It’s only taken a year and a half of homeschooling to be able to say this, but I think we finally have a schedule that gets nearly everything covered and relieves *most* of the stress from my shoulders. [Sidenote: Anyone who tells you homeschooling is a breeze and they never stress about covering it all is just lying. Or maybe only has one kid. But probably is a liar lyingpants] So my point…here is our schedule right now. The afternoons/evenings will soon get busier as soccer practice begins, but that doesn’t impact our daily school schedule too much. What makes this schedule work is 1) working in blocks of time and 2) outsourcing as necessary. All of our school days begin at about 9am.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday :
Our first block is Language Arts. We all begin with journal which is typically a free writing time. Each child has age appropriate requirements (Belle 5-7 sentences, The Boy 3-4 sentences, and Little Lady 2-3 sentences and a picture). Something I repeat on a regular basis is this, “If you can’t think of a topic in a 2-3 minutes, just write about something that happened yesterday.” These journals serve as a sort of diary for the kids. They write about new toys, trips, imaginary stuff, whatever they want. If they want to write about feelings to sort stuff out, that’s fine too. Every once in a while, I assign them a particular writing prompt. I let them pick whatever spiral they wanted for their journal. As much as it pained me to buy the Justin Beiber and One Direction spirals, I bit my tongue and just did it. They were so excited to start writing that they forgot to complain about the work!
After journal time, we do spelling workbooks. The Boy and Little Lady follow this up with handwriting, grammar, and copywork. Belle uses a fantastic writing curriculum, All Things Fun and Fascinating. I got it here and have been very pleased with the results. The Little’s grammar and copywork comes from there too. H/T Jennifer :)
At 10:30 an alarm goes off on my phone telling us it is time to get our workout on. Generally, we spend the full 1.5 hours on Language Arts. Most days, that includes some time for Little Lady and The Boy to read to me. Our work outs on Monday and Friday tend to be a pilates/yoga mix. I have some pilates videos I’ve done over the years and I’ve combined that with some yoga poses I’ve found online. I have a history of back issues and know that having a strong core is the best gift I could give my kids. We could all stand to improve our flexibility, so this is helping that too. Belle really wants to get her splits this year-she made so much progress last fall, but injuries slowed that down tremendously in the spring. She is already noticing a difference in her flexibility! On Wednesday, we do a more cardio centered workout. Many days we do a Just Dance Wii game for an hour. Sometimes we go out on a 1+ mile jog/walk in the neighborhood. This is such a welcome break in our schedule and has taken a HUGE stress off my back. We eat a snack after our workout, then I shower while the kids have free play time.
After our break, we have Math lessons. We use Math U See still. I have absolutely no doubt that Little Lady and The Boy are getting a fabulous foundation with this program. There are a few things that I need to add in for Belle, but otherwise I’m quite pleased with her progress as well. There are PLENTY of opportunities for review and the lessons build nicely. I always found Saxon jumped around too much and kept my head spinning, but that’s just me.
After Math, we break for lunch. Then, we do our History lesson. We are using Story of the World, Ancient Times for our main framework. The activity book is very helpful with the extra projects, but I rarely feel like we delve deep enough into a subject. Perhaps if I managed regular library trips like I did last year, but that’s simply not fitting in right now. Honestly, at this point in the day, I’m ready to be finished and move on with other things I need to do. Not the best thing to admit, but true nonetheless. Thankfully, Belle has an additional history writing curriculum from the same company as above. It’s probably overkill to do both, but I feel like we need to make up for lost instruction. I simply am not a writing teacher and I had to call uncle.
Boring though all this has been, I know one day I will happy to have this look back on and laugh at myself. I’ll come back soon and write about Tuesdays and Thursdays… WooHoo!!!