If you have been homeschooling for a while, it is very likely that you have heard these questions at one time or another. What do you do all day? When do you clean? When do you have you time to yourself? How long is your school day? What is your daily schedule like?
My favorite is, “How do you keep your sanity?” To be honest, I am not sure how or if I even do keep my sanity through out each day! However, I am able to rely on structure and a trillion prayers a day to make it work.
When I first started homeschooling I would have categorized myself in the over prepared bracket. I had our entire day laid out. I knew what time we would do each subject and for how long, what time we would play and eat, and allotted certain days for field trips and hands on learning. What I realized, very quickly I might add, is by doing this I often found to be disappointed in myself when my schedule wasn’t stuck to. When we weren’t able to move on to the next subject because we hadn’t completed the previous one or when a field trip went on a different day then our schedule allowed. This approach just was not realistic.
Now, I do not think that we could run with out a plan. Structure is very important in a chaotic household of 4 boys! So here is how our day is normally laid out. You will notice I use “between” time. This has really lowered the stress of our schedule. By leaving that leeway I do not feel rushed to finish something.
6:30- Mom time- During this time I will make coffee, throw in a load of laundry, take a run or do a quick workout, or do a Bible study and try to shower before the boys wake up.
7:30-My preschooler is normally up before everyone- So I use this time to do his flash cards for letters and letter sounds. He enjoys the one on one time with me without the going back and forth to his brothers.
Between 7:45-8:30- Boys wake up. They normally don’t sleep later then 8:45. For those women who start school at 5:30 in the morning-God bless you!
Between 7:45-9:30- Breakfast, make beds, get dressed, devotion or Bible study (I do this when they are eating so they do less talking because they have full mouths). Tidy up kitchen, living and dining areas.
No later then 10:00- Start school. Seem late? It’s rare that we actually start this late; again it gives me that leeway. We normally are full speed by 8:45ish
*Once we start school the times go away and we just go by assignments!!!!! Lunch is normally always the same time as well as dinner. So we work around that.
1st- Calendar Time, Review Bible Verse, see what subjects are for that day.
2nd- Multi-age studies
· Aplogia Astronomy(Monday/Wednesday)
· Any lap book or note booking pages we are working on together
· Lif Pac Art(Friday)
· The Story of The World History(Tuesday/Thursday)
3rd- I normally squeeze my preschoolers ‘work’ in between helping the boys in group and individual lessons. In many cases the older boys enjoy doing some of the activities with him. This is not a forced activity and sometimes we will do it before dinner. Again, he enjoys the alone time with me.
4th- Individual Studies: Everyday
· Reading- If they need to catch up. The boys enjoy reading before bed. It helps them to fall asleep.
5th- Tidy school and toy areas
Break for Lunch- Between 12:00-1:30
Between finishing lunch and 5:00-
· Finish any work or projects that were not completed.
· Outdoor time/ Physical activity
· Practice instruments
· Free Time
· Clean rooms, put laundry away
Between 5:00-5:30- Dinner
After Dinner- We normally have club meetings or sports practice
That is our day. It may seem like a full day to have everyday, but some things do give on some days. We don’t always have clubs or sports, we sometimes work ahead a couple days in certain subjects in order to enjoy a day or two of field trips, and most importantly we are flexible.
So, just remember when you are trying to create a structure in your homeschooling day, be flexible and be realistic. Work isn’t always going to be completed, cleaning isn’t always going to be finished, and dishes might still be in the sink in the morning. But that’s okay! Breathe and pray and leave yourself leeway. Being less stressed will allow you to be a more patient(God willing), and relaxed teacher for your kiddos.