I hold to our schedule lightly in order to keep myself sane. Well, close to sane as the case may be. I thought I’d try to share with you what our daily schedule sort of looks like….although it really isn’t a schedule. It’s hardly even an order of events. This will just be a little glimpse into what our days look like if we don’t have a field trip or a PE class or a leaky dishwasher or a hang nail.
And now for 2010-2011…
Our schedule has changed from year to year, but one thing has stayed the same: We always read the Bible at breakfast. We LOVE starting our kids’ day like this. We are currently reading a chapter of Matthew together, then reading a section from Why Pray? (Why Pray? is a GREAT read by the way!) Our older boys also read their Bibles on their own each morning before they come downstairs for breakfast.
After breakfast/Bible reading begins a general organized hubbub. If possible, I sit down with Justus and Elias right after breakfast and read History and work through Spelling words. (You can see a list of their books and curriculum here.) Malachi (Kindergarten) heads off to play Legos or super heros or army guys or something else very manly. Asa begins his reading assignments for the day. He works on his own for most of the morning, making his way through his history books, literature and math. Once I’ve finished History and Spelling with Justus and Elias, they do their individual work (handwriting, math, phonics, vocabulary).
IF by chance all the boys are working on their own without trouble at this point of the morning (of course I am available to answer questions at any time), I will start some laundry, wash some dishes, have a conversation with my husband (joy!), cook something, or scrub some unidentified gooey substance from the kitchen floor.
If I can, I try to put a big, nice meal on the table for lunch. Matt often works evenings, so I want to send him off with a healthy meal. I am finding that having good pre-made food in the freezer is a HUGE help for me since I don’t always have time to cook a big meal from start to finish during school time. Pulling something from the freezer and throwing some veggies on the table with it has been a life saver!!
While we’re eating lunch, Matt works with us on memory verses. Have I ever written about how we do “repeat afters”? Why have I not ever written about how we do “repeat afters”? I’ll put that on my list. It’s so simple, yet so effective.
While we’re doing “repeat afters”, I stuff my lunch down. Then, while the boys are still eating (because eating is an art form for them), I will read from our latest science book, then from our latest “read-aloud” book. They generally finish eating while I’m reading, but we all just sit around the table enjoying the books. I LOVE reading during meal times!!!
After lunch, before the boys scatter…we’ll do a quick grammar lesson (Grammar Ace) or art lesson (Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad). After that, I sit with Asa and help him finish his History, Spelling and Science lessons. This has been a really great time with my teenager! While I’m doing this with Asa, Justus and Elias set the timer for 25 minutes and sit down in a quiet room to read. Malachi has gone back to his Legos again.
Somewhere in there, we send Matt off to work (or soccer practice, depending on the day). Then finally, I call Malachi in to do his school work. I don’t do every subject with him every day. I don’t find it necessary. The main thing is that he gets it all done eventually…and he’s getting some one-on-one time with Mama.
Now keep in mind that this order of events is how an “ideal” day looks. I’m actually finding that by staying very laid back about our schedule has helped all of us stay stress-free during the day! Sometimes we’re still finishing up some of our lessons at 8 pm. Sometimes we don’t get everything finished and have to carry our work over to the next day.
I have given up assigning a “time schedule” to our days. I pretty much HATED having a schedule that said, “Science 9:00-9:30; History 9:30-10:00…” We could NEVER stick to a schedule like that (read here if you want to know why) and it always made me a Frantic Freaked-Out Mama. NO ONE wants to do school work with a Frantic Freaked-Out Mama! Not even me.
I think that the main point is to just get everything done (mostly) and to keep the most important things the most important things. I don’t want my kids to remember school days with a Frantic Freaked-Out Mama. I want them to remember “repeat afters” and reading with Mama while they eat lunch and snuggling on the couch to learn about Abraham Lincoln.
We get it all done somehow…so it doesn’t really matter what time the clock says, does it?
Here are some other posts you may be interested in reading about how we used to accomplish “school” when we had littler guys and babies in the house!