As we enter our 4th year of homeschooling, I have a pretty good idea of what works for us and what doesn’t. I am extremely Type A and would prefer to have every second of every day scheduled out and planned. I’ve learned over the years, however, that having that mentality doesn’t seem to work well with reality since life with many children is unpredictable at best!
We start our year in the summer and have been in school for about 6 weeks. Our basic schedule rotates around a simple morning routine on 4 days a week – eat breakfast, get dressed, do tablework. For us, tablework consists of handwriting, math, grammar, spelling, and catechism. This usually takes about 1-2 hours for both children. Then we generally take a play/snack break and then read from our morning basket for about an hour. Our morning basket consists of literature selections for each child, books related to the things they are learning in our various co-op classes, bible, saint of the day readings, and fun books from the library. We are still trying to figure out a time to add in Gabrielle. She is officially PreK this year and is begging to learn how to read, do math, etc. like her older siblings. So far, we have been giving her little worksheets and projects to do while the older kids work. Last week we had a morning when the older kids picked up their free-read chapter books right after breakfast and I had about 30 minutes to work 1 on 1 with Gabrielle. I might continue trying this out at least a few days a week. Also, depending on the weather, we have been walking across the street to the park to play for a bit either before we start school or after we finish.
This year, we are doing all of our non-table subjects through co-ops. It makes it easier on me to spread the subjects out to other teachers rather than just having it all on my shoulders. We are continuing with Robotics and Toastmasters (on alternating Monday afternoons) with our Jr. FLL Team. As a group, we also decided to do a few other classes together, so we are also doing history, art appreciation, and science together this semester (on Thursday afternoons). Next semester we will continue with history but switch to music appreciation and life skills (sewing, cooking, etc.) We are also continuing with our co-op through our church, which is on Wendesdays rather than Fridays this year. Gabrielle is doing Five in a Row with her PreK/K class, and the older two are studying science, STEM, and U.S. Geography in the Fall (N.M. Geography/History in the Spring). In addition, the kids begin music classes this year on Saturdays. Michaela is taking Piano, Rafael Guitar, and Gabrielle a beginning music class. The two older are also continuing with the children’s choir at church on Wednesday afternoons and Homeschool PE will be on T/Th starting next month.
It sounds terribly busy, but it is actually quite relaxing to be home all morning and get out a bit most afternoons. And more than anything, it is what seems to work well for our family.
Here is what our schedule looks like. Other than classes/co-ops, our times are not exact. We go with the flow and change as needed.
Thanks for reading!