Written by Amida of Journey into Unschooling
Perhaps one of the most interesting topics for homeschoolers is that of scheduling, specifically the day to day, hour by hour activities of individual families. If you’re like me, you’ve been following our series, tuning in each week to get yet another peek at how someone else does it.
When it comes to writing out our own schedule, however, it’s not met with the same enthusiasm. Feelings of inferiority and not doing “enough” start to creep in.
What will people think? And of course, with each day being completely different, which to write about? I’ve considered sharing one of our more academically productive days, in which lessons are cranked out at an impressive rate, but that, while authentic, would be deceiving. It certainly doesn’t reflect our day to day life.
At the moment of this writing, in the middle of a school day, for goodness sake, my children are in the midst of a NERF battle. What have we accomplished so far? Not much. The kids are recovering from a bug and we have visitors. Other than the math and SAT test prep they’ve worked on earlier, it has been a slow school day.
Whereas in the beginning of our homeschooling journey, we scheduled our activities around school work, the reverse is now more the norm. We go about our business and fit in random academic pursuits throughout the day, eventually touching on enough “school” by the week’s end.
Especially now, with a preschooler and newborn in tow, this is the system that has worked best for us. With the exception of those days we have a field trip or co-op meeting, our days follow a certain rhythm that more or less centers around our meals:
Morning: Breakfast, read aloud and playtime, piano practice, work in one or two subjects
Afternoon: Lunch, read aloud and playtime, after lunch walk and/or trip to the library, another subject covered (individually, as a family, with friends, or outdoors with group)
Evening: Extra-curricular classes, dinner, read aloud for all
Not mentioned above but certainly happening every spare moment is reading — all my kids are voracious readers, with book always in hand while eating, brushing teeth, shopping, etc. It is probably their core activity and many times I am hesitant to pull them away from their books in the name of school. “Reading Day” is certainly an acceptable activity at our house.
The NERF battle has ended and guests have left. There is just enough time for a refreshment (honey and lemon tea for returning sore throats) and some quick chores before dinner.
Afterwards, showers will be taken before winding down with a little TV and story time — another day filed in the life of a homeschooler.
Has your homeschool schedule eased up with time (and more kids)? Do you allow for enough free/play time?