Thursday, May 20, 2010

What our days look like: our schedule/routine

I have received several emails asking me about various aspect of our schedule – how and when we do learning, what I do with Damian while trying to teach Rylan, how I fit in housework and cooking, etc. All of these questions have come from non-homeschooling families who are currently investigating the idea of homeschooling, so my reply is with that in mind. I thought I would try to incorporate all of these answers into one post (thank you to those of you who have been patient with me in replying, I have had a rough couple of weeks). Now to answer the question:

Let me start by saying that our schedule is constantly being revised as the kid’s activities change throughout the year. I like to keep to a basic routine, but I also love the flexibility that homeschooling allows. If one of the boys are really interested in a particular activity or subject, then we shift our schedule to fit it in. We are also planning to school all year round this year, so no stopping for the summer. The reason for this is that Rylan LOVES school, to stop in his mind would not be fun, but almost a punishment, which defeats the purpose of a holiday! We do stop school work when family visits, which is a couple of months over the course of a year, and when we travel ourselves (but that is learning in itself, right?). So, given this year round learning and the fact that the nature of homeschooling allows you to do away with homework altogether, and one-on-one learning with your child means they can cover more work faster; you can definitely work in time for a lot of extracurricular activities and also plain ol’ downtime for playing, imagining, being outdoors, and doing art work.

So, with this in mind, here is a more detailed look at our week. Right now Rylan is taking swimming lessons twice a week, gymnastics once a week, and piano lessons once a week. Both he and Damian attend a Music Together class once a week as well. We have a weekly play group we attend and go on a lot of planned field trips with a great mom/kids group that we are members of. All of these activities are a minimum of a 25 minute drive from our home, some as much as an hour and a half away, so that means we have a lot of time in the car. The kids also have weekly play dates with their friends in each other’s homes or at the park or beach and we go to the library once a week, plus we have to do the grocery shopping and errand running which all homes require to keep functioning. So right now maybe you are thinking when do you do the school work? :) Normally we have three mornings a week at home, on these mornings, after breakfast and washing up, we go to our school area and start our day with our circle time, which involves prayers together, studying our virtue of the week and doing the related activity, and then calendar time. After all this is finished, we move onto workboxes, which you can read more about here. We usually finish the workboxes (that is all of Damian’s and the first half of Rylan’s) around 10 to 10:30 a.m., at that point the kids go off and play together and I try to get some housework done. Sometimes they help me, like with laundry and vacuuming which they love! Depending on the day I may also put something in the crockpot for dinner during this time. We usually read a few books before we eat lunch around 11:30 a.m. At 12 p.m. I put Damian down for a nap and Rylan has about 30 minutes of quiet time (usually quiet play or reading in his room). I use this time to do work on my computer. Just a note here - with the exception of one morning a week, even when we are out for the morning, I generally make sure we are home by 11:30 for lunch, so Damian gets his nap and Rylan gets focused school time while he naps.
Right now I have it easy because Damian is napping two and half to three hours every day (long may it last, pretty pleeeease!!); so after quiet time, Rylan and I go back to our school area where we work through his remaining boxes together. If we finish his workboxes before Damian wakes up, then we do more work together (I usually let Rylan decide what he wants to do).
When Damian wakes up, its out the door to afternoon activities. We spend almost every afternoon out of the house doing activities, having play dates, going to the beach, the park, the library, grocery shopping, and running errands. If we are home (including when friends are over) we often incorporate some kind of art or craft into that time.
When we return home it is time to make dinner, while making dinner I direct a general tidy up the house which the kids carry out (since this involves putting away their toys and books that are scattered throughout our home!). Sometimes I just call out “clean up time” and they do it, other times they need a little more motivation, then we sing a clean-up song together (there are a few of them out there), I give them challenges to see how fast they can put a certain set of toys away, we put things away by color, by type, by counting, and so on. A note here - the reason this works for me is that my kitchen/living room/dining room is all open plan and the boy’s room is the first room off of this area; so I can easily keep an eye on the whole process while preparing dinner. Usually by the time dinner is done the house is pretty much straightened up and if there are still a few minutes before my hubby gets home, we go and read together until dinner (or if Ramtin gets home before I finish dinner he reads and plays with the boys). The rest of the evening follows like this: eat together as a family, bath time for the boys, family prayer time, and reading books before bed time for the boys.

And that is a basic look at our days!

3 comments:

  1. wow, i like your days!!!
    but no there is no tv time? :( I like watching tv ...
    I wish I can get this kind of day :)
    thanks for sharing dear
    have a good week-end and love to the boys.

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  2. Ramtin and I don't go to bed at the same time as the boys...after they go to sleep I work on my blog and other writing, I exercise, and do school prep and the like. While I exercise I watch tv and sometimes when I am too dead tired to do anything else. Actually I usually don't watch tv, I should say I watch DVDs - either movies or tv series on DVD. I cannot stand commercials, and on US tv there are A LOT of them. I get DVDs from our local library, they have a huge selection of movies and most tv series for loaning.

    Hope you have a good weekend too! Love to your family. :)

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  3. Thank you for sharing. I just found your blog and am loving perusing through the posts!

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