A great relief about homeschooling is the flexibility in the every day schedule. Every year our life changes. We have new needs to meet, children are growing, a new baby, budget change and the list goes on. I am constantly restructuring our daily schedule for me and the children. I have had a couple of months with no schedule when Liberty was born and we were moving. Our day was all over the place. Since I am a structured person by nature, days like these help me to create a balance, grow in patience and do what is more important. When I had boxes all over the house, a newborn, I barely got to breakfast and it is almost noon, I would sit with my Bible open and gather the children around. Then, we would spend some quality time in Bible discussion, prayer and worship. My favorite passage to study and discuss when these days come, is the story about Jesus, Mary and Martha. I would explain to the children, “…only one thing is necessary, Jesus said, to be at His feet, to delight in Him, to listen to Him, to learn from Him.” What precious moments we can have with our Savior and our children even when all else around fails. Somehow, these moments are more meaningful.
Having said that, it is not to excuse lack of organization in the home, we are after all, the keepers of the home. As soon as possible, even if it takes one whole day, I would put the new schedule up. Immediately, I would feel a relief. The whole family is once again a team toward a goal. Our schedule changes for various reasons throughout the year. It could be the arrival of a new baby, first trimester of pregnancy or the change of seasons. During the winter, we stay indoors most of the time. So this schedule seemed to work smoothly this year.
I would make a big schedule and place it on a wall that is most visible. Since we downsized greatly in wall space during our move, I put the schedule on a manila folder and hung it on the refrigerator which is the best place for it. Everyone can see it all day. It goes like this:
1. Get Ready for the Day: I explain clearly what this means, very, very often. It means, make bed, get dressed, do your hair and come for breakfast.
2. Breakfast. During breakfast, we memorize Scripture.
3. Circle Time: We gather around for Bible reading, discussion and prayer
4. Learning: This is when we do homeschool academics, math, reading, writing, history, science etc.
6. Quiet time: On a good day, both, baby and toddler go down for a nap. The two older do quiet play with an activity we rotate weekly.
7. Children’s Hour: After Noah falls asleep, I read to the two older ones.
8. Daily activity: Everyday we do a different activity when Noah wakes up from his nap. I get a snack for everyone and we either do, music, art, tea party, go to town, dance or practice time.
7. Daily chore: This chore also changes every day. Monday is laundry day. Tuesday is Kitchen day, so we clean the kitchen, refrigerator, floor, areas that I don’t clean daily. And I spend all day cooking and preparing for the week’s menu. On Wednesday, Danielle has music lessons, so we go to town and squeeze as many errands as I can, buy groceries, go to the library, etc.
8. Free time: I am changing this to Practice Time. Whatever they choose to do, they are to practice love and selflessness.
9. Afternoon chores: Tis is a quick pick up around the house before dinner. I put a praise song and everyone goes around with a basket collecting misplaced things and putting them where they belong.
10. Dinner time: Everyone takes a turn sharing what they did during the day or learned land a “high” and “low” of the day.
11. Family Worship: Dad leads the family in a study of God’s Word and prayer. This is my favorite part of the day!
12. Get ready for bed: this means brush teeth and put on pajamas.
This schedule ran smoothly, when we followed it. Like with any schedule, it is a guide and a tool to help us. We never followed it religiously. this schedule allowed for flexibility with in each block of time. For example, during the Learning Time, before lunch, if the weather was nice, we were out for an exploration walk or or other adventure.
How do your winter days go? Do you follow a schedule?