Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School Schedule Update

I am writing a post for publication in October for The Homeschool Classroom that chronicles a day in our homeschool, but I wanted to go ahead and share a couple of changes that I have made since we first began school.  Today will be our 25th school day of the new year!

Adjusting to schooling five children instead of four, has really not been that big of a deal.  I think last year's school day was much harder to adjust to.  I already had the expectation of our school day lasting until mid-afternoon before we even began, so the time required to get it all done has not stressed me.

That being said, on the days we have school, that is basically all we do----school.  I find it very hard to carve out time for blogging, housework (beyond keeping the house tidy, the clothes washed, and the kitchen clean), and major meal preparations.  Since we have one day off from school each week (most weeks), I use that day to clean my house, run errands, fold all the clean clothes that I didn't get to, etc.

Things I have changed so far:

1.  Julie (9th grade) is using a different writing curriculum than we first planned.  She was using How to Write the Novel Way, a book that she has had for a few years now and was really looking forward to completing, but, as she began working in it, she realized that it was just not going to work for her.  I completely understood, and we did a little bit of internet browsing, and decided for her to choose an IEW book.  She chose Life Sciences.  This works out nicely, since she is studying Apologia's Biology this year.  The Life Sciences writing program goes right along with that book.

2.  I am doing all of Leah's and Sam's schoolwork with them together, instead of separately.  They wanted to sit with each other while they were doing their seatwork, and they both wanted to hear each other's Sonlight books (even though Sam's books are the very same ones that I read to Leah just two years ago!).  So, I am beginning my school day by reading both of their Sonlight books to them.  I usually alternate by reading one of Leah's, then one of Sam's.  That takes us about 45 minutes.  Then after our Bible lesson, the three of us sit at a table (I am in the middle), and they do all of their seatwork at the same time.  I just go back and forth helping them.  Sam finishes his work first, and then he is off to play.  When I am done with both of them, usually by 11:00 or 11:30, I move on to helping Clay.

Thank you for all of the pencil advice!
I am going to buy two new items to try--Ticonderoga pencils and some mechanical pencils.  I prefer a pencil that doesn't have quite as fine a point as mechanical pencils normally do, but a friend of mine suggested that I try mechanical pencils with lead 9.  I will.

How is your homeschooling year going?


  1. I ALWAYS used Ticonderoga pencils in my classroom. Hated any other kind.

  2. I enjoyed hearing about your changes. We have made one big change - we changed science curriculums for my middle son. He was using Apologia's General Science and was just struggling and hating it. So, now we are using Science 6 from Bob Jones with the DVDs. The DVDs give him the extra reinforcement that he needs. He really needs a lecture to go along with his reading to help him with understanding in that subject.

    I am using 1/2 of Core 100 with my 9th grade daughter for history and Core D for my boys. This is my first year with Sonlight and we are all adjusting to lots of history reading. So far, I have been loving the books in my daughter's core and am liking the books in my boys' core but I'm not loving them. We just finished Walk the World's Rim and Pedro's Journal and have just started Secret of the Andes. I've been reading their readers as well and like them.


  3. We have found each year that we need to make adjustments those first few weeks.

    I love the fact you read so long to your children. I really need to focus more on reading aloud to Hope for longer periods.

    I think you are so wise to just accept that some days only school will get done. I find that going into the day knowing that the main focus is school and it is going to take most of the day takes the pressure off of finishing by a predetermined time. Having one in K, one in 12th, and two in college who need me to look over papers or help them with a math concept I have learned to just go with what is needed at the time and school, on whatever level, is our main focus of the day.

  4. I just started school this week and I could scream!! I have 7 kids---9 months, 2 years, 4, 9, 10, 12 and 18 (he's a first year nursing student at the local university). My 4 yr. old has been begging to do school so I planned on doing some with her this year (I LOVED your letter of the week idea with the scrapbook and we are using the Before the Code book as our base for it).

    I am finding that I am all over during the day. I am trying to keep our house from looking like 10 people live in it (my mom is with us right now) during the day, take care of 2 babies and school. Besides my 4 yr. old the other children "should be" more independent with the work I have given them. But they aren't and it is driving me nuts. I have only given them a few things to start with too, that they know, so they SHOULD be able to handle it.

    I have been fighting a schedule but I see no other way. I also think I need to face the fact that I can't do it all and the house is gonna have to wait while I am schooling. Thanks for that. So I guess I have my own homework to do this weekend----schedule, lesson plans and the house. That way Monday morning will be great : )