Yep, homeschool is what is on my mind lately and you all are the ones who must bear with me. Thankfully, the internet is a vast space and if you are tired of my academic ramblings, you are free to surf homeschool-free waters and return at a later date. I promise I won’t hold it against you.
I know that one of the main reasons I love blogs is because I like to peek into other’s lives to find inspiration and “compare notes.” Today I’m sharing what our homeschool, days, plans, and to-do lists are going to look like for the next few months.
I want to make sure we (me and the kids) get the things done we need to but that we also have a relaxing summer together.
I thought about creating two separate schedules, one for the 4 days a week we will get our school work done and the other for our “off” day and Saturday. However, I found that just dropping our school block (from 8 am – 10 am) creates my second schedule. I’ll take time every week to plan out our “off” day’s morning block. It may be a field trip, errands, deep cleaning, or house projects.
Our schedule for Summer 2017:
Schedule for School Days (4 Days per Week)
|5:45||Early Morning Routine|
|8:00||Get ready for school/time with Michael
||Play together||With Mom|
|8:30||Work with Lilla
||Play with Michael
||School with Mom||Play with Christian
|8:45||Work with Christian
||School with Mom||Play with Michael||Play with Lilla
|9:30||Work with Lowell
||One-on-one with Mom||Free Time|
|10:00||Recess/Garden Work/Errands/Library/Field trips|
|11:45||Pre-lunch chores / Lunch / Clean-up|
|12:45||Read to Littles||Free Computer Time||Read with Mom|
|1:00||Chapter Read Aloud/Coloring|
|4:00||Afternoon Chore Pack|
|8:20||Independent Reading Time|
Here are few notes to help you better understand our schedules….
My Morning Routine:
(For whatever reason, God has been giving me the grace lately of getting up early again. I’m hoping that energy lasts through the summer! This is longest time I’ve gone between pregnancies in the past 7 years and, as much as I’d love to be looking forward to the arrival of another little one, I’m choosing to be grateful for catching up on shut-eye after years of sleep deprivation. )
- Morning Offering, Dress
- Bible/Prayer Time
Everyone’s Morning Chores:
(Everyone does 5 chores every morning and night in our home. 4 are the same for everyone and then I choose one more individual chore for each child.)
- Make bed
- Get dressed
- Quick room pick-up
- Brush teeth
- (Individual chores include: feeding/watering the dog, letting the dog in/out, getting hair done, dressing Michael)
After School and Before Lunch Block
This is our time to head to the library, go to a park, run errands, work in the garden, or do other projects. If we are leaving home, we can pack lunch and skip the chore work surrounding lunch time. Doing so allows us a solid 4 hours of time. Plenty of time for fun or major shopping expeditions!
On days when we are home, I plan on working on “school” prep/organization and general home organization after lunch. Devoting a little time each day will help me get all my to-do’s done before August.
Over the summer I’ll be working on figuring out our schedule for next fall. I just love getting everything sketched out! Am I the only one who makes a summer schedule? Do most of you fly by the seat of your pants?
Here are a few posts to help you create your own schedule and routine:
We are summer schoolers. I’m not an over-the-top, academically-pushy momma. Oh no, there are much more selfish reasons for our year round approach to homeschooling.
This year reminded me in a very real way why we school the way we do. Despite all the crazy of the past year, we are still “on track” academically speaking.
While we do homeschool year round, our summers are homeschool-lite. We are planning on 4 days of school a week and will spend a maximum of an hour and a half each day “doing school.”
We boil it down to the basics and add on anything that needs some catching up. Here is what is on tap:
Lowell (10 years old):
Math (continue working through his Saxon)
Spelling (This is a weak area that we hope to improve upon with some extra attention. We are currently using Seton.)
Writing (Another weak area. We are using and enjoying the Writing and Rhetoric series from Classical Academic Press.)
Christian (6 years old):
Math (10 minutes of practice with on-hand worksheets)
Handwriting (We are continuing with his Seton K Handwriting workbook.)
Lilla (4 years old):
(Before you think I am over-the-top by having a 4 year old schooling year round, let me just say that this girl pops up to the table every day eager to do school work. She wants to be a “big girl: and while I don’t care one ounce whether she does any school work at this age, I know I need to plan some activities to keep her happy and occupied while I work with her brothers. She can get all of her “work” done in 15 minutes.)
