Over at the Not Back to School Blog Hop it's "Day in the Life" week. We don't officially start back until Monday (and Punkin the week later), but I have been furiously working this week on our schedule and trying to fit about twelve hours of work and ideas into a space of six hours. Why on earth do I think we can accomplish SOO much? Is this a problem with every homeschooler? I'm forever wondering if we are doing enough or doing too much. So needless to say it has been a very overwhelming week trying to figure out how to schedule everything. This is my first year having to create the schedule, since last year using Sonlight, it was all prepared for me. Hopefully all of this work will pay off!
I think I have come up with a working plan for our day, including chores, free time, time with Dad - everything!! Now, I'm not a "by the clock" kinda mom - so our schedule is more of a rhythm than a schedule.
Our morning begins at 7:00 when everyone gets up and dressed with beds made. Breakfast and morning bible time with dad happens here, as well as morning chores. Punkin gets off to school and the little girls have outside time before school starts. This is when I check e-mails and work on my photography scheduling and ordering, blog, or read other blogs. I do all of my photography work on the weekends. ( I take one client per week, on Saturday evenings, and do all my editing over the weekend which leaves the entire week free for homeschooling.) Our school day begins at 9:00 with memory time - where we focus on memorization skills. First off we will be memorizing the Lord's Prayer in Latin.
Memory time is also included during morning chores time as we will listen to all sorts of CD's with things to commit to memory. Next we move on to Bible time, which I finally decided on exactly what that will be this year and I'm very excited about it! We will use Leading Little Ones to God and A Child's Book of Character Building. The first block of learning time in the mornings will be focusing on Language Arts. This will take a good hour and half focusing on dictation, narration, copywork, phonics, spelling, and grammar. We love using workboxes, so that of course will be part of our days as well. After a mid-morning break for running around outside and a snack, the second half of our morning will be Banana working independently on her Teaching Textbooks Math and her quiet reading time, while I work with Boo on her reading, math and spelling time. And I just have to mention how powerful this little cardboard chest can be!! Who knew???
The girls and I are terribly excited about these wonderful school desks that we got for FREE from a private school in the area that is closing. What a wonderful blessing!
The girls sit in them everyday and talk about how they just can't WAIT to start school!! Banana made me and Daddy crack up last night when she noticed (on the wall behind them in the picture above) the Lord's Prayer written in Latin. She got so excited she just about came out of her pants!!! I LOVE that she is so excited to learn new things! Especially since she hated Latin when she attended school.
And look - I even recycled an old desk we had to make a teacher's desk for me!! Woo-Hoo!! Now I just need to find a more comfy chair....
After a lunch time break (where I again attend to e-mails, laundry, etc), we will take at least 20 minutes a day for a nature walk in the woods out back for observation and sketching time. This is something we are really going to focus on this year, again following the Charlotte Mason methods here. This will also give us some time of solitude, throwing a blanket down to quietly observe and concentrate. On the days when weather doesn't allow this, we will have some quiet focused solitude time in doors. Everyone in their own rooms to sketch, draw, read or play quietly. I'm sure this will be a very important part of our day, even for a short amount of time to refocus, rejuvenate and be ready to move on through our day. Then we will move on to history, science, Latin, geography, gym classes and sewing classes depending on the day. On Thursday afternoons the girls will attend a homeschool co-op class for Drama and Public Speaking (yes - even for kindergarten!!), Literature/Writing, and Science.
At 3 pm everyday we leave to pick up Punkin from school, which lends itself nicely to having a definite "end of school" time each day. When we return home, it's homework and chore time for Punkin, and free time for the younger girls. About 5:30 we all will do a "quick tidy" - cleaning up the clutter from the day before we start dinner. About 6 or 6:30 is dinnertime and devotions with Daddy with bath time following. We always love ending our days with everyone piled into Mom's bed for read aloud time. We even did this throughout the summer and it's one of my favorite times of the day!! Daddy is usually in charge of bathtime and bedtime and it's a special time with his girls. About 8-9 o'clock, Mom and Dad get some time together. Sometimes Punkin will join us for a movie or something here too. We are all so ready to get back into a routine - my kids love routine. I, however, like every day to be entirely different. So - while we follow a general rhythm to our day, we certainly add in lots of cushioned time for all the detours that will inevitably come our way.
Click over to "Heart of the Matter" to see how others schedule their homeschool days!!