Saturday, February 22, 2014

How to make a base schedule for homeschooling

Everyone knows consistency is the key with kids, right? I think that's wisdom that's just ingrained in our bodies and minds  Knowing that, you know a lot about a schedule then! Phew!!

1.  Okay, what are some things you do every day? Pray, eat, bath, naps, story time...good start.  Ok, write those in- with the chunk of time you estimate you will be doing them. I don't care if you eat at 11 am, or at 1 know best for your family. These are your ANCHOR POINTS.

2. Now start writing in your other consistent maybe you have YMCA gymnastics, or Catechesis, or Little Flowers, or Familia, or family dinner at Grandma's on Sunday, or a regular altar society meeting you attend, or boy scouts every Thursday, Latin lessons, piano lessons, Lego club. Whatever it is, even if it's a biweekly or once a month (but consistent on going commitment) write that in now. (you can make a notation on your schedule it's once a month, or every other Wednesday..etc)

3.  Now for the good stuff. You want to know when your homeschooling is going to be done and how it fits in. Well, I think mornings are best for people when learning. So I only homeschool in the mornings- their minds are awake, they are rested and alert and they just ate. Try it in the afternoon and see how it goes compared to morning. Things just seem to move faster- could be my But I think biologically we do better in the morning.
 Figure out what your kids best time to eat is important, in this scheduling, you may have one child who needs to be fed at 11:30 sharp or a melt down ensues. So be ready to call it quits at 11 am possibly to allow for changing a diaper and washing hands to get that food out quick by 11:30 am.

4. It doesn't matter what your subject order is really- everyone is different. I like starting with the memorized stuff, and math problems. We take a break doing music and Holy Heroes. Lastly we usually finish with our Angel Reader Phonics. And if we didn't get art done, that is the one thing we will do in the afternoon! WE LOVE ART! (we aren't in music lessons yet- but when we finally are old enough that will be an afternoon program hopefully)

5. I have only one child who is moving up to 1st grade in April, and my daughter is preschool aged, but does the MODG kindergarten work alongside the older child. So she is getting some schooling, when she feels like it. I don't feel like I need to push her as she naturally just joins in and asks for work. I am pretty sure she will be bored though next year with Kindergarten since the material has already been memorized. The reading is the only thing she is still figuring out (I digress).

6. If you have multiple kids you are going to start homeschooling, I think you can use these rules as well, you may want to start earlier and try eliminating any commitments outside the home UNTIL you figure out what works best for your family. Like maybe wipe the calender clean until you have a month under your belt. DON'T FEEL GUILTY about saying NO, this is your children's education. It comes first! And believe it or not, they do work alone, once directions have been read to them, you can move onto the next person. Better to ease yourself into this new life than be over committed and burn out in the first 6 months.

7. Consider not answering the phone, or allowing visitors over during homeschool hours. I ignore my phones for the most part, it can wait.  If you get a visitor during homeschool hours, don't invite them in during class, it's too disruptive and distracting. It's better to wrap things up and continue later.

8. Don't forget prayer and Mass, if anything can't be cut out of the week, it's prayer and Mass. You must pray for God's grace and guidance and you need the spiritual nourishment.

9. Now you have your schedule, keep it with you.  Mine is easy to memorize right now so I can make appointments for the most part without referencing it.

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