In part 1 of this post I talked about ditching our daily homeschool schedule in favour of finding a daily rhythm. As promised, here is a close up of what that really looks like in my house…
Between 6 and 7am we wake up (whenever we naturally wake up – i haven’t had a clock or alarm in my room since I was a nurse). Once we’re up and going we get ready for the day – diapers are changed, everyone gets dressed, teeth and hair is brushed, beds are made and dirty laundry gathered and taken to the laundry room. About an hour has passed once we’ve finished all our tasks. Then we migrate…
What I’ve found in the past with a daily homeschool schedule is that we weren’t having enough change of scenery in our days and the kids were getting a bit stir crazy. So, we do all our mornings things in the bedroom end of the house. We migrate to the kitchen once we are all done. At this point Little Lou is usually content to go on my back having spent a good chunk of time exploring on the floor in the bedroom. I put him in the tula and pull out a sensory bin for Mickey Blue (and Izzy – if he wants to join in). They play while I make breakfast and unload the dishwasher.
*First adaptation to our new rhythm…. Izzy runs out and lets the chickens out because it takes us a little longer to get to our outdoor chores than I first anticipated.
After eating, we clean up from breakfast and head outside. As we get suited up in the laundry room which leads outside, I put on the load of dirty laundry. We have rabbits and chickens that Izzy is learning to care for. Mickey Blue also likes to help out – he helps carry feed and checks for eggs. We feed the chickens, change their water and clean the poop from the coop. Izzy feeds the rabbits, changes their water and checks on their bedding. Every week we move the coop and run. We spend about an hour outside, working and playing. (It’s too cold to enjoyably play much longer right now.)
Around 10:30 or 11, we head back in. We clean up, warm up and head to the classroom. (In case you missed it, we just dedicated a room in our house to be Our new homeschool classroom!) Izzy and I do bible study while the younger boys play. There’s always a lot of interruptions – which would have wreaked havoc on our daily homeschool schedule – so we spend about 45 minutes playing and learning. Our bible program, Bible Study Guide For All Ages (review coming soon….), works well with all the interruptions. Once we complete our lesson we clean up the toys (unless Mickey is getting squirrely – then Izzy does it or we return to it after lunch).
Izzy moves onto independent work – 15 or more minutes of independent reading of his choice & a lesson in math. We use Math-U-See – there’s a video introduction at the start of each new lesson that we watch together, then Izzy can compete the lessons by himself. He knows I am available to him during this time; he just needs to bring his work to me. I make lunch, Luke goes back in the tula and usually naps now, and Mickey has free time in the living room (scenery change!) or with a sensory bin in the kitchen.
Once lunch is ready we reconvene and eat together at the table. We also read our weekly poetry which we use for copy work or dictation. Mondays we read the poem. Tuesday and Wednesday we use it for dictation. Thursday and Friday Izzy does copy work.
Afternoons are still a little more fuzzy.
Mondays we play outside (weather permitting), start dinner, put away any laundry, spot clean any hot spots in the house, and head out for music lessons at 4pm.
Tuesday afternoons are for Nature Walks – see my blog post about our Winter Nature Study. Izzy has music lessons again on Tuesdays so we stick close to home for our nature walk. Then afternoon chores and dinner prep.
Wednesdays are visiting days when we have some standing playdates or family visits at our place.
Thursdays we go for a Nature Walk further from home (requires a car ride). Our goal this year is to explore new parks and paths in our community.
Fridays are like Mondays but we have no music lessons – Izzy and dad go swimming in the evening instead.
And that, in a large nutshell, is our new rhythm. So far it is working really well for us. What about you? Or does a daily homeschool schedule work better for you?
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