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Scheduling Your Homeschooling Day

How Do You Do It?

A new homeschooling mom asked how to schedule the day. Our HomeschoolChristian.com message board participants rose to the challenge with the answers below.

Lorissa: The subjects done first should be the ones they have the most problems with (with the exception of Devotions or bible study, which is good to start with). So if you have a child that loves reading but doesn't care much for math. It might be better to have math early on. A chart to check things off as they accomplish them really helps. My older two just use check marks and the youngest uses stickers to mark that something is completed.

Karla B.: Get out your calendar. Decide, as well as you can right now, how many days you are going to do school during this school year, even if you school year around. Decide, as well as you can right now, how many days you are going to do school during this school year, even if you school year around.

Briva: In the summer I take the books and try to break them into 4 chunks (figuratively) then each quarter I go over the chunk and try to break it down into 9 weekly lessons. At the end of the year if there are any crumbs left over we finish them off during the summer. If we get behind I always concentrate on Bible, and the 3R's.

Reese: I would toss the schedule and just go through your books as you come to the next page. Good luck, you'll need it if you are going to detail-schedule your children's education.

Examples of How Homeschooling Can Work for You

The question "What does a typical homeschooling day look like?" was posed to visitors of the HomeschoolChristian.com message boards. The schedules below are provided as examples of how different schedules work for different families! While you may find some outstanding ideas for your homeschool, the schedules below are provided as examples of how different schedules work for different families! No two families homeschool alike, so there truly is not a "typical" schedule.

Pat H.: Every year has been different for me, especially as my children have gotten older, and routines at home have changed.

I used to make out schedules when my boys were younger; but then I had a baby at 41 and my "schedule" left out room for a baby, and my increasing need for a nap!!! I don't think I have had a schedule since Emily was born...at least I haven't had one that worked for any length of time. Also, my teens have jobs, take classes away from home (band, weight-training, dual-enrollment,etc.) and participate in athletics, which means after school practices. My parents have been in deteriorating health for the past 2 years, and I spent as much time on the road caring for them, as I did at home. Now that mom is with us, our needs are different still, since an aid comes in to bathe her 3 times a week and I have to feed her breakfast before hand. 2 days a week I have hired help that cares for mom totally, and on those days I can be completely devoted to our studies. This year will be different again because Nick will be attending college 3 days a week. He will tutor his sister in Latin one day a week, and his brother in math as he is available. Here is what our schedule looks like for this year:

6:00 - Casey up for breakfast, chores, devotions
7:00 - Emily up for breakfast, chores, devotions
7:30-10:30 - Casey has band and weight training
8-10:45 - Emily will work on her studies, math first, including piano practice. Latin with Nick when Nick is available on Mondays (Nick has classes at FGCU Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
10:45 - Casey eats lunch and begins studies. History first, with Emily. Casey will work on his studies until done, or he leaves for golf practice at 3:00. He will do math as his brother is available to help him. Lunch and then history with Casey. After lunch, Emily finishes any remaining studies, read, play outside.

Nick will leave the house by 6:30 am and be gone all day to attend classes at FGCU on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. He should be able to work from home on Mondays, and Fridays, since the FGCU library is accessible to students online, though he may need to go to the library for "peace and quiet"! He will also continue to work part-time. We do all studies every day...or at least that is our goal!!

Susan H.: Our schedule is always subject to change because of the toddler (17 months) and will definitely change when the new baby arrives in November. But for now, we start this coming Monday, here is what we have planned.

We are starting the year with a unit study on Ancient Egypt and that is all I plan to do the first two weeks of school. (It is suppose to be a 6 wk. unit)

7:30 Get up make beds, pick up rooms, eat breakfast
8:00-8:30? Devotions and Bible study
8:30 -9:00 Saxon math for 11 year old son, number review for 6 year old daughter, and Cuisenaire rod time
9:00-9:30 Read aloud time in resource book on Ancient Egypt and discussion
9:30-10:00 Begin our Fact Pyramid and locate Egypt on map.
10:00-10:15 Assign vocabulary words and look up
10:15-11:00 Trace and color map of Egypt
11:00- ? Writing assignment, "Pretend you are a world explorer and your next stop is Ancient Egypt"

I try to not do "formal schooling" after 12:30 or so in the afternoon. We do ,however, have Spanish lessons on Mon., Wed., and Fri., (takes about 20-30 minutes) in the afternoon along with silent reading time of 30 minutes.

