As a former public school teacher, I knew that schedules worked and was actually unfortunately very rigid about it. What I wasn't ready for was the freedom homeschool offers. I assumed you just did school and then hung out. I had no idea that there was as many opportunities for socialization as there are. We signed up for everything and our daily schedule quickly became daily chaos.
In an effort to take back our days, I redid our monthly calendar and got rid of anything that didn't meet our goal of homeschooling.
I worked on our daily schedule and tried different routines until we found one that worked for us. I noticed that we did our days in about 30 minute increments. I decided to use 30 minute time blocks to organize us.
The areas that were most important for us were: eating, school work, chores, chill time. I wanted to accomplish all of these things in 4 hours. Yes I was asking for a miracle.
I basically prioritized our day beginning with what our goals were for that day. I used time blocking to decide when we were doing what and then filled in our schedule.
Schedule a Time for Eating
I started here because hungry people are not happy people. After watching us for about a week, I started to realize that we ate or got hungry around the same times everyday.
I also noticed that when their sugar was low then they were more emotional and not able to focus. It's amazing what an apple or banana can do for a kid that is trying to read a book.
These times are not set in stone, obviously we can change the times, they are more like a time frame.
Schedule More Challenging Subjects in the AM
In our house everyone is fresh in the morning and melt downs are less likely to happen. This is the time that we do math and writing. Math is a time hog for my daughter because she gets easily distracted and wants to do anything but Math. When she starts to get distracted and takes forever on 1 problem I get frustrated. I find that I am more patient in the morning so we do it first.
Schedule a Brain Break Time
Studies show that a person should get up and move about every 45 minutes. Although it shouldn't take her this long to work on her math, sometimes it takes longer. SIGH! In order to get her blood flowing I have her get up and run laps through the kitchen and living room. Sometimes I have her review skip counting by telling her to count her laps by a certain number.
Another type of brain break we have is getting outdoors and just being a kid. Often times, in my quest to check things off of my list I forget that she's a kid. Personally I'd like to just plow through and get school work done but that's not how her brain works. She likes to see the beauty in everything and 3 contemplate the why's of it all. I try to follow her lead. If she seems ok, then we hold off on a break, but if she's fidgety and staring into space, it's time.
Schedule a Time for Chores
Chores are a homeschool mom's nemesis. We're trying to juggle teaching and getting stuff done. Most of the time something suffers and it's not usually school, it's chores. Set aside a time, usually in the morning to tackle a task. Divide chores up among the kids and set a timer, work for 30 minutes straight. You'll be amazed at what you can do in 30 minutes.
Schedule a Time to Relax
Usually around 2:00 I like to sit down with a book and a cup of coffee. I honestly just sit for 30 minutes and read. It's my way of unwinding. I'm an early riser so by 2:00 I've been up for about 7 hours.
The kids are in the playroom and the house is usually pretty quiet. Honestly one of my favorite rewards of the day.
Making a daily schedule has helped us to have a loose checklist of sorts to make sure we get everything done.
Our days don't always look the same, but because I streamlined our calendar as much as possible they look very similar. It helps my daughter to know what is expected of her without too much change.
What are some of your must do daily routines?
I'm praying for you mama! You're doing a great job!
2 books that really helped me put my priorities into perspective were:
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson
Other posts in this series:
Simplifying Meal Planning
Simplifying Your Calendar