A very wise woman whose name I now forget once told me that I shouldn’t get too attached to a schedule because as the children grow up it will change. Constantly. But you still need one, I think she added, hurriedly.
Well, it’s true. You still need one. So now that the baby is almost six months old and the older children are inching closer each day to (home)school age, we’re desperately working on one. Or changing our old one, depending on how you choose to look at it.
What amazes me (again!) is how blessed we have been in that God cares about our family and our homeschool infinitely more than I do. And I care a lot! However, you know you hear about it all the time – “Pray about it,” “He will provide,” and so on. In the last three weeks or so, I’ve personally experienced His care in terms of the smallest things of our homeschool and especially when it came to scheduling.
A few weeks ago, I met an amazing woman who has homeschooled TEN children and she directed me to reading this article. While it does not talk specifically about how to schedule the day, it did help me structure our day.
Also, I’m a firm believer in training the children in household cleaning activities. And I count that as part of school, at least at this level. In that, I learned a fair bit from another speaker at a group who is currently homeschooling six children ranging in ages from preschool to high school. She talked about making chore charts. As soon as she mentioned that, I knew my kids would just love that.
So, with all that said, what do our days look like currently?
Well, I really like the idea of teaching the three Rs and having everything else flow from that. So, we begin the day with chores and then read the Bible in the morning. Our chores include feeding the cat, sweeping and starting laundry. The kids help with these. I wash the breakfast dishes and then we head out if we’re going to the gym. (I’m currently debating if we should continue with this since we go with my husband three times a week in the evenings anyway.)
If we don’t go to the gym, Bible reading time then overflows into other reading time. On those days, Bob books are great. The pre-reading books deal with shapes and sequences. We also get lots and lots of story books from the library and the children love it when I read to them. Sometimes the baby joins us on my lap. But on most days, he naps through this morning session.
Then the kids get some free time to snack or run around in the backyard and at about 11, I plan for a small craft that focuses on math, like counting. The picture you see was the kids playing math bingo. Then it’s time for lunch and clean up. (And feeding the baby, who is turning into quite the fussy thing lately. Anything can set him off and then we have to listen to him complain. Loudly. Sigh. It’s a good thing he’s cute.)
After lunch, the baby goes down for a longer nap, so we have quiet time for an hour. I set the oven timer for this one. During quiet time, the children work on writing. At this point, it’s pre-writing, so they’ve been coloring, tracing letter worksheets for letters and cutting.
And hey, another homeschool preschool day is done! This schedule is workable, I think. It allows me time to make those necessary phone calls for dental and doctor appointments, keeps the home looking relatively clean, involves the children in housework and educates them as well. So far, so good.