I think schedules or at least routine is incredibly important in a child’s life. Over the years I have discovered that my children behave significantly better if they know what is expected of them on a daily basis. I use Manager’s of Their Homes as a framework for creating our schedule. I think this is a great resource, but for those who are completely unscheduled this book can be overwhelming.
Each August I create a master schedule for our family. It usually lasts about a month, and then I start to see areas that need to be modified. This is because my children change and grow each day and the things they need from me change as well.
Now that we have been schooling for eight months our schedule looks more like this.
- 7-7:30 Kids wake up
- 7:30-9:00 Showers, breakfast, clean-up
- 9-10 Little girls play on rug or color at table, mom and 7 yo work on school, 8, 12, 14 yo work on independent work
- 10-11 Three youngest play, 8 yo school with mom, 12, 14 yo independent work
- 11-12 Three youngest play, 8 yo finishes school, 12 yo goes over work with mom, 14 yo independent work
- 12-1 Lunch/ Clean-up
- 1-1:30 Everyone is getting back into their routine, older kids are usually working on school
- 1:30-2:15 Science or Social Studies with 8 and 12 yo
- 2:15-3:00 Meet with 14 yo to go over work, check answers, discuss school
- 3-3:30 Chores, projects w/ mom
- 3:30-4:30 Free time
During my school time with my 7 yo, my younger two girls usually sit at the table and work on puzzles, crafts, or other preschool type toys.
My kids have been known to get up really early and work on their school work before everyone else is awake.
On Sunday nights I print out a schedule for each school aged child. The schedule details all the assignments they are to complete for the week. This allows them to work ahead if they want to.
Currently we have our family bible time in the evenings. For a few years we had one in the mornings as well as the evenings, but this year it wasn’t working. Each child has bible time in their curriculum, and we work on it individually rather than as a group.
When the weather is nice sometimes I will work with a child on the front porch so the other children can play outside. When we had a fenced back yard I would let the little children play outside in the back while I watched them through the glass doors.
I will let my 5 and 7 yo play educational computer games for a limited time during the day. I usually don’t like for them to spend more than 1/2 on the computer per day. Joy has a compiled a list of great educational sites for kids on her blog.
During the week we do not allow the children to play on the computer or watch movies. There are exceptions is someone is sick, or I am sick, but we try to limit computer/movie/ Wii time to the weekend, and even then it is limited.
My homeschool curriculum is listed on a separate page on my site.
Currently my two preschoolers are girls, when my preschoolers were boys things were much different. My girls are happy to sit, color and play at the table for long periods of time, while my boys would have considered that torture. Last year I wrote a series of posts on preschoolers, I listed them below.
Many times my dining room table looks like this.
While I sit at the other end and work with another child on school.
I am a neat, organized person by nature and I start to get headaches, nausea, and the shakes when my house looks like this on a regular basis.
But, I have realized over the years that I don’t want my kids to look back and remember me like this…
While it is important to teach children responsibility and how to pick up after themselves, it is okay to let them create, make messes, and have fun, as long as they clean up when they are finished.