Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Homeschooling ... The Schedule

*Click on schedule to enlarge
This is our daily schedule. It helps to block out time and see what needs to be accomplished within the school day ... but I am careful to allow for a great deal of flexibility.

It has been so reassuring to find that so many homeschool families do this thing so many different ways! For goodness sakes, we do it differently within our own family depending on what the circumstances are.

Circumstances that include everything from the weather to an impromptu visit to the zoo.

Also, to be clear, Benjamin has no chores (unless you count stirring the toilet bowl with my toothbrush) and he doesn't actually "get ready". As a matter of fact, I leave his pajamas on him for morning playtime, when the grass is wet, to cut down on laundry ;)

As I break down this schedule, I would like to elaborate on our Circle Time because I love it so! It has proven to be one of the greatest blessings of our day. Kendra and her willingness to share in this area (as well as countless others) has been so influential in helping me create a Circle Time that is a precious non-negotiable in our day.

We gather together and Hannah or Emma leads us in song (either piano or guitar). We sing two or three favorites and then begin our prayer time. We used the dry erase board last year with pictures and updates but we have started using an index card system that allows for space and the ability to follow up on our petitions and praises.

We used Leading Little Ones to God last year as our devotional and although the title would seem as though this book is for just "little ones", it is truly a wonderful & timeless book that I would recommend for all families ... homeschooling or not ;)

As we finish that up, we will start with a book that Kim as recommended called Big Truths for Young Hearts. We follow up this portion of bible study with the Draw to Learn series from the Notgrass Company.

Here is a sample from the book we are using this year, Draw to Learn - The Letters of Paul:

click to enlarge
We do our work on separate paper so that everyone can use the same book and then file this in their HUGE three-ring binders.

Since I am lumping a very broad view of our school day into one post, I will go ahead and tell you that our kids put all their work into one big binder (per kid) with separate tabs. As we will fill those up throughout the year, I decide what is worth keeping and toss the nonessential stuff. The goal is, at the end of the year, to have a portfolio of sorts where each child has a complete year of work in one place.

I have bookshelves where I try to keep things semi-organized and then each child has a metal hanging basket with their notebooks and separate curriculum items that are solely theirs.

Click to enlarge
We listen to the audio from Mystery of History and then go over the discussion questions. On certain days we will complete a project or the girls will do a writing assignment that goes with the lesson. On Fridays there is a geography portion of the lesson and we will complete that together as well.

The girls are often done much earlier than the schedule shows ... it completely depends on the workload and how efficient they are.

I know that veteran homeschoolers seldom need to follow a written schedule but as we have tried to improve our methods these last few years, I have found that we accomplish more and have a more organized day if we at least have a set routine.

That's a peek at our day!

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Kim said...

Wonderful organization! You are a great mom, Kim. I function much better with a schedule, too...I at least feel like I am getting a lot done. I hope you all enjoy the book by Bruce Ware. It is truly excellent. You can shorten parts of it for Samuel, if needed.

Have a great year!

lori said...

thanks kim...this was really helpful!!!