Welcome to the ABC's of Homeschooling. I am linking up again with Ben And Me. I will have D and E for you this week since I got a little behind but no worries as I have a lot to share with you. So far in the series we have done ...
A = Accept the Call
B= is for Basics (Getting Started)
C= Choosing Curriculum
Today I want to talk about Determining a Schedule. Ick not always something homeschoolers like to think about. If you are just starting out or are feeling a bit scrambled lately then a schedule can really help you feel like you have it a bit more together. Schedules can be very strict by the hour or they can be just a flexible outline of what you want to get done for that day. I know that there are some homeschoolers who don't feel the need to be tied down with a schedule and that is great if it works for you but if you are feeling like your overwhelmed with chores and school, then ask yourself. Are you trying to just get it all done? Are you running from thing to thing accomplishing nothing? Then this is something you might want to try out.
Before I share the how's I'd like to give you my personal feeling on schedules. If you have one or maybe two children it might not be needed for you . However when you have multiple children a schedule could be detrimental to your day. Having a plan of attack for your week really can make things move along more smoothly. I also feel like kids will eventually need to follow time frames when they are in the work force. Some might venture out and start their own businesses but will also need to be consistent with their work and play time or the business will likely fail. Teaching my kids time management to me is just as important as the actual words in the books. Without learning that skill could mean their success or failure .
Lets get to scheduling...
Before you go filling in your entire day , I would start out a bit slower. Begin by establishing morning routines and bedtime routines. Perhaps you already have them. I try to have the kids during a school week in bed at the same time and up at the same time. We are a little lax over the summer for special activities. My grandmother is 80 some years old . She is a very active 80. She tells us the key to living so long is getting plenty of rest. She says she gets to bed at a certain time and wakes at a specific time. This routine means her body knows when its time to rest and time to be up. It helps her have a restful night. If the kids are going to sleep at different times they might be tired during the day and not get the most out of their lessons. Their bodies are confused about rest time and need that consistency.
Some of us bulk at routine but for children routine means stability. The more stability you give them the more readily they will be to cooperating with you. Little basic rituals such as ... Waking in the morning, Making their bed, getting dressed, brush their teeth and down for breakfast. Or for evening... Pick up toys, take a bath, brush teeth, read aloud time with the family and bed. These things do matter and help to transition children to the next thing. Anywhere you can add a transition or routine activity the better. It says to the child. Its time to_____. Say you have trouble getting your elementary child to the table for book work. Choose a time of day to start the routine. Everyday at the same time they will know what to expect. Perhaps you will ... Do some exercises, read a devotional, hop to your math book (literally) and then work through the problems. Once that is done next you have a snack. Routine is the key to cooperating children. It takes time to build but it will happen. If math is the harder subject the treat will be the upcoming snack or even some playtime. You decided but it only works if the kids know what is next in your routine.
Not only can the routine help the kids transition but it will help you too. Again I don't do a tight schedule this time is this and 2:22 I do this or 4:15 I do this . That isn't me. I create those routines in the day . They know morning routine, lunch routine, afternoon routine, dinner routine and bedtime. Sometimes they change some. For example on Fridays the routine changes because we do a limited time of school and chores then head out for errands. The kids know this is what happens on Fridays. Now moms and dads to help yourself make sure you add in various chores you want the kids to complete each day and make time for the things you need to get done as well. Think about what your kids can be doing while you are doing wash, preparing dinner or reading that book you wanted to read. Will they have playtime, will they be doing some quiet reading in their rooms, or will they be outside playing in the yard. If you think now what they will be doing it will help you be able to complete what you need to get done each day because lets face it the chores only grow as we are all really living in our homes. Put a little thought in it because you don't want them doing something that will require to much of you because you need to be doing whatever you need to do. So make sure it is something you can monitor but not be entrenched in. The other thing I want to mention is to try to avoid TV as the baby sitter. It might seem like a good idea at the time but once that time is over and your ready for the next thing. Keep in mind kids get tired of sitting. So when you need them to sit for an activity you may be setting yourself up by putting that Dvd in while you do your chores. Make sure you add in time with your kids. I know that sounds silly we are with them all day right? What I'm talking about is real mom time. Not teacher school time, or chore time or whatever. I mean time devoted to just talking and playing with them.
I often have had families ask me how I do so much. The house is fairly cleaned up, I mow the grass, we do a meal plan, I exercise, we school everyday, craft, do a lot of fun school things, write for the crew, write book reviews, blog, host book launches and teach Sunday School and am available for volunteering quite often. I promise you if I didn't have an organized schedule I wouldn't be doing it all.
I will be honest when I say that I don't feel rushed and I have down time. The routine had provided that for me over time.
One more thing...
Planners can help you or they can hinder you. It depends on your style of organization.
Now I don't like to waste a lot of time with planners. What I love to use is the Daysprings planner. What I like the most about them is this...
I can see the entire week at a glance and there is a ton of space to write. I like to makes lists of things that need done on each day. Then on notes I put things that should be done by weeks end. Now this won't work for everyone but it works for me the "list maker" . You just have to find that thing that works best for you. Some work well with planners and some people hate them. Try different things out and once you find that thing. Stick with it. (more routine)
I would love to hear how you schedule your day.