Friday, October 16, 2015

Homeschool Schedules

The key to surviving my life, is having a good schedule. We all hate chaos. So I am constantly assessing our daily schedule.

We had a nice schedule at the beginning of the school year. We worked hard at getting into the routine, after a very carefree summer.  It took us about 2 weeks to get into a good routine.

But I was still overwhelmed with the amount of time I spend cooking and cleaning up. Our mornings were hectic and stressful too.

So we made yet another adjustment. Now I love the schedule we have. The kids struggle to stay on target but with some reinforcements we are doing well. The schedule also allows for flexiblity to fit Dr vacations and fun outings.

Currently our average day starts at 7. (my ultimate goal is to get up at 6, but it rarely happens) Usually I wake with a little boy in my face demanding his morning bottle. I get him and I dressed, both our beds made and rooms cleaned up. The boys usually wake up as we are getting ready.

I, then head downstairs to wake the girls and dress Nesiah. The big kids all dress themselves, make their beds and clean up their rooms. There are always dreams and stories to be discussed and hashed out, before they head out for chores.

The 3 oldest kids  go out for chores. They feed the calf, the goats, dogs, the barn cat, the rabbits, the horses, and milk the one goat. They make sure everyone has fresh water and a clean pen.

Bubbie loves to go to the barn. currently it is his job to feed the cat. He loves all the animals.He loves on the goats.

Fayth helps me in the house and starts school. I get Nesiah dressed and give her morning meds.

Nesiah gets on the bus right around the time the kids get inside from chores.

I am a big fan of a hot cooked breakfast for my kids. They can function so much better with a good solid breakfast. However, it is a royal pain to get all that done first thing in the morning.

So we adjusted our schedule. The kids come in from chores, they get to eat a gluten free muffin or bar along with a fruit smoothie. Then they start school. My ultimate goal is to start school by 8 am. It rarely actually happens but we are pretty close.

The kids do school, I clean up the house, plan my menu for the day. Bubbie generally gets into trouble, makes messes and acts like a typical toddler!

At 10, I try to have a full, hot brunch ready for the kids. I love that I can clean up my house and slowly create a full, yummy breakfast at leisure. I also try to work on preparing dinner during this time. My goal is to cook once but serve two large hot meals a day, then serve gf muffins and smoothies for breakfast and occasionally at bedtime.

We eat breakfast and try to clean up from 10-11 am. The kids are in charge of breakfast clean up.

They then return to school work with the goal of being completely done by 12.

I love love that I am not cooking in the middle of the day.

We finish school, then I assign each kid one job to be done between 12-1. Usually it is cleaning out a cupboard or corner, wiping down fingerprints, folding laundry etc..

Bubbie  and I usually nap from 1-2. The kids have to either finish up school or get to have free play. Everyone gets 15 minutes of either gameboy or tablet time between 1-2.

After naps, we usually either run errands, laze around or finish some projects.

3 to 4 or 5 pm is horse back riding time.  Right now we spend approx 2 hours every other day riding. The kids love riding and the more they ride, the longer they ride.

Nesiah gets home at 4 pm.

I try to have dinner in the oven when we head to the barn, that way it will be ready to serve when we come in.

 On the days we don't ride, the kids like to bake things. The majority of my kids are excellent bakers and create very yummy muffings/cupcakes etc..

We eat dinner around 4:30 to 5. The kids clean up while I catch up on projects. Generally dinner clean up is rather drawn out. I don't battle it.

Of course by 6:15 everything is done and the kids are ready to listen to Adventures in Odyssey! While they listen to AIO, I get Nesiah and Bubbie ready for bed, adminstering meds etc..

At 7 the kids clean up all their toys, projects,and messes. Everyone gets their pjs on and ready for bed. Then we have Bible Journaling time. Each kid has a (paper) tablet, where they choose a scripture and draw a picture to go with it! This has been such a fun way to end our day!
7:45, we have prayers and family time. 8:00 everyone is in BED!

Generally after the kids are in bed, I clean up and make sure floors and counters are nice and clean.

We tend to need a strong basic schedule, but once established we find that we can go with the flow. We know what needs to be done when, yet we are not rigid. If we have to adapt we do.
It does really help that my toddler finally works with my schedule. It keeps peace in my house!

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