Our Homeschool Schedule 2013 – 2014

I blogged back in January about how homeschooling was going midway through our first year.

Now that we are five weeks into our second year, I feel that we have hit a good groove and I’ll share what it looks like most days. I’ll give the usual caveats that every homeschool will look different and I know ours will continue to change with life’s different seasons.

I have a 5 1/2 year old, who is the only one officially being homeschooled. She is kindergarten age this year but academically she’s at different levels in different subjects. This is pretty easy to do since I picked each piece of our curriculum myself. We just find the right pace and the right level and get to learnin’! I also have a freshly-turned 3 year old and freshly-turned 1 year old who fill our home with distractions (both delightful and disastrous, depending on the hour of the day).

6:30 am – Ideally I wake up and get breakfast going, do my own scripture study and sneak in a quick workout and/or shower. It would be nice to do both but that would require getting up earlier and I’m not there yet! I’m not a morning person so it’s a huge accomplishment for me to deliberately wake up before my children. It is absolutely crucial for me, however.

7:15 am – Breakfast and memory work. We also sing whatever song we are learning that month and send Scott off to work somewhere in the middle.

8:30 am – I shoot to have everyone dressed, groomed, and breakfast chores done by this time. Mackenzie (5) starts her scripture study and journal and I spend some time with Caitlyn (3) and Daniel (1).

9:30 am – By this time Mackenzie should have long since finished and narrated to me and joined Caitlyn for playing, while I settled Daniel down for a nap. At this point I try to start Mackenzie on math and copywork.

10:15 am – Snack break! This is a new thing for us this year, but I actually love it. I serve something minimally messy (often fruit & veggie smoothie in a straw cup) and set a timer with no second servings so it stays brief. We all look forward to it.

Depending on the day, we’ll go straight into Logic of English after snack time, or I’ll be too busy fighting domestic fires and I’ll declare “PE time!” because that requires less of my attention. Logic of English needs my full attention so it will get pushed back until later as needed (or sometimes missed altogether with our current schedule… must tweak that) .

Then play and the kids do a quick clean up while I prep lunch.

12:30 pm – Lunch time. We take a full hour and I read aloud while dishing out food and wiping up spills.

1:30 pm – Ideally this slot is something that can include Caitlyn, such as art or science or researching an interest on YouTube.

2:00 pm – Picture book time.

2:30 pm – Nap time for the little ones. Mackenzie and I do the neglected Logic of English. She’ll also do her 30 minutes of computer work if she hasn’t done it earlier in the day. (Khan Academy two days / week, Rosetta Stone Spanish three days / week)

Mackenzie will take an hour of “book time” in a bedroom.

by 5pm – everybody awake, playing or a walk around the neighborhood and then a good clean up before dinner.

6:30 pm – Dinner & Dad time

7:30 pm – Bedtime routine

8:00 pm – Ideally Caitlyn and Daniel are down and Mackenzie gets some read aloud time from Dad before heading to bed herself.

Rarely does a day go according to plan, and I only glance at a clock every hour or so. We definitely don’t hit all the times listed above, but they are great guidelines that help our days run a bit more smoothly. Perhaps most importantly, they help me redeem days that have gone haywire. 🙂

Not listed: baths, soccer practice, play dates, time to cook dinner, stops to nurse a baby, diaper changes, bathroom runs with the three year old, catastrophe clean ups, phone calls, snuggling, more chores, dance parties, etc.

Also not in there: Piano, since we just started that this week! Lessons or practice will take a 15-30 minute slot either before breakfast or at the beginning of nap time, I think.

Since we homeschool year round, we have the flexibility to just take a day off here and there when needed. If Scott has the day off work, we can just drop school like a hot potato and head off on an adventure. Or, we can take a half day to play or run errands and do a shortened schedule. Since he works a four day week, this flexibility is particularly wonderful and we all enjoy the extra time with him. 🙂

In my next post(s?) I’ll describe what we actually DO for the things mentioned above such as memory work, Khan Academy, etc. Feel free to post questions or comments below. I know many people are curious how homeschooling “works” and I’d be happy to respond with my own experience thus far.

