Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Large Family Organization: A Daily Homeschool Schedule

The new school year is upon us and I have been working to get organized so that we can make the most of this year.  Having a written plan has been such an amazing help to me over the years and over the years it has gradually become more detailed.  When I don't have a plan, I don't get things done.  I am just not that disciplined.  I need a plan to follow:)

So, I finally completed the work on our new daily schedule that we are using for this school year.  It usually takes a few weeks to make the changes and adjustments that inevitably come with a new schedule.  There were definitely a few kinks with scheduling the use of computers and loading specific programs onto specific computers.  Our desktop is about six years old and currently using a system other than Windows that is not compatible with a few of our programs.  So, we are still waiting on our new Windows program to get Language and Typing up and running. But it has allowed us to ease into the schedule with plenty of  "free time".  We did the morning schedule for three weeks before adding in the afternoon.

 Here is a picture of our schedule.

Some explanation of the schedule.

The "*" by something means that this item is done with me.  This helps me to see where I am needed throughout the day.

The underlining means that a computer is needed for this subject.  We have two computers so the kids have to take turns.  Without a schedule, I believe we would have a line of kids waiting and things might not get done.  At best, there would be a significant amount of time lost to waiting.

Each of the older kids takes a turn "babysitting" the three little boys in the loft or backyard (depending on the weather).  This gives them experience caring for the littles, deepens the relationships in smaller groups, and gives me small amounts of time that I can be focused on another child or chore.

I have found that we can easily wait until 1pm for lunch if I give everyone a handful of nuts or trail mix (usually around 11) and Abby gives the baby a bottle when she plays with him at 12.  It seems to work best to get all of these individual lessons done before lunch and we are not early risers:)

This year, we will take a half hour after each meal to allow for instruction and chores related to meal clean up.  I am hoping that this makes things run smoother, helps the kids learn what it takes to clean up after a meal, and give us some time where we are all working together in the kitchen.  Here is our meal clean up chore rotation.

We go ahead and schedule the evenings as well because they are always busy and without a schedule we were not getting it all done.  We want to worship together as a family as often as it works but without the schedule, we found that other things would often crowd out this time.  If we have plans or decide to be spontaneous one particular evening then we leave the schedule for that evening.

The great thing about having a schedule is that you can get it all done but you can also choose to skip parts on particular days to foster flexible living.

Fridays in our home are reserved for fieldtrips, park days, art, science experiments, etc. so we rarely follow this schedule on Fridays...unless we have had other disruptions to school during the week and need to catch up.

Because "Managers of Their Homes" was such a great help to me in organizing how we spend our time (It's amazing just how much time we do have in each day!), I decided to read and implement "Managers of Their Chores" this year. Maybe next summer I will read "Managers of Their Schools"...haha. I am excited to see how this plan will help us this year.  I will post on chore schedules and packs after we have had some time to try out the system and work out the kinks:)

What things do you do to organize your home and school?

1 comment:

  1. We are like three weeks into school and I still have not written up a schedule uggg. I did my schedule last year after reading manger of there homes and loved it. I need to pull it out and get started. Thanks for the inspiration. Ps we used their chore pack and LOVVVVed them I need to revise them and print some more.