The following is a post from contributing writer Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
My kids and I aren’t strict schedule kind of people. We much prefer a regular routine to a schedule. That being said, there is a method to our madness and we have put some thought into our routine.
We start each day with Bible study because it often sets the barometer for our day. Bible study is followed by read-aloud time because my kids are not morning people. I like to start with subjects that don’t require a lot of concentration on their part, and reading aloud fits that bill.
Lately, they’ve asked to read aloud in the living room because it’s more comfortable. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that getting too comfortable while still sleepy does not bode well for paying attention. (In other words, there is a tendency to fall asleep!)
Next comes grammar because it’s something that doesn’t take much time and can be done independently. That means the kids can work on that while I prepare lunch.
After lunch, when everyone is fed and awake, we tackle the bulk of our schoolwork. We start with silent reading time. This is time in which we all read books of our own choosing. It lets us ease back into academics with something we all enjoy.
At my son’s suggestion, we have rearranged a bit and it has worked wonderfully. Monday and Wednesday tend to be our busiest days. Science tends to take longer than history. Since we alternate those two subjects, we do science on our busy days and history on our at-home days.
We alternate spelling and vocabulary days, as well. We do writing (composition) three days a week, so we schedule that for our at-home days.
I save math and assigned reading for last because these are subjects (along with composition) that the kids do independently. This give me time to work on things that I need to do for my online work or household chores.
In addition to tweaking our routine to fit the natural flow of our days, we operate on a four-day week with a built-in catch-up/enrichment day. I wish we’d done this years ago. It’s such a sanity-saver because it leaves room for appointments, outside classes, and those inevitable times when you just get behind.
I guess technically we did do this years ago, since the kids used to take a music class that took up most of our day on Wednesdays. When that was over, though, we went back to a full, five-day schedule. I don’t know what I was thinking because that built-in cushion day is wonderful.
Finally, we work on a six weeks on/one week off yearly schedule. We’ve only done this for the last couple of years, but it’s something I can wholeheartedly say I wish we had done forever ago. It gives us just enough of a break to keep us all from getting burned out.
What does your homeschool schedule look like? Does this give you any ideas you haven’t tried?
Kris, who blogs at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, is a homeschooling mom to three amazing kids and wife to her unbelievably supportive husband. She enjoys photography, running, and drinking sweet tea. You can connect with Kris on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
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