Patricia: We tend to be relaxed in our schedule, but we usually get up, and the kids do their dressing and personal hygiene, feed their pets and do their room chores BEFORE breakfast. Then we have breakfast, do our chores,and the kids take a short recess while I hang out or bring in the laundry from the line. Then we have our devotional and calendar time. The kids say their Bible memory verses during this time, also.

In the past we would do our FIAR "couch" time and the kids silent reading time in the AM, take a recess, have lunch, and then do our "bookwork" and in the afternoon when the toddler was asleep. We also do any hands-on projects or art during this time, too. On days that we do those we swap and do our bookwork in the AM. The kids have free time after they finish their bookwork until time to do their supper chores.

This year I think that we will go back to doing a 4 day week. We did that our first year and it worked better. We took Mondays off and that gave us a day to get the laundry mostly done, clean up after the weekend, run errands, go to the library. This will be the day that we use for any field trips, also. The kids work on Scout projects or "unschooling' activities for what is left that day. This year we will go back to that, then do "social studies" on Tuesday, language arts and applied math on Wed, art/music on Thursday, science on Friday. We do Bible and character every morning as well as geography this year as we pray for the 50 states first then start praying for the nations of the world, a new one each day.

I also think that this year we will do six weeks of school and then take a week off. We will also take 3 weeks off at least off during December. Then come May, we will take off the week of Memorial Day until after the 4th of July and start back our six week cycle.

Wendy in TX:
7:00-9:00 we get up,eat brush teeth,get dressed and so on.
9:00-9:30 we have bible study
9:30-10:15 math
10:15-10:45 Lang Arts(grammar and spelling)
10:45-11:00 break
11:00-12:00 we do history/science/poetry/art
On Monday and Wednesday we do history
Thursday we do science
Tuesday we do poetry/art
We only school Monday-Thursday 9-12 and Friday and Saturday we have bible study.
I work with Jessica in the afternoon we the little ones are napping. We also have read aloud time in the evenings after baths(sometimes this is done at lunch I read they eat) and they are assigned X amounts of reading to do everyday.

Kari:
We get up sometime in the morning...
We do school sometime during the day...
And we go to bed sometime at night...
And we stick to this rigidly.

Dawn: I've been working on our fall schedule that includes new baby, so it's not complete. Right now we are basically doing the same thing just shorter without the nursing breaks.

7am Nurse baby, other children personal hygiene.
7:30 Kids breakfast, my PH
8am Chores (we do basically the whole house) Toddler has play pen time.
8:30 FIAR w/ Andrew and James. Lyndsay plays with Christian.
9am I do school w/ James, Lyndsay reads her Bible, Andrew plays w/ Christian.
9:30 MUS w/ Lyn. Andrew reads, James looks at books, Christian colors at the table w/ us.
10am Nurse baby, the other kids are going to do a table playdough time.
10:30 MUS w/ And. Lyn w/ baby. Others ???
11am WRTR w/ And. Lyn - computer. Others ???
11:30 WRTR w/ Lyn. Boys all play together.
12noon Lunch
12:30 Grammar w/ Lyn. And - computer. Christian's nap.
1pm Nurse baby. Kids work on Awana books.
1:30 Science/History/Geography for Lyn and And. ** James watches a video.
2pm Latin w/ Lyn. Andrew is free. James - nap.

Then we have a second daily chore time at 4pm. We will do science on Monday's, History on Wednesday's, Geography on Thursday's. Friday's I haven't decided yet what we will fill in that spot yet. Tuesday's are reserved for Bible Study at church, appointments and library.