Math (Rod and Staff)
Phonics (Seton K Phonics workbooks)
Handwriting (Seton K Handwriting and Rod and Staff preschool workbooks)
Homeschool to-do list:
I love planning. I love homeschooling. Put the two together and I’m as happy as a lark on a spring morning!
The past few months, I’ve found my mind whirling with all that needs to be accomplished before August. Many items on my list were”on hold” until other tasks were completed. At the end of April, I finally sat down and created a homeschool to-do list for this summer. I put it in a spreadsheet so that I can have it from year to year, since my task list is fairly similar year to year. While doing that, I ordered the tasks so I can complete them in the most efficient way possible.
Here is what I’m working on for the next few months. I
Wrapping up the old school year
- Make notes on last school year (What went well? What curriculum did I like/didn’t like? What would make next year better?)
- Create a new school year spreadsheet (This is where I do all my planning for the year. It includes individual school plans, weekly checklists, schedules and reading lists).
- Review/update our Family Scope and Sequence with any changes based on past year and transfer the coming year’s curriculum to new school year spreadsheet.
Planning and preparing for next school year
- Update Master Required Reading List (I add on the next year’s worth of books for our oldest boy, which allows me to slowly add onto our required reading list).
- Create a Required Reading List for each reading child (using the Master Required Reading List, I create a list of reading material for the year. As I get more “readers,” I plan to supplement the Master List with books in each child’s interest area.).
- Clean out bookshelves (in school room and other locations), making a pile of things to store/sell/hand-on.
- Store old curriculum and bring down stored curriculum for the next year.
- Sell/hand-on unused curriculum.
- Choose family art instruction, art appreciation, and music appreciation courses of study for the coming year and note purchases.
- Finalize and purchase curriculum/books for year.
- Gather supplies for student binders.
- Print out year’s poems for Master Poetry Binder and for Student Binders.
- Print out yearly attendance and grading sheet and add to Student Binders.
- Label new books with stickers if needed.(This is how I keep our homeschool bookshelves somewhat organized.)
- Browse through new curriculum and note pace, supplies needed, and preparation to be done (copying/printing/etc.).
- Create weekly checklist for each student and print off several weeks worth. Add to Student Binder.
- Make copies/print-outs and add to student binder.
- Make any school supplies or miscellaneous purchases.
- Label notebooks with name and subject.
- Finalized Required Reading List, print out, and add to Student Binder.
- File paperwork with the state.
- Add all curriculum, school supplies, and student binder to appropriate “student tub.”
Around the house
Revise our family schedule
I need to accommodate more teaching time with Christian in our schedule. School hours will also be longer for Lowell who moves into 5th grade, so I need to work that in as well. This is the first year where I plan to do some school in the afternoon. My friends and I need to figure out what we will be doing for co-op this coming year and then I will work our schedule around that.
Refresh our routines
A new season requires me to take another look at our routines. For the most part, they stay the same, with only a few minor tweaks.
Review our Chore Packs and make necessary changes
After using our ChorePacks for awhile, I plan on reworking them a little. Things are running smoothly enough for me to assign some more duties to the little kids.
Do a deep-clean and decluttering of the entire house
While I do “zone cleaning” every month that eliminates the need for deep cleaning sessions, I still like to start the school year off on the best foot possible.
Update my homebinder
I haven’t done a post on my homebinder yet, but it, along with my planner, is basically my brain on paper. I keep all our routines, schedules, notes, financial info, account info, contacts, and other miscellaneous things I need to remember in it.
Add events to my planner
I’ll make sure to add our extracurricular activities (which we keep to a minimum) to my planner as their schedules become available.
Schedule and attend doctor/dentist/eye doctor appointments
I prefer to get appointments completed during the summer so they don’t disrupt our school schedule.
Plan a 1st day of school
I read about this in Maxwell’s Manager’s of their Schools. They call this day the Pre-first Day of school. On this day, they have their special breakfast, take pictures and then the mom goes over one-on-one with each child how their school day will run. No actual work is accomplished, but it helps the actual first day of school go much better. We’ll be trying that for the first time this year on the Friday preceding our first full week of school.
What do you have planned this summer?
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