DON'T ADD TOO MUCH
Something you find out as you get your routine down with your kids. You know every day after a few weeks- how long it takes to get through homework each day. If something unexpected comes up it throws off your whole day- and consequently your week. Limit your outside activities- I figured out I can do about two outside activities a week (this includes Mass, allergy shots...whatever else outside the home) You have to guard your daytime hours with your kids.
Guidelines for making a schedule. (step by step)
We get up and are ready for breakfast by 8 am. That means shower, beds made, clothes changed.
(During breakfast cleanup, EVERYONE helps. Make them unload/load dishes, room cleanups, chicken chores, then brush teeth.)
8:30ish to 9 AM Opening prayer and calendar time on the pocket chart done by kids, make a weather observation to write in a notebook for data collecting, practice counting and skip counting, sing a song like the Hokey Pokey or Can you reach and touch the stars- from Catholic Icing's, Catholic ABC's preschool curriculum, write down the weather in Knox's science notebook. (My mom is great, she found me YouTube Videos on how to use and what to say with the pocket charts and morning routines and circle time. It helped watching those.)
* I like to get down stairs before 8:45 am. But sometimes stuffy heads, illness or attitudes and poopy diapers rule ;) including my own.
Around 9:00 AM to lunchtime- we start in with MODG and Catholic ABC's and eye therapy for Knox and Genna.
My order of preference of assigning homework- due to brain alertness....
5. reading I save for the afternoon or evening
Update- With Genna now being in 1st grade, Knox in 2nd, Brenden has to hang with daddy or sit with me and learn in between teaching Genna and Knox. Both Knox and Genna do the same poetry and music- it's just easier. They are able to keep themselves busy with their workbooks and understand they have to complete assignments.
We work in Holy Heroes mass prep and coloring, our own Saint celebrations, and library story time, YMCA, Catechesis, daily mass I try for 2 a week, Catholic School House Year II Science and Art through out the week and a few little things here and there. We also started using Sacred Music Study as well as Virtues in Practice last spring as well as piano lessons for Knox.
Whatever we don't get done, we do in the afternoon or evening. We try to work in a game of some sort several times a week.
Holiday Homeschool Scheduling/ Spring Break
For December, I took 2 weeks off school with the kids. I am not big on planning a spring break- we have enough Feast Day parties and field trips and illness, we don't really need a spring break- it just pushes back your finish date.
New Baby factor and homeschooling schedule
Well I don't have a clue how having a baby in the middle of the homeschool year will turn out, but I have homeschooled with a nursing infant before. I am not expecting too much a deviation really other than the kids will have a break because obviously I will be in a hospital at some point! The kids know they have to finish work, that should give me time to nurse. The homeschool room is right next to the living room- where I can sit comfortably and nurse while I watch them work.
WHY BE SCARED?
I read through quite a homeschool schedules and ideas and talks before I felt like I knew what we needed to do, but really I just needed to do it and quit thinking about doing it if that makes sense. Do it and then adjust it. I built it up to way scarier than it actually was. There is always a base schedule, make one and keep that routine- add all your other variable weekly non repeating appointments and stuff on top of that.
They want to do the work and enjoy being down here in school. So much depends on how fun you make it for them and you don't want to burn them out. When they ask for a break, give it to them- you know when they need one and I haven't had anyone try to get out of work- when you have been going hard for 30 minutes let them have one, even after 15 minutes they may need a short break depending on what you did. Give them a snack. It makes the day fly by quicker. Always work in prayer and mass though when you can. We pray together at least 4 times a day. Without spiritual nourishment nothing is possible.
Why I am blogging about all this.
The reasons I have for blogging haven't changed much in the past few years. My one huge drive was I had no one to talk to who had the time and interest. All my cool self discoveries and family discoveries, re-conversion to my faith etc.. mean nothing really except if I execute them with my children and husband, since that's where I express my love the best. Sharing is sort of like debriefing and it helps settle something in me.
Trying to share my joy with people in general was hard because people just don't have time to hear me, or don't want to hear me, due to various factors and limitations and maybe if they did listen they weren't catching the excitement I was trying to convey. Blogging became an outlet like a journal for me. It gives me the satisfaction of sharing ideas I have found, my self discoveries and family discoveries, documentation because my age will help me forget, the New Evangelization. Plus I don't have that expectation that people have to hear me right now at this minute, there's no pressure that someone has to listen, I don't have the need to call and text people a billion messages, only the people who find it relevant to their life will read and I know I'm doing well in helping them.
It's cool because any random person can hop my blog and share with me. If someone has a question about how I did something, I can refer them here to find the answer. Sometimes I do that and there is resistance still, people just want a short quick answer but then want to ask a thousand questions- which if they read my blog post, they would have been answered. Or a person may want to me to just repeat out loud what I did verbatim- which I can't always remember.
In a way the blog has brought some trials some born from jealousy, some from judgementalness. I try and offer up when I get attacked after explaining what worked for my family and kids- we each in our own homes- we are our own unique little domestic church with our OWN personalities and temperaments, and needs and job capabilities. You can't compare family to another family. That's probably the most frustrating part- but I know I have to be patient and let people rant or tell me how wrong I am that it would never work for their family- that their family is so much different from my own. My reply is, "Yes, I know they/you are, thank you for reminding me, but it wasn't advice- you asked what I did, and I told you my own life experience and I am settled with it."