. I honestly do not think we would have been doing this well without Mommy’s Back to School Boot Camp.
Now for some specifics
Morning Responsibilities (also know as the Morning Five) - The children have a sign in their bedrooms and in their bathroom that reminds them of the five things I expect them to do after breakfast. In all honesty, it is more than FIVE responsibilities but they are grouped together in such a way that my children are fooled. Shhhh… don’t tell them otherwise.
And, isn’t it sweet that they hug me for number five? Awww… but I have a plan. If I get a hug, I know who has finished their work and who has not.
Ten-Minute Tidy (after school) – We have a rotation on our chore chart so the children know exactly what to do while I prepare lunch. One of the children will put the toys and books away, another wipes the table, and the last vacuums the living room and under the table.
Dishwasher – The first child finished with lunch gets to choose the part of the dishwasher they will unload. We divide the job into three parts: silverware, upper rack, and lower rack. If the children cannot reach where something goes, then they are to place it on the counter and I walk around putting those items away.
Ariary just jumps in where ever but I do not let her handle anything glass. She seriously tries to help… even though she is only 16 months old.
Daily Chores – I divided our home into zones and we work through one zone each day. Each child was taught how to do each job and Mommy is always an elbow’s reach away during chore times to encourage and correct, if needed. The chores are attached to the chore chart, which I laminated, with velcro dots. On Mondays, I mix up our zones based on what we have going that week, inserting a day for errands or a trip to see grandparents if needed, and I rotate the jobs for each child based on the zone for each day. We all work in the same area at the same time which makes the job go by really quickly and keeps everyone motivated.
On our If-Then Chart, the children decided that certain actions required extra chores. So, if they are required to do extra chores, I place that button on the chore chart for the day they will have to complete those additional tasks. Either Bill or I will choose which chores they will have to do from our list.
Ten-Minute Tidy (after dinner) – The children are required to clean their rooms after dinner. Anything left on the floor at bedtime is placed in toy jail… or might even be donated to needy children.
If you plan to initiate a new routine with your children, I highly recommend that you break it down and introduce things slowly like I did during Mommy’s Back to School Boot Camp. By teaching the children new things a little at a time, no one was overwhelmed and they were even eager to learn.
Free printables for you ~
- Daily Schedule (PDF)
- Good Morning Things to Do (PDF)
- Extra Chores List (PDF)
- Free Printable Chore Chart (PDF)