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About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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14 Responses to Our Homeschool Schedule 2013 – 2014

  1. brandito75 says:

    Hi Anne- it’s exciting that you guys have moved here to Oregon! Well, exciting to me since I’ve been following your blog for about 3 years. Where did you end up moving to? I live in McMinnville, which is the prettiest place in Oregon to live, BTW 😉 Hope you adjust to the weather, if you live in the Willamette Valley, expect rain from now til May – except for a break in March, which we call a “teaser” or “fake spring”, in which it will be sunny and warm for about a week… then back to rain. Just lettin ya know what you’re in for! If you’re ever around McMinnville let me know- I’ll give you the heads up on the best places to eat and shop!

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    • beanland says:

      We are living in Salem. So far, I really love it. It is definitely wetter than I’m used to, and I noticed the rain a lot the first several weeks when we didn’t have a clothes dryer. 🙂 It’s good to know what I can expect for the next -many- months!

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      • Simeet Gandhi says:

        I love the rain! I’m jealous of your weather. I wish the Bay Area was more like Oregon, it’s good to get a nice soak every once in a while. It seems to be getting drier in the Bay Area, probably global warming. 🙂

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  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Anne: i write to you from Mallorca, Spain. I’ve following your blog for a year and have used some of your tips for my own children. For instance, we are now reading the little house on the prairies following your advice.
    Please, could keep updated your reading list as it gives us a lot of ideas.
    And I’l also be very interested in reading more about how you teach&allow computer use.
    Sorry for my rusty English, I know i should do some brush up!
    Daniel

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    • beanland says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks so much for writing! I am glad you started the Little House on the Prairie Series. I will keep updating this page as we read more books: https://beanland.wordpress.com/great-read-aloud-books-for-children/ .

      Do you have any recommendations for children’s picture books in Spanish? There are many books written in English and then translated to Spanish, but I am sure I’m missing out on great books originally written in Spanish! 🙂

      So far teaching computer use has been pretty simple… I just tell and show my daughter how to do things when she asks. The rest she seems to figure out pretty well on her own!

      She is not quite 6 and I have only ever had her doing 4 things on the computer: khanacademy.org a few times a week for 30 minutes at a time, Rosetta Stone Spanish three times a week for 30 minutes a time, sometimes she writes her dad email notes during the day, and a few times she has played on a website such as starfall.org . Doing these simple things, she knows how to type and use a mouse, and open and close programs. I don’t allow her to browse the internet at all. I plan to start formal typing practice in a few years because I think that’s a very valuable skill.

      -Anne

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  3. Pingback: Our Homeschool Curriculum 2013 – 2014 | Adventures in Beanland

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Anne: I don’t think Spain has a good set of great picture books written In Spanish. Probably the most famous one, it’s the poetic “Platero y yo” written by Juan Ramón Jiménez, an important poet and Nobel Prize. Another good name is Javier Sáez Castán and here you can get some more info on him in English:

    http://wereaditlikethis.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/long-live-little-king.html

    A good blog to read reviews of spanish children lit is this:
    http://www.bienvenidosalafiesta.com

    What do you watch on khanacademy? For my daughter’s age (5yo) I have only found some videos on addition and substraction tranlated into Spanish. I guess you can find a lot more in English.

    Personally, I try to play some math games&puzzles following a wonderful book written by Zvonkin. I don’t if you are familiar with the russian cercles as a way to complement math teaching.
    I also bought Singapore Math and Jump Math and we use both methods. I haven’t bought yet the singapore advanced problems book that you have, but I think it’d probably be a good idea!

    Thanks for updating your reading list. What do you think of Patricia MacLachlan and her Sarah, plain and tall? Also at what age it would be good to read S.Hale novels? Probably a bit older. Now we are in the middle of Ingall’s Silver Lake but I find this book a little bit more boring than the previous ones.

    Thank you for your blog, Anne

    Daniel

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    • beanland says:

      Thanks so much for the info!