Cathy H.: I work outside the home from 7am-2pm. My dh works 3pm-1am, Wed. thru Sat. So he gets daughter up at 10 and they start her math & Bible at 11:00. Then when that is finished she has "free time" until I get home and we start the rest of her work around 3:00pm. But there are all kinds of things coming up that will change even that schedule! The big word around our home is flexibility! I figure, oh well, as long the work gets done, I don't worry too much about when or where it happens! We will be reading some good historical fiction books this year, which I want to hear too. So for the first month or so of school, daughter will probably float around the pool on her raft while I sit on the side and read our history to us! Like I said, gotta stay flexible!

TN Lizzie: I love the idea of starting each day with an opening prayer and the Apostles' Creed. I have been planning on having Sarah learn the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, the Christian Flag, and the Bible. I'm trying to figure out what to do with more hours than I have activities. My little ones (5 and 15 months) can only do so much by themselves. For Sarah, I've got FIAR, MUS foundations, Handwriting/Scripture Memorization, Bible Study (We call this "Daily Bread"), Chore Training. For Anna, I've got a box of zip-lock bags filled with pre-school activities: sewing cards, things to match, crayons and small paper plates, clothes pins and cardboard colored shapes, etc.

Michelle T.:
7:00 wake up, chores, breakfast
8:30 Bible;
9:00 math
9:45 Language, spelling, penmanship, Latin
11:15 Facts Plus
1:30 Science/History 90 minutes
3:00 Building Thinking skills

On Monday afternoons we have gym and swim at the Y from 1 - 3, on Tuesdays, they have Good News Club at their cousins from 3:30 to 4:30, Wednesday nights is Pioneer Club. Friday we get God's World. Also I want them to have reading time to read one missionary biography every 3 weeks, and we have read aloud time too. Did I mention piano??

Lisa C.:
8am-9am...rise and shine and give God the Glory Glory
also somewhere in this time find something and the time to eat it. Clean up!
10-11...pick a subject and do it. Bring it to me as proof that it was done. Check it in front of me. Correct mistakes.
11-12 pick a couple more subjects...do them bring them to me...as proof that it was done. Check it in front of me. Correct mistakes. Talk about any problems you might be having or you might be causing.
12-whenever...find something and the time to eat it. Clean up!
The rest of the afternoon read, draw, make a mess (of which YOU will clean up)..take a break and just think. Come to me and talk. Be silly. Watch a funny movie.

Mary Leggewie:
10 a.m.: Roger (8) works on speed drills and handwriting.
Daniel (6) works with me on phonics, writing, math, Bible memory work, time, $.
Yvette (11) reads and does independent work ...maps, Key to Fractions, Daily Grams, Easy Grammar, writing.

About 10:45: All 4 of us together: we sing math skip counting facts, States & Capitols songs. Daniel is off to play after the singing, although sometimes he works from 10-11 depending on what we've got scheduled.

11 a.m.: Roger gets me now. We do the rest of math together, reading, Bible cards. Roger is done by lunch.

After lunch: Yvette gets me for Saxon math, which usually takes 30 min. I also test her for Spelling Power then too.

Afternoon: The kids often watch Kratt's Creatures, Discovery Channel programs my mom has taped, Magic School Bus, Amazing Animals, Crocodile hunter, etc. I have been getting the Schlessinger Media videos from the library and the kids LOVE those. They cover science and history, including a whole set on ancient civilization. They also ride bikes or razors and play in the afternoon.

Bedtime: We read together. Yvette has been grabbing stacks of library books and taking them in her room to read on her own, but I want to start reading Henty books to her, so I'll get her back! The boys get to hear some kid picture books, and also I sneak in history and science reading on the at bedtime.

Fun Friday: We have been making one day per week (usually "Fun Friday") a day with more variety. I am forcing my non-crafty self to do art/craft on this day, and we listen to music then too and talk about the composers/musicians/style of music. We also do music during the week at lunch when I remember! I also try to vary the formal part of the schoolwork with something non-traditional, like puzzles for geography, games for math, or computer games for math. Sometimes Fun Friday is a field trip, sometimes it's Terrific Tuesday/Thursday, Marvelous Monday, etc. It depends on what's going on. This is also the day that we often use up visiting grandma (swimming at Grandma's=P.E.) or going to dentist/doctor visits.

