If I need a routine instead of a schedule, how do I go about setting that up?
I am having trouble trying to stick to my homeschool schedule. Part of my problem is I think I need more of a routine instead of a schedule. The times are driving me up a wall. I don’t like my schedule telling me I have to do such and such at 10:15. Sometimes at 10:10, the baby wakes early, the toddler needs a diaper change, and the 4 year has a tantrum!!! But, that is the way my scheduling book says to do it. So, that is what I’ve been trying to do it. It isn’t working! I am wondering if I should try more of a routine instead of a set schedule? What do you think? If I do prefer a routine to a schedule, how do I go about setting it up?
“Please Explain Setting Up a Routine Versus a Schedule”
Dear “Please Explain Setting Up a Routine Versus a Schedule,”
What a great question! I agree that I begin with a schedule and move to a routine. Making the schedule helps me be sure I will be available for the teaching times I have planned during the day. It also helps me make sure not everyone will need me at once (which can quickly descend into chaos)! During the first several weeks, I make sure I pay attention to how much time each subject really takes. Then, I can know I’m allowing enough time for subjects (or not allowing too much time, which leads to dawdling). Knowing how much time each subject SHOULD take, helps me know what I’m asking my kiddos to do is reasonable.
Schedule independent things back-to-back last in the day.
Scheduling several independent things back-to-back for my older kiddos last in the day has been so helpful! This gives them independent things they can work on if they finish early or if they have to wait a bit for me. For more information about the independent things in Heart of Dakota, check out last week’s post Are you having your child work toward the suggested level of independence in Heart of Dakota? Scheduling independent things last (after lunch) still allows my boys to follow their morning routine or schedule as planned. This way, they don’t interrupt my flow to the day. It allows their after lunch subjects to be done whenever they finish early with something in the morning. So, they might not finish that particular after lunch subject in one sitting. Rather, they might do it in bits throughout the morning as time allows. Many times, my boys have finished those after lunch subjects earlier in the day to be done by lunch. This way they don’t have any wasted time, if I’m not available.
Make sure the little ones are engaged during bigger teaching blocks.
I also make sure when designing my original schedule that the little ones are engaged during my bigger teaching blocks. I don’t mind interruptions so much when we’re doing things like handwriting, spelling, grammar, and math in the younger years. However, when I’m setting aside time for something like the left side of Beyond…, I want to teach without interruptions. Or, when we’re doing phonics or any subject that is tough for a certain child, I don’t want any interruptions. So, I guard my uninterrupted teaching time carefully. This means the flow to everyone’s day must stay the same throughout the year. If my older kiddos jump around in any order in their schedule, then my uninterrupted teaching time is gone too. Hope that makes sense!
Make the schedule, but follow the order to have a routine.
So, I make the schedule and follow the order. I use the times as a gauge of whether we need to move along a bit more quickly or not. We do follow the same start-time everyday and try to have lunch at a similar time each day. Then, we just move through the rest of the items on the schedule in order, finishing when we do. Below, I’ll post the links on our Heart of Dakota Message Board for some of my past schedules and/or routines.
Here are links for some of our past schedules/routines and our “Let’s Share Our Schedules” thread.
- Schedule for Cole Grade 6, Shaw Grade 3, Grey Kindergarten, and Beau 2 Years Old
- Schedule for Cole Grade 11, Shaw Grade 8, Grey Grade 1, and Beau 3 Years Old
- Schedule for Cole Grade 9, Shaw Grade 6, Grey Grade 2, and Beau PreK
- Schedule for Cole Grade 12, Shaw Grade 9, Grey Grade 5, and Beau Grade 2
- Let’s Share Our Schedules Thread: Viewed over 200,000 times on our Heart of Dakota Message Board:
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Heart of Dakota