Monday, April 6, 2015

Real Life Homeschool: Looking at the Schedule

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
Welcome to the first Blog Hop for 2015 from the TOS Review Crew. Over the past couple of years, I have participated in several of these fun endeavors, where my fellow Crew Mates and I spend a week sharing our own perspective of a fun central theme.  In the past I have shared 5 Days of...Teaching Toddlers, 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials, 5 Days of...Making Geography Fun, and taken part in the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. As you can see in the graphic above, this time around we are going to be taking a look at "Real Life Homeschool."
Well, what exactly does that mean? It means we are going to let you take a look at what homeschooling is really like. We are all coming at this from our own perspective and interpretation of course. Personally, I would love to share a look at our schedule plus a look at what happens when we stray from the schedule. We will also take a look at what the children think of this whole homeschooling thing. I invite you to join me on this week-long adventure. 
Schedules. They are important. Important for helping you see what needs to get done and to stay on task. However, finding a schedule that works can be a difficult task. To make this even trickier, a schedule that worked a couple of months ago, may no longer work. We tried many different routines before finding one that actually worked. I have learned that flexibility is majorly important, not allowing myself to get stuck in a rut when that rut is just not working. Granted, I would love to find one that works and stick to it for some consistency. 
So, what does our current schedule look like? Here let's take a look.
5:00 am- My alarm goes off. Well, it does if I remember to set it. Let me tell you, when I don't get up on time, it makes for a stressed mommy.  I am trying to do better in remembering to set the alarm and actually get up when it goes off, because no one likes stressed mommy, not even the mommy.
5:00 -7:30 am- This is my alone time. I start by getting dressed and making the bed. Before I head downstairs I start a load of laundry (that may or not be thrown in the dryer in a timely manner; I'm working on that).  I then have my personal devotion time. If dinner dishes didn't get done the night before (which happens more nights than I care to admit) I take some time to do up the dishes and tidy up a bit. I also check the children's workboxes and get them ready for the day. After setting the table for breakfast, I get my exercise started. If I am on time starting my exercise, I am done before the children are supposed to be up. Unfortunately, most of the time I am still exercising when their alarms go off.
7:30 am- Children's alarms go off. They are to get up, make their beds, and get dressed before coming downstairs. Do they remember this? Well . . . sometimes. This is a fairly new schedule, so we are still working on getting the details to work. The main problem is when they don't get up and I am in the middle of my WiiFit U routine and can't get to them right away. In those instances, they may not get up until 8, which does throw us off schedule.  Most mornings they have cereal for breakfast, so they are quite capable of serving themselves.
8:00 am- The children are to eat breakfast. I will do their hair while they are eating. Sometimes I am doing this between bites of my own breakfast, other times I have not yet made my breakfast. 
8:00-9:00 am- The children have this hour to finish breakfast, and get some other tasks finished. If they are finished before 9:00, they will have free time to play. The older girls take turns doing breakfast dishes and having their computer time. This is alternated weekly. The younger children are allowed to play after clearing their dishes from the table. They can also choose to watch their sister do her computer work. 
9:00 am- If everything has gone smoothly, we are now sitting in the living room, mommy on the couch and the children on the floor, for our Bible time. (Unfortunately we tend to find ourselves running behind and tend to start anytime between 9 and 10.) We have a song we sing to start our day, then we each take a turn to pray. We stand for the pledge to the Bible and sing the B-I-B-L-E while marching into the dining room and around the table a couple of times. Then it is back into the living room to sing and dance to This is the Day the Lord Has Made. We have used different books for our Bible Time and currently we are reviewing a product from Real Life Press called Firmly Planted: Books of Moses Part 2, so this is what we use for our Bible time. I read the Bible passage and the devotion, then we discuss what needs to be discussed. We sing a couple more songs (the leader of the day plus mommy gets to choose one each), then I close in prayer. It is then time for a couple of stories, one of which is related to something in our weekly science lesson or Poppins Book Nook, or something along those lines.
9:30 am- 12:00 pm- We then take a little time to stretch and use the potty before heading to the dining room table for lesson time. Lesson time still starts with the Pledge of Allegiance. We used to do our Bible time after this, including the pledge to the Bible. There are a couple of reasons I switched our day around. First, I didn't like having the Pledge of Allegiance before the Pledge to the Bible. Perhaps you are thinking that I could have just switched the pledges around. The problem was, it was flowing so well the way we were doing it because we went straight into the songs I mentioned above and our Bible story. Now that I have made our Bible time separate, we are starting our day with our pledge to the Bible. The second reason I changed things around, was because we were spending too much time just sitting at the table. Now we get to spend time gathered around in the living room. I think it breaks it up a bit more, making it less cluttered. 
Here is a more detailed look at our Lesson Time:
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Calendar and weather time - The leader helps with calendar. We find the day of the week, what yesterday was and tomorrow will be, the month, the date, and the year. Then we count to the date in English and Spanish. One of the children will tell us "Today is..." and include the season. Then we do the weather.  The leader then draws the weather onto our calender and I mark it with a little star which helps in keeping attendance. We don't have to report to the school district this year, but it is helping me get into the habit of doing it for next year. 
  • Bible memory time with My Father's World verse is next - They take turns repeating the verse and I help the little ones along. Each week there is a new verse.
  • Learning the Books of the Bible - This is mainly for the older two who are doing My Father's World 1st grade, but the younger children enjoy saying them along with us and making a card for each book. Tabitha and Amelia are the ones who are memorizing them.
  • My Father's World Bible story and snack. Sometimes they have coloring page or a craft to go with the lesson. 
  • The older girls then work on their first 3 workboxes while I work with the younger children.
Older Girls Workboxes contain:
  • #1 - Copywork of some kind. 
  • #2 - Math
  • #3 - Hands on manipulatives such as Learning Palette, Learning Wrap-Ups, Pattern Blocks
Younger Children's Preschool time:
  • We sing the ABC song then we go over each letter we have worked on so far, saying the name of the letter, the sound and at least one word that starts with the sound. 
  • We then head to the computer to introduce or review the letter on or 
  • They work on worksheets from abctwiggles that focus on the letter/sound. 
  • We also have LaLaLogic time (another wonderful review product). There are days we work on the computer Brain Challenges. Other days consist of enrichment activities or a worksheet.
  • If there is time, Harold will have exercise time on the Wii.

