Monday, February 18, 2013

Creating a Homeschool Schedule


About a month ago, I wrote about how important having a schedule is for me in my homeschool. So that leads to the question,

How do I create my schedule?

First I figure out which subjects I can combine my small people for.

Next I determine how much time I need to give each subject.

Finally I sit down with a blank spreadsheet and start fitting in all in like a jigsaw puzzle. I go ahead and fill in the things we all do together - Bible, history, breakfast, lunch, and read-aloud. Thankfully, other than those subjects, The Boy does most of his schoolwork independently, just coming to see me when he needs assistance. So his is easy to fill in. I make sure that I work with Sassy Pants early in the day so that, when I need her to go play quietly while I work with the other girls, she doesn't NEED my attention as much.

Here's what my final schedule looks like for this year:
Book basket is an independent reading time for the older kids. I check books out from the library and add in others that we own that are about topics that we're studying. It's a perfect time for me to work on kindergarten, especially phonics, uninterrupted with Sassy since the older ones don't need me to help them with anything.

Independent work for The Boy:
At the beginning of every week, I print out his weekly assignment sheet. Everything except history and science is independent for him. He knows that he can come ask me questions any time he needs, but for the most part, he's pretty independent.

Independent work for the twins and Little Red:
I don't have room to do workboxes, so I've modified it into work folders. They each have their own color folders that are numbered.

Inside each folder, I put either an index card with their assignment written on it or a worksheet. Independent work includes:
  • daily devotion time
  • Spanish
  • handwriting
  • spelling
  • assigned independent reading (different from book basket time where they can choose what they read)
  • math facts practice
  • grammar review worksheets
  • journal writing 
  • vocabulary

I also like to give them some "fun" things intermixed with their academic.
  • 30 minutes of Wii or computer time
  • Practice soccer skills (for Soccer Girl) or ballet (for Little Red and Ballerina) for 30 minutes
  • Practice typing for 15 minutes (We have a cute typing tutor computer game)
  • Take Buddy (the dog) outside to play for 15 minutes
  • Do an activity with Sassy (which also helps to keep her entertained and not grow bored playing quietly all day)
They just go through the folders in order until either they complete them all or we reach the end of the school day (2:30pm). Anything not done will just be one of their first few folders the next day.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for joining my Blog Hop last week on Made in a Day! I am your newest fan!
    Kim

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  2. Oh, I love schedules!!! This looks great nd inspires me to do something like this for afterschool activities with my boys.

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    1. Thanks! I thrive on schedules, otherwise I have too much wasted time. Would love to see what you come up with for the afterschool activities.

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  3. I have created SO many schedules for my crew it drives me crazy. So I love to see how other people do it. I also have modified the workbox idea into work folders. I LOVE that system.

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  4. I love schedules, it just sticking to them that's the problem. I like how you work in the fun things too.

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  5. Hi
    Im a big proponent of schedules and organization. This is something that has always helped not only kids but me as well. I also like the small digestible chunks of lessons. I always include more time for science - especially if it is something practical, but there is also plenty of flexibility in your schedule (which is cool).

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  6. I am very good at making schedules....
    What do you when life interrupts your schedule? We always struggle to get back to our schedules when LIFE gets in the way :(

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  7. This is great! We sleep in until about 8:30, but otherwise, this looks a lot like our schedule!

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  8. Hi Tamera,

    I have/had a similar schedule when we were on a more structured plan, except, I framed mine so I could write on it and mark out lesson we don't have time for with a dryerase marker! It worked out beautifully! This really helped me to not feel so restricted about our time and relax a little. If I didn't rap up a lesson in the allotted time, I would find a place to make it up later in the day and mark it out!

    (Also, for your folders, Educational Insights has great pocket organizers for them in case you want them to be visible for the little ones.)

    Thank you for sharing how you completed your puzzle...errr... I mean, schedule :)

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Victoria
    www.DenSchool.com

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    1. Victoria,

      I love the idea of framing it so that I can mark on it with a dry erase marker. I'll have to check out Educational Insights for those organizers.

      TaMara

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  9. Sometimes I look at schedules like yours (and for 5 kids no less!) and I feel like a total failure LOL! I have an only child, who tends to want to sleep until noon-ish, and gets so immersed in a single subject that she might do 2-3 worth of my schedule for that subject in one day, or alternately, wake up and not be able to concentrate on the things I put on the schedule. In a effort to not lose the educational time all together, I have to leave the schedule behind and do what she is willing to do that day. Because I don't have to answer to a school (our core curriculum is Time4Learning) I feel like I can be very flexible with our educational days. I guess the fact that a change in schedule for my only has no impact on other students in the family means I can be more flexible. And that really is the beauty of homeschooling, we each do what works, unless it doesn't, then we adapt! Happy homeschooling and beautiful schedule!
    't

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    1. Linda,
      Isn't that one of the greatest things about homeschooling? We can tailor it to our family's needs, as well as each individual child. If I were only schooling one child, I'm sure my day would look much different, and I could be much more flexible. In fact, I was more flexible with my days when the girls were younger, and I was only schooling The Boy.

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  10. Thank you for sharing. I am trying to re-vamp our schedule. I was in tears today because what we've been doing is just not cutting it. I have a 6 year old KinderGirl, a 4 yr. old girl and a 16 mon. VERY Energetic (still nursing) boy. Most days I wind up feeling like a whopping failure by the end of the day. I'm really struggling to strike a balance between structure & fun, and giving quality time to my middle child between officially schooling the older girl and having to tend to the toddler. And I noticed naps/rest time is not on your schedule. Our typical schedule is school all morning, lunch, chores, nap, play, dinner, play, bed. But then a couple days a week we have evening practices and as soon as they get up from nap we have to get ready and go. And I just feel like there's not enough fun in our day. I feel like I'm especially depriving the two younger kiddos of fun opportunities we could be doing, because I'm so focused on schooling and just getting the necessary household duties done every day. A lot of my day is just spent picking up messes the toddler is making. He is not content to just sit and listen to our books or sit and play quietly. Any ideas?? LOL But thank you for posting...I'm bound and determined to figure out something better here!

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    1. Lori,
      I've been where you are. It's a difficult balance with all of them being young. We no longer have nap/rest time because they've all outgrown it. But when we had nap times, that was when I would do reading/math with my oldest because it was quiet. Then I felt like I could do more fun activities with the littles during the morning because I knew I would get school done during nap.

      Also, if your oldest is only in kindergarten, don't sweat school. Make it fun for everyone. I wish I had done that when my oldest was small. Instead, I pushed him and now he's over halfway out the door to college. I would give anything for those "fun" years back where we could spend time studying fun things instead of having to get everything done for his jr. high credits.

      As for the toddler sitting quietly, yeah, good luck with that. LOL But will he play in a playpen? I would often put the little ones in a playpen to play with some toys or have them sit in the high chair and play while I did school with the older ones.

      Hope this helps.

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  11. Wow, you are so organized. I need to sub to this blog so that your organization can flow to me. Haha! Thank you so much for these lovely organization ideas. They are so helpful for homeschoolers teaching more than one child. You really have got it down.

    Thank you so much for linking up this post with us at the #homeschollinkup! I hope you come back this week.

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