So I thought I would share how I hope to run our day this year. Last year, we just kind of went with the flow. Did what we wanted when we wanted to. I began the year with a start time, and a small trial schedule. It lasted for a while, but as we began sleeping later and being lazier in the mornings, it kind of fell away.
In the beginning, I also tried to follow Charlotte Mason’s theory of rotating the subjects to as not tire the brain (you don’t do a whole lot of reading in a row, or a lot of math and science together). In theory, it sounded good, but this actually made our days really tough and NOT at all smooth and easy! Skylar really had a hard time transitioning from one part of her brain to the other, so the transitions took a long time and just made things awful.
Skylar NEEDS the regularity of knowing what comes next, perhaps as a result of her years in preschool and public school, perhaps because that is just who she is! I feel that I need a schedule this year, to serve her needs, and to have regular down time to work with D this year, while Skylar continues to work on her own.
Another thing we found last year, is that Sky did not do math well early in the morning, but instead it helped to start with history or poetry. We discovered that math would take less than half the time to finish if we took time to do PE before math rather than trying to skip PE & stumble thru. So now we do our History and Grammar and poetry and Bible early (plus that is the cuddly sit on the couch time, nice for first thing with a cup of coffee).
Then, around 10:00 we do PE, outside if possible. We use Family Time Fitness or Wii Fit, Wii Dance or some other semi-organized exercise video. FTF is a homeschool designed PE program that is easy, fun and has daily lesson plans. I found this at the Great Homeshool Conference last spring and although we haven’t used it too regularly, we had fun when we did do it. I think our neighbors thought I was crazy, skipping and hopping down the driveway with my kids, but it was a fun brain break for sure!
After PE we return to do math and science, now that her brain is fully engaged (and my coffee has perked me up!) What a difference that simple change has made! I highly suggest it to anyone who has a child who is struggling to comprehend their math, or really any subject. Get that blood flowing and the wiggles out BEFORE and math can almost be fun! There is real research behind this too on why it works & how.
We’ll try to do Science before lunch, but depending on when we start, it may fall after. After Science is independent reading, or finish up time, where she can finish any worksheets or projects we didn’t complete during the morning.
We also use bedtime reading some for our read-alouds. We started this summer doing it, and it is a nice change from Dr. Seuss! Reading Winnie the Pooh or Stuart Little as a family is a nice wind-down for the day. We don’t do as much narration as we probably should, but that’s ok with me at this point.
Click here to see the schedule layout by approximate times. I am sure things will morph and change as the year goes along, but this is a good starting point, I think. 2013-14 time breakdown
Hope this helps & I pray that it works for us, longer than a week!