Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New School Year = New Schedule

I have changed up our school routine a bit this year.  Of course, I will continue to make changes as we progress in our studies.  That is the beauty of homeschooling.  If something isn't working, we just make a change.  Whether it be curriculum or scheduling, we are free to adjust.  

Last year, I gave the children Fridays off.  We did home economics, play dates, field trips, etc. on Fridays. Now with Egee entering the middle school years, I have adjusted the schedule.  It isn't a drastic change. When a typical school day only takes two to three hours to complete, there is plenty of time for other enrichment opportunities.  So, we will do school work on Fridays this year.  

What does our school day look like this year?

School begins between 9 am and 9:30 am.  (Egee is sleeping longer now that she has entered her tween years.  Plus, we have many evening commitments that get us in the bed late.  Thank goodness, I am not having to crack the whip and have everyone up and out the door by 6:30 am!)

As the children eat breakfast, I read their history lesson aloud.  I ask questions and relate various parts to things we have scene or heard before.  I love the fact that we can learn history together.  Plus, this year our history and bible are incorporated into one.  

Next, we put away breakfast dishes and begin lessons on the computer.  We don't always get dressed for school.  Most mornings we are still in our pj's working away.  

I have pieced together our curriculum using Teaching Textbooks for both children.  Egee is using TT7 and Little Man is using TT3.  I am also using parts of Easy Peasy and other things from the web.  I am incorporating the McGuffey readers into both of their curriculum, as well.  

Egee takes a laptop into her room and begins her lessons.  I have made a word document with her lessons and she follows the daily list of what to do.  She has reached the age that she is more independent and needs to take charge of her learning.  

Here is a sample of her schedule:

Little Man works at the laptop located on the dining room table.  I sit with him while he completes his work. Although, sometimes he wants me to be at a distance.  (He wants to be like his sister.)  So, I work in the kitchen and keep an eye on him.

Here is a sample of his schedule:

Notice I do not have times listed.  I don't want them to become pigeon holed into math should only take thirty minutes.  Some days math may take ten minutes, other days it may take an hour.  The point is to work at completing each assignment correctly and move on.

Egee comes in from time to time and asks a question or two.  For the most part, she is very self-sufficient. Her lesson take a two to three hours.  She use to be upset that her lessons would take longer than her brother's lessons.  I have explained that she is in higher levels and he is not.  This year with her entering the middle school grades, she seems to accept her workload.   

Little Man's lessons take about an hour to complete.  Of course, it depends upon how cooperative he wants to be!  He knows he cannot play with friends, the iPod, video games, etc. unless his work is done and it is done correctly.  Don't you just love leverage?  

Most of the time, we finish everything by lunch and the kids have the afternoon to pursue other interests.  It will be interesting on the days we have outside classes in the morning and they have to do work in the afternoon or double up work throughout the week.  Normally, we didn't do book work on those days.  But, it is a new year and a new schedule.

Well, here is to a new year of learning and growing!