Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Look at Our Bare Bones Schedule

Today is just too wonderful.  We're definitely enjoying this spring-like weather on a fine winter's day.

The last month was not so wonderful because it brought us the plague.  I burned the bedding and scrubbed the family down.  I kid, not the real plague.  And I didn't burn the bedding...yet.  Appears as though it has left us for good.  However, when you shut down for the plague, life throws up on you.  That's where I found myself this past weekend.  How do you even begin to recover from that?

Our house was not a disaster as far as housekeeping goes.  {Praise God} But we were behind in life.  The most glaring piece of life we were behind in was homeschooling.  Ugh.  I would like for us to be done by the last week of April since this baby is due the first week of May or so.  You can see why taking the majority of three weeks off is slightly devastating--otherwise, I wouldn't care at all.

The best way to start is to...start.  Brett and I had a small amount of time together this past weekend.  We made some goals and I scribbled out a bare bones schedule.  No frills.  We can add frills if we can stick with the bare bones idea.

So far so good.  We're on day 4 without any real deviations, so perhaps this will get us through the school year.

Some recently wanted to know what this schedule looked like, so here it is:
Bare Bones Schedule for a crazy, wonderful homeschooling family of a 9 yr old, 6 yr old, 5 yr old and a 14 month old
This schedule is similar to what we've always done.  I've taken out some expectations and theme days and such.

  • My kids wake up and either come to my room to snuggle and watch the sunrise, or they have a quiet activity they start on.  
  • 7:30  Breakfast.  We have breakfast by the light of an oil lamp.  The kids love it and it seems to be so soothing to our day.  This is also the time that we read Scripture and do a devotional.  Sometimes I have dinner prep that I can do at this time.  We clean up the table and put dishes away.
  • 8:15  Dressed and ready for day.  The boys have a time of play while I get dressed and do a quick wipe down of the bathroom.
  • 8:40  Math for T-Bird.  Reading and phonics for Professor X and Hoot.  Lady Bug is a drifter during this time bouncing from her toys to her cup and to us.
  • 9:10   Reading, language arts for T.  Math for the Professor.  Hoot either does an educational something or a hands on activity.
  • 9:40  Snack.  While the kids snack.  I read out of our chapter book.
  • 10:00  History or Science.  We only do a couple of lessons a week of each.  For the rest of the week, we keep up our notebook, do observations (science) and hands on activities relating to our lessons from the week.  (Lady Bug often takes a nap around this time, but not always)
  • 11:00  Play and help set the table for lunch.  Sometimes this play is a specific activity, but often it's legos or outdoor play. During lunch prep I also try to do any dinner prep that will make my life easier if I didn't do it at breakfast.  Lunch is the time that I've been addressing and practicing a specific manner and etiquette.  Last week's manner was just stinking saying "Hello, So and So."  My kids often just stare at people without even offering a full greeting.  Geez Louise.
  • 12:30  Flashcards, review, fun learning activity
  • 1:00  This time is unstructured, but all these things get accomplished in no particular order:  Art or adventure.  Walk (depending on the weather).  Snack.  Lady Bug takes a nap.  Quick clean on house.  2 loads of laundry. Read with kids  individually.
  • 5:30  Dinner.  This is the only meal that we are quiet.  I know that is contrary to everything out there about family bonding and all that jazz, but I have found that we need quiet.  Dinner has proven to be a wonderful time for that.  We do talk.  Good grief, I'm not a Nazi.  But it's a natural, quiet flow.  This is a good opportunity for Brett to transition from work mode to family mode.  
  • 6:30  Dinner clean up.  Time with Dad and baths begin.
  • 7:30  Bedtime story.  Prayers.  
  • 7:45  Boys in bed.  Brett and I have time together and then time to read for each of us.
  • After this, we get things ready for the next day.  I get the kids' water cups ready for the next day and sharpen pencils (we break way too many, I've started making them buy their own).  

The times for school are just guides.  Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes we are done by 10 just because the kids woke up earlier and were more eager.  Tuesday and Thursday will become our busy days with swim practice coming up.  We took out Latin because it's a frill we can get to later, perhaps a summer lesson?  We are schooling on Saturdays for a while to get caught up.  I didn't really include how we handle Lady Bug.  She's just part of the group.  Perhaps that makes complete sense to another mother of multiple children.

If anything, a schedule has to be flexible.  I've learned to not get my undergarments in a twist whether things go smashingly or life sends the plague.

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