Monday, August 26, 2013

Our School Day

We don't really have a schedule, more of a routine.  And our routine hasn't fully developed yet this year. 
So, I thought I'd show you what our routine is based off of and show you some of our day last Friday.
I love checklists (I've written about this before) and I love any opportunity to teach my kids to be independent...although, sometimes this love is more in theory than in reality.  Is it hard for anyone else to let go?  Hard, but good. 
Or at least that's what I tell myself. 
Anyway, to help them know what's going on in their school day and to let them have a little independence in choosing what to work on next, I make each of my kids a fairly detailed checklist.
Each checklist is for one week and each day lists all their current subjects.  Underneath each subject is a detailed list of exactly what needs to be accomplished in it each day.
James has the shortest checklist (he's the youngest).  If you look through all the checklists, you'll see that Makenna does most of her subjects on her own (only joining with us for a few activities), while Ben and James do about half their day together.

Ben has some sections marked yellow because those are the parts of his day he can do on his own.  I haven't adjusted this from last year and I need to go back through it because he can do more on his own this year.  The theory being that eventually, little by little, they do most of the school day on their own.

Makenna is the oldest, is participating in the most subjects and has the longest checklist.  Her school day is actually pretty long right now and we might end up having to shorten and adjust.  To me, this is a bonus of homeschooling, I can personalize each schedule for each of my children so they are challenged but not crushed.  Makenna's blue portions are the ones she does either with me or with all of us.

On a normal school day my boys get up at 7am (Makenna gets up at 6:30am for some quiet scripture reading time). 

I love that Josh slept while clutching a pencil.  Although that might mean there's extra writing on a wall somewhere (I haven't found any yet, but that doesn't mean a whole lot).

Breakfast is first.  Very important.
None of us function very happily while hungry.

We used to do chores for an hour after breakfast, but after reading through the schedules of a few homeschoolers online, I decided to try something new this year.

We do school directly after breakfast (well, they get dressed and brush their teeth first, but right after that) and then as they finish their school day, they work on their cleaning chores.

The thought is that if they clean after the mess of school, and then keep things picked up through the afternoon, the house will already be picked up the next morning.  And you know what?  So far it's working pretty darn great. 

Our mornings always start the same.  Ben starts with Math (he's doing Teaching Textbooks 4 this year).

Makenna practices piano.

And James heads into the school room to work through a few things he can do on his own.

Josh just hangs out and gets in the way.  Okay, only some of the time.  He loves to sit in the schoolroom and "write his letters" while everyone else works.

See?  Isn't he adorable?  He always sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating. I just missed it in this picture, but you can see how his lips are pursed in thought.

After getting through a few subjects on their own, we all come together for opening and work on any subjects we do together. 

Then Makenna heads off on her own for a while so Ben and James can get their History or Science done.

After finishing up with Ben and James I'll work with Makenna on any subjects we do together and anything she's had a question about in the morning.

A favorite of all my kids are any and every project we work on.  For the first two weeks of school (last week and this week) we're working on our very own Homeschool Coat of Arms. 

Last year Makenna did a report on what different symbols, animals and colors mean on traditional Coats of Arms and she told her brothers all about them while I wrote it on the board late last week.  I'm really excited about this project and can't wait to see the finished product!  I'll post about our experience and maybe even do up some printables so you can make your own once we get ours done.

Happy School Day,

I've posted this on iHomeschool Network as part of their "Not Back to School" blog hop, hop on over if you're looking for some inspiration (or just some good reading!).


  1. Thanks for sharing you day. We changed chore time to the afternoon a few years ago and it helps us.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Love this schedule. This is kind of what I'm doing. I like your detailed checklist, and was just thinking this morning that I want to do something like that. Hope you have a great year!

  3. Could you share what program you made your schedule in? I love it!!!!

  4. I made the schedule in Excel (any spreadsheet program would work) and love that I can tweak it as the year goes on. It's probably my very favorite homeschooling "tool."

  5. I love the schedule with the checklist. And such great pictures!


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