After the children finish this work it is time to relax a little before lunch. They are allowed to watch one, maybe two educational shows, such as Leap Frog, Super Why, Sid the Science Kid, Word Girl or Magic School Bus. Sometimes, one of the children will opt to help me make the lunch. They love to surprise their siblings.

1:00 pm- This is approximately when we sit down for lunch. Sometimes I allow them to eat in the living room if their show hasn't quite finished. 

1:00 - 2:00 pm- The children finish lunch and are supposed to take their plates to the kitchen. The older girls again have doing dishes time/computer time (the opposite child from the morning time) while the younger children have WiiFit U or Nickelodeon Fit time, if they didn't have a chance to fit it in before lunch. Again, if the older girls are finished with their work before 2:00, they will get some free time to play.

2:00 pm- Harold goes upstairs for a nap as close to 2 as I can possibly get him up there. Sometimes it is closer to 3 if we are behind. 

2:00 - 4:00 pm- The children take turns on the WiiFit U. They can also read or use News-O-Matic on my tablet (when I can find the tablet). I work with the girls one-on-one on their language arts. Amelia is doing the phonics included with My Father's World. Tabitha is using Logic of English Essentials (we had put it aside and I was having trouble fitting it in, but with this new schedule it is working out so much better). Hannah is using First Start Reading from Memoria Press. Honestly, there are days I do not get to each of them. I just make sure to work with that child the next time. We are moving forward, not near as fast as the books want us to (all except First Start Reading as it is a review product), but I have decided to not let that worry me. At least I won't let it worry me for now. It would be different if we had to report to the district this year.  

We also fit game system time in most days. The children like to play Super Paper Mario the most right now. They each get about 20 minutes of game time. This may fit in right after school time, or it can fit in after dinner.

4:00 - 5:00 pm- It is then time for me to make dinner so daddy can eat by 5:00 so he can leave for work on time. I love days when I have something in the crock pot, because I don't have near as much to do.  

5:00 pm- Dinner Time!

5:30 - 9:00 pm- After dinner the older girls are responsible for clearing the table completely. I will wipe it while they clear toys and such off the floor so I can vacuum. We are in the process of trying to get Hannah and Harold to help more. The children then go and get ready for bed. If they are ready by 8 o'clock, we will watch a show. The popular one right now is Once Upon a Time, but we have also watched Little House on the Prairie. Unfortunately, they don't care for that one as much. Much to my disappointment mind you; I grew up watching it, and it remains a favorite to this day.

9:00 pm- Brush teeth and Bible Time

If all has gone well, the children are up to bed by 9:30. Some days it will be closer to 10 before I have them all tucked in. This is a huge improvement to the 10:30/11:00 it used to be. 

Looking back on the schedule as I see it written here, I do realize we are not quite as relaxed as we used to be.  I want to make sure we find a way to keep on schedule and organized so I don't get in trouble with the school district next year. I am also trying to make sure all 4 children are getting quality time. 
Stop back tomorrow to see an example of what happens when things don't go as planned. Later in the week, I will also be sharing the children's thoughts. You won't want to miss that.
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Here are a some of my fellow Crew Mates to get you started.
You can click on the banner above to check out a list of all the blogs participating.

Every Bed of Roses
Ben and Me
Footprints in the Butter
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling
Counting Our Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Ozark Ramblings
Chestnut Grove Academy
Only Passionate Curiosity
Farm Fresh Adventures

1 comment:

  1. such a lovely schedule...Ypu sure have a lot to do in a day :)


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