Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eh, Let Me Check My Schedule

We're back in school! I think anybody who has home educated their children for more than two years has often heard the question, "How do you do it all? What does your day look like?"

Sticking to a tight schedule is very difficult for me. First, I'm just not that type of gal. Second, so many things come up, and keeping it water-tight is restrictive and makes the household stiff (okay, makes me stressed which stresses the kids).

I use a daily schedule with times but it's more of a reminder of how much time to give to each subject. 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, 5 minutes here. I totally dig putting a little 'done' dot on the side of each time slot! I also have a weekly schedule of everything that needs to be taught. Using a weekly (week 1, week 2, etc.) schedule works out wonderfully for us verses using a calendar week, as things come up and again, I don't stress that we learn about Columbus exactly on September 10th at 9:45 am. :)

My two oldest children also have a schedule in their school binder. There is never any need for debate about what is expected or what needs to get done. They also have a printed morning chore list in a plastic page protector, and know if they don't get those chores done, it cuts into their free time.

We are only at day three, but so far, we are loving our new curricula and days are going smoothly. The girls appreciate their brief lessons, and having the afternoon to play (um, I mean, P.E. and Home Economics and Animal Husbandry).

Our 4th & 5th grade subject list:

The Holy Bible
Studying God's Word, Book E

Language Arts:
Sequential Spelling
Vocabulary Vine (Greek & Latin Root Words)
Poetry (misc. books)
Institute for Excellence in Writing

Calculadder (2-3 minute drill)
Singapore Math

The Mystery of History Vol. 3
The World of Columbus & Sons by Genevieve Foster
The World of John Smith by Genevieve Foster
History Through the Ages (timeline)

Lyrical Life Science Vol. 3 - The Human Body
Blood & Guts (experiments)
The Handbook of Nature Study

Fine Arts:
101 Hymn Stories
Living Biographies of Great Painters by Henry & D. L. Thomas
The Great Masters
Stories of the Great Composers

Typing Instructor for Kids.

This is what I would consider our "core" curriculum. I wanted to write a little note beside each book, but everything was the same- excellent! We LOVE it! I would say the girls' favorite subject is History, which feels like such a big win, since I hated history in school. I highly recommend Genevieve Foster's books, which makes history come alive, even for adults. For instance, today we read about Ferdinand and Isabella starting the Spanish Inquisition, which undoubtedly is an important piece of history. Then in the World of Columbus and Sons we learned about Isabella's childhood- being torn from her mother, whisked away at the start of a civil war, kidnapped by soldiers, and then taking refuge in a nunnery. Exciting!

Before we leave the subject of schedules, I have to add one little bit. Make it pretty. I found Fonts for Peas and downloaded a myriad of adorable fonts. There are a bunch of adorable calendars you can print for free (This watercolor one over at Etsy is adorable).

So here is our school schedule (Monday - Thursday). I wasn't sure how to upload the file from Excel, so it looks a little different here. I like having all the kids on one page so I can quickly see what everyone needs to be doing.

  Macy & Natalie Lindsey & Hudson
8:00 Bible & Prayer Quiet Puzzles & School Games & Playdoh
8:15 Spelling & Vocabulary Vine
8:30 Language Lessons
8:45 Calculadder & Poetry Calculadder - Lindsey
9:00 Lyrical Life Science Color at Table
9:20 Mystery of History
9:40 Snack Snack
9:45 Singapore Math Singapore Math - Lindsey
10:15 Fine Arts Play time
10:40 IEW
11:00 Work Alone / Independent Study Help Prepare Lunch
11:30 Lunch / Read- Alouds  
12:30 Break  
1:00 Independent Study School time: Bible, Phonics, math, flash cards, history, reading, craft
1:30 Finish any school work
2:00 Play time
2:30 Play time
5:30 Clean up Clean up
6:00 Dinner Dinner
7:30 Get Ready for Bed Get Ready for Bed
8:00 Lights Out Lights Out