      To answer your questions:

      On khanacademy, it looks like my daughter (almost 6 but very advanced in math) has mastered:
      – all 7 topics in addition and subtraction (everything from 1 digit addition* to 4-digit subtraction with borrowing)
      – *Number line 1
      – Multiplying 1 digit numbers
      – Basic division
      – *Multiplying by multiples of 10
      – 1 digit division
      – Multiplication and division word problems (1 and 2)
      – Multiplication without carrying
      – Negative numbers on the number line
      – Mastering negative numbers
      – *Money and decimal place value intuition
      – Regrouping whole numbers
      – Comparing whole numbers
      – *Creating bar charts 1
      – *Reading pictographs 1
      – Reading bar charts (1 and 2)
      – *Reading tables (1 and 2)
      – Reading stem and leaf plots
      – *Recognizing fractions .5
      – Identifying numerators and denominators
      – comparing fractions
      – Adding fractions with common denominators
      – Subtracting fractions with common denominators
      – Angle types
      – Vertical angles
      – Parallel lines
      – Area 1
      – Drawing lines
      – *Volume with unit cubes

      And it looks like she’s working on Perimeter 1, Finding perimeter, and Fractions on the number line 1.

      Honestly, most of those she did just because she saw me doing something similar while looking over my shoulder and asked about it. I thought quickly if she was capable of grasping the concept (did she understand the underlying principles) and if the answer was yes, I taught it to her and let her go do it on her own. Although I don’t consider perimeter and essential skill for a 5 year old, if you can add and you’re curious… you can sure learn how to calculate perimeter of simple shapes! 🙂

      *These are topics particularly well suited to beginners, as I recall. Keep in mind though that my daughter is already a proficient reader and some of these may rely on reading. Also, it bears repeating: I don’t think these are essential for 5 year olds. I just happen to have a 5 year old who likes to learn them.

      I’m not familiar with that way of teaching math but now I’m interested! Any resources you can recommend to learn more about it?

      I actually don’t love Sarah, Plain and Tall personally. I checked it out and pre-read it and decided not to read it aloud to my daughter. I know it’s a classic, though, so it may be my own poor taste. 🙂

      I’m really careful about introducing any books with major angst or romance themes in them because I don’t want my girlie growing up too fast. I like Shannon Hale novels but they’ll still be there when she’s a bit older. I can’t really guess at an age right now because my oldest is just 5. I’m not even sure what 10 year olds are like! 😉

      Silver Lake almost bored me to tears. I’m glad I’m not the only one! The next one is my very favorite, though, so hang in there.

      Thanks for your comments!

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  5. Daniel says:

    Thanks Anne, I’ll check all these khan links as they lokk very informative and useful.
    About Sarah, plain and tall I have understood from your words they are related to romance. If that’s the case, we’ll also wait a little bit until the girl is older. Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi and the decond book of Dr. Dolittle are already waiting for us. Have you read some of the first Moomintroll’s novels?
    About Math, you can get more info on JumpMath and also some free pdf samples from this website
    http://jumpmath.org/cms/

    In my humble opinion, Singapore maths provides a higher level although Jump can be very helpful to provide another view of the problems.

    Zvonkin’s book is trully a wonderful book of mathematics problems and activities for pre-k and k children.

    http://www.amazon.com/Math-Three-Seven-Mathematical-Preschoolers/dp/082186873X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387211823&sr=8-1&keywords=zvonkin

    I love most of his problems in order to achieve an intuitve sense of the wonder fo maths. Perheps your older daughter is a bit too old for the book, although I’m not sure.

    Best wishes and many thanks for your help. I learn a lot from your homeschool experience, although we don’t homeschool (but afterschool) as In Spain homeschooling is not allowed by the Law.

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    • beanland says:

      Thanks for the great info. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear about Sarah, Plain and Tall. I don’t recall there being romance… I just didn’t enjoy the book that much so we never continued on the series. It’s a quick read though if you want to try it for yourself.

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  6. Daniel says:

    Dear Anne; I wonder if you know the novel Misty of Chinconteague and if you think it’s a good novel for my daughter, after the Little house on the prairies readings? Thanks, Daniel

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  7. Daniel says:

    Thank you anne for the information. I’ll tell you about Misty. Thanks!

    Like

  8. Pingback: Creating a Fabulous Homeschooling Schedule for Multiple Ages | Adventures in Beanland

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