Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our new school schedule

We are officially starting homeschooling again on Monday. This year, I will have three kids in three different grade levels, so I needed to adjust our old daily schedule to "fit in" time for John. He will be starting K4 (kindergarten for 4-year olds). Isaac is going into 1st and Solomon into 3rd grade.

Using a schedule last year helped me tremendously with staying on track. It is both useful when I am tempted to make the kids work longer to finish up a subject (which makes them frustrated and resentful) and when I am tempted to skip a subject because of a million things that inevitably come up every day. Our schedule leaves enough time to finish each subject in plenty of time on most days, which makes for lots of short brakes throughout the school day. In the rare event that time is up and the child is not done, they still get to move on to a different subject and try again the next day instead.

Since I have never yet taught three different grades at the same time, I will probably have to "tweak" this schedule here and there. This is just what I came up with based on my old schedule, this year's subjects, and guessing how long each subject will take each of the kids.

The subjects highlighted in yellow are the ones I will be teaching/working on with each particular child, while the other two are working independently during that time.

Other than having a strict schedule during school hours, I am more laid back the rest of the day. The only major change in my day with this schedule will be that I have to be in bed by 10 PM every night (about 2 hours earlier than I go to bed right now) because I am tired from being so pregnant and will also have to get up early again every morning rather than sleeping in (which is what we did all summer). I am able to devote the entire morning and early afternoon to pretty much school only by tidying up and cleaning the house the night before. For lunch, we have leftovers from the previous night's dinner that I just have to quickly heat up. Unless it cannot be avoided at all, I schedule appointments for the afternoon and keep our mornings striclty reserved for school work.

All three boys can't wait to get started with school again, something I am very happy about because they can be tough to motivate sometime. Solomon even told me he is looking forward to penmanship the most, a subject he really struggled with last year. We'll see how long his enthusiasm lasts... :)

On a side note, I do not advocate putting babies (12 months and younger) on any particular schedule at all. I will write more about my opinions on scheduling babies in another post soon.



Time

John (K4)

Isaac (1st Grade)

Solomon (3rd Grade)

6:30

get up, get dressed, put PJs away,

make beds, tidy up bedroom

6:45

7:00

eat breakfast, put dishes in sink

brush teeth, wash face + hands

7:15

7:30

empty dishwasher

7:45

switch laundry

8:00

listen to Bible reading

work on memory verses

8:15

8:30

8:45



English

9:00


Phonics

English

9:15

Phonics

Letters + Sounds

English

9:30

Writing

Language

Spelling

9:45

Writing

Spelling

Reading

10:00

Art/Other



10:15

Art/Other

Reading

Reading

10:30

Numbers

Reading

Penmanship

10:45

Numbers

Math

Penmanship

11:00


Math

Math

11:15


Penmanship

Math

11:30

Phonics Review

Penmanship

Math

11:45

eat lunch

put dishes in sink

wash hands + face

12:00

12:15

12:30

get ready for nap

switch laundry

12:45

nap

HSM/Science

History reading

1:00

Science workbook

History

1:15

History

History workbook

1:30

History workbook

Science reading

1:45


Science

2:00


HSM

2:15

Silent playing/reading while Mom naps

2:30

2:45

Other (German, P.E., Music, Poetry, Art)

3:00

3:15

3:30

to

8:00

errands, chores

dinner, cleanup

free time

8:00

wash up/shower, brush teeth

put on PJs, put laundry in hampers

8:15

8:30

bedtime


P.S. "HSM" stands for Health, Safety & Manners, one of the kids' very favorite subjects.

4 comments:

  1. That is some schedule. I know many people who hs but they don't do that many hours. That is like a school schedule. Do you kids really sit still for that long and keep focused? I'm not criticizing - please don't take it that way. Just haven't seen anyone do that many hours in a day.

    When I saw that HSM, I thought "Certainly she doesn't mean High School Muscial!" LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Stefanie,

    Thanks for your question. I know it does look like a long day, but it isn't really. These are just the alloted time slots, but 99% of the time the kids get done with their independent work much sooner and are free to go play while I work with the other child. For example, I teach Solomon English for 15 minutes (that's grammar, spelling and penmanship), and then he has a total of 75 minutes to do the worksheets for all those subjects. Realistically, it takes him about 30-40 minutes, and the rest of the time he plays.

    The one who has the long schedule is me, because I am teaching 3 separate grades in one day. I know there are curricula that make it easier for the kids to work almost completely on their own, but I dislike a lot of them for various reasons. I do not like to use anything computer or DVD-based, because I think learning from a book is more beneficial. Other programs like Landmark Freedom Baptist Curriculum and ACE are almost entirely self-taught, but I find them so basic and slow and our kids were completely bored by not being challenged. So it's worth my extra investment of time to actually sit down and work through a science or history book with them if it means that they love learning and read educational books (non-fiction) incessantly in their spare time. The afternoon subjects are purposefully all the "fun" ones so it's more like having activity time than academic, sit-down-and-work type of school work.

    I didn't know that HSM stands for High School Musical! haha...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree that ACE is not a good choice for the early grades, but I was in an ACE school from 2nd grade through 9th grade--the majority of my school years. I still remember a lot of what I learned in PACES. My main weak point is probably geography, but ACE now offers a course in geography which my 9th grader will be taking this year.

    That having been said, I only recommend ACE for 5th grade and up, and I do supplement it with other materials:

    The Bible

    A beka history for 6th and half of 7th grade

    additional geography curriculum until high school starts

    a different creative writing course for the late elementary grades and junior high in place of ACE Literature (I'm still deciding on this one for my sixth grader)

    I am perfectly happy with ACE's math, English, science and word building(spelling and word origins) for older students.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Raani,

    Thanks for your insight on ACE. I am still hoping that eventually I can switch the older kids back to something like that or LFBC once they get into higher grades because obviously I cannot continue to add another grade taught mostly by me every couple of years. Remind me to check out the PACES next time we come to visit. I haven't seen any since I helped at the Christian school and don't remember much about the content.

    ReplyDelete

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