"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

August 31, 2012

Loving our new homeschooling schedule

Fellow Home School Moms,
don't you miss the days of elementary school when you finished school by noon? I do! And even though I've graduated one and have 3 teens, I'm still on that same continual quest to actually get a shower before noon like when they were little... LOL What is the deal with that?!
Minus the whole showering thing, we've got a great schedule going this year that we are all really excited about. : )

Looking back on the last two school years, I can see God's hand in the relaxed schedule we had. The kids were doing their own cooking and they became self sufficient in the kitchen...
It was a season where we cared for my brother-in-law, who is a stroke patient, who spent months at a time with us both years and the kids helped him with physical therapy exercises...
It was a time for training a new puppy...  (or maybe the new puppy trained us)
Our days started at 7:30 AM and usually ended around 4:30 PM.
They were long... and then we had homework at night.

This year's schedule is shorter and more focused. And we love it.
This summer, I heard a home school conference speaker say a couple of things that really struck me. The first being that our home schools should have one break time and not a bunch of them. (I've noticed around here that if one child is on a break, that almost insures everyone else getting distracted) : )
Secondly, our schools need to have a definite ending time. She said that kids cannot concentrate anymore after 2:00 or 2:30 so it was better to end the day around that time instead of stretching it out longer.
So, we changed things up a bit! -The beauty of homeschooling right? Do what works best!

If you want to take a peek, here's how our days look now: 

6:15 AM -My quiet time
6:45 AM -I'm making smoothies for hubby and I, and breakfast for the kiddos
7:00 AM -Kids breakfast/shower/etc
7:30 AM -school starts    
10:00 AM -take a 15 minute break and have a snack
10:15-12:30 PM -continue working on subjects (at 12:15 I start making lunch)
12:30-1:00 PM -lunch break
1:00-3:00 PM -work on more subjects.
Stop at 3:00 no matter what! : )
From 3:00-4:30 PM -is free time
(part of their day includes exercising for 30 minutes and this my chance to get in my workout)
4:30 PM -kids do chores and I start making dinner
After dinner we stay around the table for devotions which are led by the kids. (each of them has a night) They read a passage and then share with us what it means to them and we discuss it and then give that person a roaring round of applause. : )
7:00 PM which is our 'homework' time
9:30 -10:00 PM is Bible time, when all of us spend time individual time with the Lord.
(we used to have the kids do this in the morning but certain teen(s) ended up falling asleep, so we changed it to the evenings) : ) Gotta do what works, right?!
10:15 -Computers get shut off and we take away their iPods I mean, the kids give us their iPods. (and phones) Wish we'd have thought of this with teen #1!
10:30 -Lights out!

I'm enjoying making the kids breakfast and lunches. -I had to buy wheat berries to motivate me though. I love grinding my own wheat and baking. The kitchen is staying cleaner since they aren't cooking ; ) and I was able to shorten our lunch break so that we could really pull off the 3:00 ending time. The added bonus is we are eating healthier too! Yay!

My brother-in-law will be back to live with us again for part of this school year, and hopefully this schedule will continue to work. We'll see.

I hope you have a happy holiday weekend!
I'm looking forward to some free time to read in Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and a long overdue date with my guy and a trip to the beach with the fam!

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