Regardless of your homeschool style we all have habits and those habits lend themselves to some sort of schedule. If you are more of a traditional style homeschooler then you will probably have a much more strict schedule where as an unschooler might have a more liberal approach with time, but whatever your style, usually we have goals we want our children to achieve and we need to have a plan on how to make that happen.
For our family we sort of fall in the middle of the extremes and that works for us. We still get our academics completed but we also take opportunities that come into our lives to take a break from our regular “schedules” and seize those moments and enjoy the world around us.
I think one of the bigger misconceptions about homeschooling is that a parental unit must be sitting in front of their children for 8 plus hours and then spend the rest of their time grading papers. THAT COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!! The fact of the matter is that a public school teacher has to be in front of his or her students for that many hours to spoon-feed information to their students because kids don’t know how to self learn.
The amazing thing about homeschooling is that once your kid can read it opens up this whole new realm for them and an abundant amount of freedom for you as a parent.
Kids are smart! They just need to be taught a little bit of self-discipline and given the right tools so they can learn without a lot of oversight. So with that being said this is how our day looks on average. Now remember… this is an average day for us. Sometimes a kid needs some extra sleep or we have a field trip or…
an opportunity for service,
but this will give you an idea.
7:-7:30am- Wake up
8:00- Get Dressed and tidy room
8:30- Eat Breakfast and clean up breakfast mess
9:00- Start Math… independently! They might come ask a question here and there but for the most part they do it on their own.
10:00- Language Arts- Again this is done on their own. The younger two work on workbooks and the older two have lessons on DVD that they watch and worksheets they complete when they are done with DVD lesson.
11:00- Kids make their own lunches and then clean up the kitchen.
12:30pm- Play games. I have a whole cabinet of educational games that the kids can play during free moments.
1:00- Some days we have coop classes and they fall during this time.
1:30- Practice violin or piano. Rotate through. When it’s not their turn to practice they can read
2:30- Depending on the day we will do a science lesson or a history lesson.
3:30- Clean up school stuff and have a snack.
4:00- Outside play or a foreign language lesson.
5:00- Get ready for dinner
6:30- Clean up kitchen
7:00- Depending on the day we might have church youth group activities, scouts or soccer.
8:00- Scripture study, prayer and younger kids bedtimes. Younger two can read till 8:30
8:30- Older two in bed and read till 9
9:00- Me and the hubby climb into bed and watch a show. It’s my favorite time of the day!
So that is the kids’ schedule in a nutshell. But what you didn’t see in there really, is what I do during the day. When my kids were younger I didn’t have quite as much freedom because my kids couldn’t read and needed much more hands on time. But with them being older and especially having children old enough to babysit I can get things done outside the home while they are working on schoolwork. I teach fitness classes once a day for an hour, which is something I really enjoy and I get to workout. I can run to the store and the kids know they have their things that they need to get done while I’m gone. When I’m at home I can fold laundry, paint the house, work on church assignments, etc. I just make sure to leave an hour or two in the afternoon open for a family science or history lesson. As for correcting assignments, the older two girls’ programs correct themselves so… easy peasy, lemon squeezy. The younger two kiddos are still fairly easy to figure out so it takes me maybe 5 minutes to correct theirs.
What I hope I am able to show you here is that homeschooling doesn’t have to be all life consuming. Let me take that back… It is life consuming in that you are with your family most of the time, but that the actual schooling doesn’t have to be life consuming. You can still pursue your life ambitions AND get to be with your children before they leave to pursue their own life’s ambitions, which will happen all too soon!