I have mentioned before in a previous post that we do not have a set schedule for our school day. This is not to say that I haven’t tried. I remember when my kids were in lower elementary grades and I was trying to manage visual therapy sessions, three kids (two of them temperamental twins), household work (to include repairs), the hubby’s civilian work and school plus military things he needed help with and school my kids.
I very much wanted a set schedule.
At one point I created a specific schedule of when exactly school was going to start. What specific subjects we were going to start with. When exactly break times and lunch would be. I even scheduled in a specific time to go out and try to play with friends or ride bikes outside. I created a loop schedule for the subjects we didn’t need to do every day and I had a designated time every day that we would focus on all the hands-on projects for that day.
Can you guess where this is going?
Our school day crashed and burned. My older boy rebelled fully. There was no consoling his frustrated and honestly saddened heart. My schedule didn’t make any sense to his logical mind and he was beyond frustrated. This is also my boy who was easily frustrated with school because his eyes were still weak and he had trouble focusing his vision on it. My daughter tried to follow the schedule but she didn’t work as well with the order in which I had scheduled the subjects. Plus, she is my quick thinker, the one who breezes through everything and can perfectly recall what it is she worked on. She even likes to look up extra things when something piques her interest. The schedule was frustrating to her because she would finish quickly and then be told to wait around a lot. As for my youngest. Well, he was still a little little guy, in 1st grade maybe and he is my wiggle worm so we had habits to work on with him in the first place. Add a set schedule to it and it is chaos for him.
So what did I do?
I did what we always do as homeschoolers. I adjusted. I started out by giving my girl the go-ahead to start working ahead of the schedule, she just had to come to show me her finished work before moving on so I could see she was doing well. I then allowed her twin brother to start choosing what order he wanted to do school in. I was surprised to learn that he would rather start his day with English, the subject he struggled the most with than to do it halfway through the day, after having “warmed up” his brain. Finally, I let my little man play all morning. He built Lincon log homes all over the den while I worked with the twins. He created tunnels and obstacle course down the hallway while I read history to the twins. And when I asked the twins a question, he would holler the answer from his bedroom where he was getting more knights to fill his castle in the front room. Turns out my little man was learning a lot while playing. He learned his math facts this way too. I finally started including him in the flashcard game I played with the twins because he was having so much fun yelling out the answers from another room. My little man did get his own sit-down time with me too. It was just after lunch and when his little mind could focus better.
If not a schedule, then what is this?
We have pretty well fallen into a set rhythm in our homeschool day. I have heard other homeschool moms who also say they don’t call it a schedule but more of a rhythm and I tend to agree. With a rhythm, there is no set time or time frame even. When we have a dentist appointment or a meeting in the morning, the school can be shifted to after that or the kids can bring their book work.
Typically our day runs like this:
Independent bookwork first
Start on computer school
Lunch break followed by a play break
Finish computer school
Occasionally documentaries will be watched with lunch or group time but that is basically how our day goes. We tend to stick to the general order of things but the time of day can and does shift and change. The Independent work includes their math, English, writing practice, critical thinking and bible study. What order the kids decide to do it in is completely up to them. Group time, I try to give the kids some say so on what order we do things in but it can include science, history, social studies, art, and music.
The flow of our school day helps keep things relaxed
I am so thankful that we have found a rhythm to our day and thankfully it is a rhythm that also falls in line with my husband’s schedule. I do still long for a set schedule some days but for my family, a rhythm just works better. For your family, a rhythm may also be the way to go or in order for everything to be done every day that needs to be done, you need a set schedule. Every family, every house, every homeschool, will have different needs and a different way of getting everything done.
Hopefully sharing how our homeschool runs helps you with yours.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.