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Our Homeschool Schedule

>5 September 2012
 
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Starting the new school year has sorta got me behind on other things for the moment. I’ve finally got our homeschool schedule laid out to my liking. It has just been an adjustment from our busy summer months to have a time to sit and work again.

I am not one of those moms who has everything laid out by the hour throughout the day. Oh, I’ve tried having a very detailed daily schedule, but in my real world, it just doesn’t happen like that.

I need EXTREME flexibility.

And so, I don’t have a set time that we start school. I don’t have a set amount of time that we do school. And I don’t have a time when we stop school for the day.

Maybe we un-school?

I dunno what you want to call it, but it works for us.

Instead, I have certain lessons I want to do each day, and they get done whenever they work into our routine.

Whenever we’re done with breakfast, and after the kids are dressed and ready for the day, then I will sit Jada down for her lesson time. She’ll get a snack break mid-morning, and if she isn’t finished with her work by lunch time she can have a break to eat lunch as well. Of course, she’s up and down as she needs to be during that morning lesson time.

If she still has some work leftover she’ll finish it after lunch. But usually she’s finished before lunch.

Now, mind you, this is ‘book work’ that I’m talking about. I don’t count what she’s learning in the garden, with the animals, in the kitchen, helping with projects, her independent reading time (she could read for hours by herself and be perfectly content), or what she does on the computer as her ‘lesson time’. Although, I definitely count those things toward her education.

Most of the things I plan for her school day is her book and board work, with a couple of exceptions like crafts and games. The rest comes naturally with our lifestyle.

For those who are curious, here’s our schedule at the moment. Although, it’s subject to change as I feel adjustments are needed.

The “curriculum” I use is a mish-mash of used books and hand-me-downs that I’ve acquired here and there. I refuse to spend a fortune on books when it’s so unnecessary. I use the internet, and the library a ton also, especially for history, science, and geography. Usually, the only books I specifically buy are our Singapore math books.

Monday

Bible- This year we’re using a Gr. 5 Lifepac Bible unit study. So far, I like it, but we’ve only been doing it for a few days. I also have a memory verse for each week that will go along with our character building study.

Journal Writing- I have Jada write at least a paragraph about whatever, and then we go through and make any necessary corrections in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. She can also make up a story, if she wants.

Math- Singapore Math.

History- Books from the library.

Tuesday

Character Building- We’re working out of the book Developing Godly Character in Children (by Beverly Caruso). Book review to come.

Handwriting- Practicing cursive.

Science- Library books.

Geography- Library books.

Arts/Crafts- Something fun.

Wednesday

Bible

Grammar- (need to order books this year, any suggestions?) We like to do Mad Libs to practice parts of speech.

Math- Problem Solving Masters/Workbook (by Scott Foresman and Addison Weslye); or flashcards, or a math game

History- Library

Typing- Computer

Thursday

Character Building

Spelling- Spelling 5 by BJU

Science- an Experiment

Geography- Library, or game

Life-Skill- sewing, at the moment

Friday

Character Building Activity- writing an encouraging letter to a friend, helping somebody, etc.

Reading- Reading for Christian Schools Gr. 5, by BJU

Math- Cooking (measurements)

Spanish- I’m using my High School spanish books, Por Todo El Mundo by A Beka.

Cleaning- Friday we clean before the sabbath.

And that’s our week!

For those other homeschools out there, I’d love to know how it works in your home! Does a set time schedule work better for you? What lessons are you teaching your child, and which are your favorite resources?

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20 Comments »

  • Patty Uveges said:

    I love your schedule. When I first started homeschooling, I though I had to have this precise schedule. Then I realized that is the reason he is not going to school! We have adapted to a schedule of a) things that must get done today b) things that must get done by Friday and c) things we will have fun with learning (little extras, like more on a specific explorer or science method.) Thank you for sharing this, I can’t wait to put some of these ideas to use!

  • Sabrina said:

    I discovered your blog while searching for families that have had dairy goats. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading the past few months. You asked for a suggestion for Grammar. Queen’s homeschool is a Charlotte Mason homeschool store. Their approach is very gentle and super easy to use. I’ve been inpresseed so far. Language Lessons is great…grammar is included; however it is gentle. My daughter finished quickly, but has a joy for learning. Just something to think about. Other than that, we like Easy Grammar, because it’s quick and to the point. Happy Home Learning!

  • Jessica said:

    Awe, you are making me want to turn back time and do this for my kiddos! Homeschooling is basically unheard of where I grew up. I so wish I did it though. That’s the only bad thing about having kids super young, you just do not know exactly how you want to raise them until they are about grown! I just muddled through it and now that they are teens, the lightbulb is burning brightly on all the things I “could” have done! Oh well…at least they are turning out to be fine young adults.