Rachel: Maddie's almost 5, so she gets herself up/dressed in the a.m., but I still get the boys dressed as they are 3 1/2 and 2. But we're all done with breakfast, getting dressed, etc by time we start school at 8:30. We do school until 9:15, I let the kids take a break until 10-10:30, then Maddie and I finish up for about 15 minutes. Sometimes then we all do stuff together, like making cookies or muffins, sometimes we play games like concentration or go fish. When I'm doing laundry, I have them help pair up the socks, etc...it's still all educational, but more from an experiential aspect (I'm really big on mixing the two.) Maddie usually does her reading to me in the a.m. and then to dh after supper again, just for more practice. In the early a.m. session, we fit in a lot even though it's only about 45 minute to an hour...bible story, her reading, my read-aloud to her, math, science, social study.

Jamie: We just have Wes, grade 4.

We start around 8.
8-9 Bible (this includes Bible story, discussion, prayer, working on AWANA verses and whatever else mama can find to do!)
9-10: Math (Wes reads lesson; does problem set. We go over each problem as he finishes and if it's wrong, he immediately redoes it. I've found this method dramatically cuts down on "stupid" mistakes)
11-12: Language Arts:
Spelling (Spelling power): daily test, review, study, activity
Grammar: We do this once or twice a week
Creative writing: We do this Tue/Thurs
Language: (LLATL): whatever lesson is up. Sometimes reading, sometimes an actual lesson.
12 - 12:30: Reading. Typically, I read a chapter or two from our oral reading book and then Wesley will read me a chapter from the book he is currently reading. This is the most flexible part of our day and I will sometimes move it to after lunch or to the end of the day, depending on how the day is going.
12:30 - 1: Science
1-2: History
2 - ? : Any homework for foreign language classes (Spanish and Latin). We also review all the vocabulary from these classes.

On Mondays and Thursdays, I condense a bit as we have foreign language instruction with others at 1pm (we do reading last those days). On Fridays, we mainly review. He has a math lesson and history lesson. We do reading time. We review all the other subjects and are normally done by lunch (1pm). We eat and then spend some time having "game time." We play Mad-Libs and then he is allowed to pick one or two games from the game closet that we play. Most of these emphasize numerical concepts, geography concepts, critical thinking, or language skills.

Kat: Get up at 7am get dressed, eat, clean up.
9am start school
Bible (Awana usually)
math
writing or spelling
reading
11:30am lunch
clean up
free time
1:30pm quiet time
little ones sleep or color
older ones read
mom sleeps or reads depending on how much little ones were up the night before.
3pm time to do extra work. Unfinished school work or painting or what ever. Not free time; no running around doing nothing with no purpose.
4pm Dad gets home
Help Dad with animals or what ever he is doing.

Cathe: Two boys, ages 12 and 14
Option A:
Sleep as long as Mom will let them
Option B:
Get up early and start playing games until Mom makes them stop

Chores
Breakfast
Math - note - this seldom occurs before 11:00
Lunch
Another 5-8 subjects, depending on how the day is going
Dad gets home around 6:00
Dinner around 6:30-7:00
Evening activities (which may be AWANA, play practice, laundromat (we don't have a second car or laundry facilities in our apartment), grocery shopping, etc.)
Boys read in bed until about 10:30 - 11:00
We are not morning people. I usually stay up well past midnight sewing or doing other things.

Carolyn in CO: 6:30 or 7:00 till 9:00: regular morning stuff: get up, eat, do chores, goof off time
9:00 - 9:20: Bible reading/memorization and prayer
9:20 - 9:45 or so: exercises + take a walk or ride a bike if it is nice outside
9:45 - Noon: From here it varies, we do Switched on Schoolhouse. Math (The Key To series) and Language are done EVERY TIME, but then we pick and choose between History, Bible (SOS), Science (sometimes a cool experiment), World Geography, Typing Tutor, Art, Music, etc... We also do quite a bit of memorization work. (Right now we are learning "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow.)
Noon - 2:00: Free time
2:00 - 3:00 or whenever: Silent Reading (course, this kid reads ANY time). Play an educational game like Rummy Roots. Watch a movie.

With a child that LIVES to read, he picks up A LOT of information this way. We school ALL the time. But this is a fairly normal day for us.

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