With Thanksgiving and deer and pheasant hunting this week, we took a week off a school, so I thought for the weekly check-in, I'd share about our school schedule. I've had ladies asking me to share our schedule, and I had promised I'd share it on the board when I had it tweaked to how we liked it the best. We are doing World History, Resurrection to Reformation, and Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory this year with our 15 yo, 11 yo, and 7 yo respectively.
When making our schedule this year, I began by printing each of the suggested time allotments for the guides, which can be found for all HOD guides on this board:
Beyond Little Hearts...
Reading About History Box: 10 min.
Poetry and Rhymes: 5-10 min.
Bible Study and Music: 10 min.
Rotating Bottom Left Box (Artistic Expression, History Activity/Timeline, Geography, Science twice weekly): 15-20 min.
Language Arts Box: 15 min. (spelling/grammar)
Reading: 15 min. if doing the Emerging Readers and 20-25 min. if doing DITHR 2/3
Math: 15-20 min.
Storytime: 15-20 min.
Resurrection to Reformation:
RTR (Left Side of the Plans):
Reading About History: (30-35 min. including reading and assignment)
Storytime: (15-20 min.)
History Project: (20 min.)
Rotating Box: (20 min.) Longer on the Shakespeare Day
Independent History Study: (10-15 min.) (Longer on Draw and Write days)
RTR (Right Side of the Plans):
Bible Quiet Time: (20 min.)
Math: (30-35 min.)
Science: (25-30 min.)
Rotating Box: Art Appreciation (15-20 min.), Devotional Bible Study (20 min. - twice weekly), Poetry (10-15 min.)
Language Arts (not all areas are done daily):
Dictation (5 min.) 3 times weekly
Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons: (20 min.) 3 times weekly
Drawn into the Heart of Reading: (30-40 min.) 3 times weekly
Grammar: (20 min.) 2 times weekly (much done orally)
Left Side of the Plans:
Average Total Combined Time for World History AND History Activities: 60-70 minutes
*World History box: 35-45 minutes (about 15-20 minutes for reading, 15 min. for shorter narrations, 25 min. for longer narrations written/typed/opinion)
*History Activities box: 20-45 minutes (longer on "You Are There" days)
Living Library: 20-30 minutes (20 min. reading, 10 min. Literary Synthesis Sheet)
Fine Arts: 25-30 min. on Days 1-3; longer on Day 4 for Project, about 60 min.
Foreign Language: 20-30 min.
Right Side of the Plans:
Pilgrim's Progress/Total Health: 35-40 min.; Health Test day will be longer; length varies depending on time spent on discussions
Bible: 40-45 min.
Science with Lab: 45-60 min.
Literature Study: 45 min.
Composition/Grammar: 30 min.
Math: 60 min.
I printed these time allotments, and then I put a "T" next to the things that were Teacher-Directed. I talked with our older sons about when they each wanted their school day to begin and end, whether they wanted to do some school early in the morning and/or at night, and when they would like to have free time in the course of their day. My oldest ds is a morning person, so he wanted to get up at 5 AM to begin. I thought that was too early, but I did decide to let him get up at 6 AM to start. My middle ds wanted to begin at 6 AM too then, but we settled on 6:15 for him to begin, with the understanding that he could always sleep until 7 AM and move those earlier subjects to the afternoon instead. My youngest ds is NOT a morning person, and he is not doing much independent work yet in Beyond, so I decided to have him sleep longer, until 8:15 AM, with the understanding that he could always enjoy reading in his room if he woke up early.
On a legal pad, I then jotted down 30 minute increments on the side, making 4 columns, 1 for each of us. Looking at the "T" marked things for each child, I made teaching blocks to meet with each of them, rotating between them, and having them rotate between 'teaching blocks' and 'independent blocks' of time. I moved these around a lot at first, as I tried to figure out how best to keep everyone going by checking in with each in a balanced way. I always like to make sure Emmett and Riley have a play time together, as well as Emmett having an independent play time on his own. I used to have Wyatt have a play time with Emmett during school too, but high school takes more time, so I moved that to afternoon/evening. It is nice to have the kids have the feeling that their day 'ends' about the same time, so I usually have everyone finish up about the same time, give or take a few subjects for my high school student. Emmett has ample play time before his school day 'ends,' but since everyone 'ends' about the same time, no one feels like their day went a lot longer than the others' day did.
I also work part time, sometimes in my home and sometimes out of my home. Wyatt and Riley work a few hours each week too. I have a homeschool college graduate come a few afternoons a week to help watch the boys, help correct some schoolwork, and help with some laundry. This helps me be able to work part-time consistently, and it helps a lovely homeschooled gal earn some needed funds.
We were in a good rhythm with our year, and we were really enjoying our time together homeschooling, but though our schedule was going well, I found that I was still feeling frazzled. I finally realized that I wasn't going to be able to 'tweak' my schedule anymore to alleviate the stress I was feeling because what was making me exhausted had nothing to do with my school schedule and everything to do with the 'rest of my life.' I am happy to say that chatting through things with my big sis, Carrie, helped me resolve a lot of these stressors! Rather than share every detail of my life from sunup to sundown with you here, I'm just going to share the questions that I needed to have planned answers for in order for my life to not be so hectic. Here goes...
When will I do my Bible Quiet Time, and what will I do?
When will I get groceries?
When will I set up appointments for the boys? (doctor, dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor, chiropractor)
When will I set up appointments for me? (haircut, doctor, etc.)
When will I run errands?
When will I do laundry?
When will I exercise?
When will I go on a date with my dh?
When will I do something with my sister/friends?
What chores have to be done, when will they be done, and who will do each of them?
What help can I utilize when working and when my dh is gone for long periods of time for work?
What can I do to relax or for fun at least a little part of each day?
When will I call/see my mom?
When can I plan time for the boys to play with their cousins/friends?
When can they watch football, and how much?
When can they watch movies together, and who picks?
When can the boys play board games together?
When can I take the boys out for an ice cream treat or for a special time to eat out somewhere? How often? Where? How much money can I save to put toward this?
How can I budget money for everything, and when will I go through it to balance it? What do I need to save money ahead of time for?
What will we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Anyway, slowly figuring out answers to each of these questions is making my life about 100 times better!!! I get to talk to a lot of wonderful families that homeschool, either on this board, in person at conventions, or on the phone. For about 99% of the ladies, they are stressed not by homeschooling, but by some of the questions above that they do not have answers for yet. The questions may be slightly different, but not having answers figured out for them is the root of the stress. So, working through each of these things has helped and continues to help my life be better. Homeschooling is actually the stable, easy part. It's the rest of my life that needs redefining. Anyway, I share all of this in the hopes that it may help some of you as you endeavor to live your best life! We can plan, plan, plan, but really God is the ultimate planner of our life. So, being ready for changes and trying to navigate them the best we can with God by our side is just a necessary part of living our best lives for Him. I hope something here can help as you endeavor to life your best life!!!