  • Bobbi said:

    I wish I had homeschooled my daughter and I am tryin o get her to homeschool hers, but he is only 7 months old right now, lol.
    I was wondering, I read other blogs with moms that homeschool and some have mentioned the Charlotte Mason homeschooling methods? What do you think of those or have you heard ofthem? I am just curious is all. Thank you!

  • Bobbi said:

    *sorry for all the spelling errors, my keyboard sticks,lolol, and I neglected to check it before submittng. :( I think I need homeschooling!

  • Rocy said:

    That looks like a wonderful schedule to me, although I’ve never been homeschooled. I grew up with what my family called “Saturday school” though. My grandfather was big on supplemental education, and we spent the day learning about things (or just being exposed/introduced to things) that public school didn’t have the time or resources to touch on.

    The first Saturday of the month was typically agriculture-related. Second Saturdays were for American literature. Third Saturdays was music/arts — usually going to the local community symphony or choral preformances. Fourth Saturdays were science (and occasionally math). Grandpa was an English teacher, but my next-door neighbor taught high school science and was happy to do experiments and the like with us.

    All in all, I can’t complain. It was a great way to grow up — I’m sure that your kids will feel the same.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s right, Jessica. You have beautiful, intelligent children all of whom you can be proud of. No regrets :) There are things I wish I’d known when Jada was born that I know better now. None of us can be perfect, we just do the very best we know how in the moment.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Bobbi,

    I have heard a LOT about Charlotte Mason, although I must admit I still haven’t really read up on these methods. From what I understand, they have a lot to do with teaching from life (somebody correct me if that’s not right), which is really what I try to do. I guess I don’t really take much time to learn other methods of teaching because I enjoy the way we do things already :) Charlotte Mason sounds like it would be right up my alley though!

  • Kim Walters said:

    Today we started our 26th year of homeschooling! If anything, we’ve gotten even more laid back through the years. We’re also dairy goat farmers and both of our teen boys are on the autism spectrum, so flexibility is a must. However, underlying structure is extremely important. We’ve learned, too, that a Biblical foundation is paramount. If we’ve had our Bible and prayer time first thing in the morning and don’t do ANY other formal schooling throughout the day, we’re good! So far we’ve graduated three of our six. At age 15. All three (daughters) are thriving in their adult lives. I’m reminded of Ruth Beechick’s admonition to make curriculum serve YOU whenever I think we need the latest and greatest homeschooling resources. Truthfully, we get along fine with what we already have. “What do you have in your hand?”

  • daisy said:

    We started out with a sit-down, school-at-home schedule, but now, in our 6th year of homeschooling, we enjoy unschooling. It’s the most natural way to learn useful, practical information that will take you through your life. Perhaps the best thing about learning this way for us has been the love for learning that continues to drive my son. His creativity thrives and propels him to learn about whatever he is interested in. Can’t think of anything better than that.
    Enjoy your schoolyear, Kendra!

  • Lanna said:

    You are definitely way more structured than my household.
    We’re more unschooly/eclectic, and get to things when we get to them.

    Flipping through the King Tut book (we’re going to see the exhibition next month), listening to audio CD’s in the van, reading math before bed (yes, my kids beg to read ‘just one more chapter?!’ of Life of Fred, my 8yo, 6yo and 4yo’s). Add in the random mom’s group playdates, weekly church potluck, other playdates/canning days with friends, wood cutting with daddy, our weekly milk farm visit, and this year we’re trying a weekly homeschool co-op, complete with Lego class. So, my kids are well versed in social interactions, and learn a lot along the way. :)

  • Lanna said:

    Charlotte Mason… Here’s a *very* brief overview: http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/teacherslounge/styles/nutshell.php#.UEgrCaODAus
    The free Ambleside Online curriculum is very CM oriented (I mix that in with our Sonlight and such).

    Focuses on nature, reading living books (think the Foxfire series or letters from Abigail Adams or whatever book sucks you into the story), and learning from observing – vs. Houghton Mifflin type books, if that makes sense. This is why I *really* like our Life of Fred books – Fred does/gets into something, and then he uses math to explain it. My 8yo started skip counting about a week after we were reading about it, after it had time to sink in. I love it when things are effortless like that.

  • Laurie B said:

    Kendra, your homeschooling attitude matches ours perfectly! We are in our 8th year of homeschooling our 4 kids (7th grade, 4th, 2nd and 1st).

    I used to think, pridefully, that an “un-schooling” approach was irresponsible at best. Now I find we are leaning more and more towards unschooling every year, and my kids are happier and brighter for it.

    We also use Singapore Math, which I LOVE b/c it’s an advanced but fun program.

