A Peek Into Our Typical Day
A typical day in our homeschool is never the same. Or typical. The kids wake each morning with new ideas and plans. The only constant is the rough framework that overlays our day.
We Schedule Using Blocks
After trying many different options for making our homeschool run consistently and without stress, we settled on a block scheduling idea. The “if it is 3, it is time to read together” concept works great for us. My kids and I know that at any time during the day there is a general activity for us, but I am not so rigid about it that we cannot deviate. This way things keep moving forward and at the same time I can relax and we all have a good time.
Here is our typical day block schedule:
- 6-8:30 Time for me to prep for the day, take care of the animals, write a bit, read the news, and… drink a cup of coffee!
- 8:30-10 One-on-one time with DoodleTwo
- 10-11 One-on-one time with DoodleRed
- 11-12 Kitchen cleanup and daily laundry while kids work independently
- 12-1 lunch (nearly always this is leftovers from the night before) over a game of UNO or Sleeping Queens, or maybe just a discussion
- 1-3 break time. Got the idea from Susan Wise Bauer. It is time they can do anything they like in their rooms, roughly. DoodleRed uses the time for music practice and tap. DoodleTwo usually reads or programs or goofs in the treehouse or works on schoolwork. It is also 2 hours of uninterrupted work time for me.
- 3-5 reading and discussion time in the living room. Each day has a central theme that has stayed constant for years and years. So we all know that, for example, if it is Wednesday, it is Science Day. This is another tool that helps to keep me calm and organized…. -ish.
- 5-6 DoodleTwo joins me in the kitchen to finish his work while I make dinner.
- Evening: This is when DoodleRed likes to read and practice foreign languages and write and play the piano. And DoodleTwo reads or programs or plays video games.
- Night – This is when the kids do weight training and calisthenics followed by time for hanging out together and doing are or journaling over a cup of tea.
We adjust the dinnertime activities a couple of times a week to make time for scouts and karate.
Scheduling Blocks of Time Gives Us Flexibility
Our typical day leaves plenty of room for a spontaneous field trip, a 32-game Mario Kart tournament, or substituting a day of baking just for fun.
School Activities Are Now Just Part Of Life
We have honed our school activities after many years to be just a part of life. It is not separate anymore from a typical day in out homeschool. When a kid asks for a day off, say they are sick or just really tired, what they are really asking for is a pass for the day on independent work. They invariably still want the group reading and discussion.
We school year round with only two breaks (one at Christmas and one at Easter) so that I won’t stress about finishing a book or completing a textbook. We always have plenty of time that way.
How I Avoid Burnout
Sometimes, between breaks, I start to drag or get behind in my daily prep. I ask the kids if they wouldn’t like a day off and they hug me and say, “There there, Mommy. Let’s do school anyway please. I know you can do it.”
The faith that the kids have in me and their desire to learn (every day of the year) is a wonderful byproduct of homeschooling and always gives me the strength to dig down deep and pull it together and keep going.
After all, to quote Fred Rogers, we only have our children with us for a short time and they need our care and nurturing. And that is the phrase that drives me most on a typical day.
Now, What Are Some Things You Do To Keep Your Homeschool Day Running Smoothishly?
This Round-Up Goes Live on 4/7/17. You can click through and read about other wonderful homeschooling families and a day in their lives.