    Just a thought: now that our oldest has entered 7th grade, I find the math a bit too far out of the reach of my memory, so we’ve switched her to Teaching Textbooks, which is working out wonderfully. I guess the lesson here for me was, be open to switching things up when need be.

    May God continue to bless your homeschooling journey!

  • Jenn said:

    As a parent, I get the natural learning thing, but I know a family who were forced to put their children in public school because the mother had breast cancer and died. The school tested the kids to see where they were and 2 of the children had to repeat a grade and I think the one in elementay had to go back 2 grades. The one in high school really struggled. So what do you do if the child can’t pass the state testing standards, or the standards to get into college? I am not judging just wondering. Trust me I think half the crap they teach in schools is ridiculous and has nothing to do with anything but that is their “standards”. If I hs my kids I know I would be very relaxed and they would be unschooled, but I worry about that, would that be good enough for them to go to college and get a job? I think a child can meet all their “standards” and not know much, does that make any sense?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Jenn,

    I completely understand what you are saying. But that’s the great thing about the End of Grade Testing. From it you are able to see exactly where your child is academically, whether they’re behind other children their age, or ahead, or right at the same pace. Any parent who is concerned about where their children are compared to other children in their peer group could easily assess what changes need to be made (if any) from the results of the EOG tests :)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Lanna,

    I completely forgot that a friend of mine was telling me how much her kids love the Life of Fred books. I’d love to get some for my kids. They’re just so expensive!

  • Lanna said:

    Jenn, on the flipside, did those children that were ‘behind’ still have a love of learning? If you keep that spark, you have no limits and can/will learn just about anything. I know several people who’ve had unschooled children head off to college, easy peasy. They may or may not need to get a GED certificate, just depends on where. Besides, if we *always* plan for that ‘what if’ kind of thing, we wouldn’t really live or take chances.

    http://balderdashandblokus.blogspot.com/2009/08/is-college-for-unschoolers-even.html

    http://www.homeschoolnewslink.com/homeschool/columnists/mckee/vol7iss3_HowDoUnschoolers.shtml

    As for “So what do you do if the child can’t pass the state testing standards, or the standards to get into college?” part… I graduated high school and college by the skin of my nose. I was *not* an A student, not even close. Yet I still got in, the college was more than happy to take my money. Add in that college enrollment is going down (likely due to price, among other things), I’d hazard a guess that in 10-15 years when my kids will be headed off to trade school or college, it won’t be as big a challenge to get in.

  • Kerri said:

    Jenn,
    I agree with Lanna, and I would add that it will be a wonderful thing for those children to be able to look back and realize what a blessing it was that they had all that time to spend with their mother. A wonderful book I read in the early years of our homeschooling adventure (we are in year 10), was written by R.C. Sproul Jr., “When You Rise Up”. He contends that there is much more to learning than the ABC’s. When parents are faced with a hardship he believes the last place to put the child/ren would be in a school. What an opportunity for them to learn servitude, hard work, and compassion.

    I would say that our country has a tri-head diety, Money, Education and Hollywood. I know way, way too many people who got the grades, and are a sorry excuse of a citizen, husband/wife, parent, etc. Grades will only take you so far in life. We need to be re-educating society. The way things are done do not have to be the ONLY way they are done.

    For example. My older girls (9th and 7th grade) actually test a few grades ahead in most subjects. On a couple they are at level. For some reason they are always a wee bit behind in grammar. But I’m ok with that when I have these types of exchanges with them:

    Moira (almost 13 at the time): Hey, Mom, I read something interesting in “Story of the Romans”. There was this Roman councelor, I dont’ remember his name, but he was in charge of this town. There were a bunch of poor people in his town. He decided that he would give them a bunch of free stuff, you know, like food, clothing and stuff. But, Mom, you know what happened?

    Me: Um, no, what?

    Moira: Well all the poor people got really lazy. Then they decided that they didn’t need or want to work any more. Mom, do you know what this reminds me of?

    Me: No, what?

    Moira: Doesn’t that sound just like our country’s welfare system?

    Ahhhh, now that is education, that is learning!! Does it really matter that she can’t remember the councelor’s name? In a school she would have had to fill in the blank. But I ask, at what cost? She *GOT* the real point of that history ‘lesson’. Grammar, shammar, I’ll take those exhanges any day over an “A” in grammar :-)

    Blessings,
    Kerri

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    What an AWESOME testimony, Kerri!! I LOVE that your daughter put the pieces together like that. That’s what it’s all about ;)

  • Lanna said:

    Kerri, I love it when they connect the dots like that! Mine sometimes pop up with something random like that, it’s so fun to see sometimes as the concept just clicks for them.

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