Schedule - Ideas for daily routines, mornings

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Schedule - Ideas for daily routines, mornings

Unread post by kellybell »

momof3boys wrote:I need some tips from you who have more than one homeschooling. This is my first year of having 2 and I am having difficulties balancing them.

I have a 7yo ds doing MFW1 and a 5yo ds doing MFWK. It seems that my oldest is getting all the attention and the younger is not getting much. I am not getting to do anything with him beyond the creation book. The other steps of the day get lost.

My oldest needs absolute quiet and one on one attention for school. We have 3 boys, so it's never quiet in our house. He ends up going in my bedroom for schoolwork where the other one does it at the table. Going back and forth is tiring.

Should I just do one in the morning and the other in the afternoon?
Thanks for the help! -wendy
Yes, I'm sure it IS tiring going back and forth, but at least your oldest guy can concentrate. So, maybe that's what you need to do.

I've got four school-aged kids. I did my best to come up with a schedule so that each kid gets a little bit of me. I won't waste space here detailing my schedule (unless you want it???). However, here are a few things that work for us...

1. Get the oldest two going on their independent stuff first. Use this time for lessons and such for the younger two.

2. Allow the little ones to do a craft or something like that (I have a love-hate relationship with Play-Doh) while I work with the big kids.

3. Allow the little wigglers to doodle during Bible time or other story time (but not during prayer time). I find that my son, especially, listens and retains things much better if he can sit still with some markers and paper. So, I just get out those things first thing in the morning.

4. All my kids appreciate a "recess" after about two hours of schooling (remember, it's solid school work for the older ones and not so solid for the younger ones). Depending on the weather, they all go to the basement or the backyard. For 15-20 minutes, they all run around and play. Even my 11 yo benefits from this. I use the time to put up any books I'm done with and collect things (such as art or science supplies or reading books) for the next hour or so.

5. At the end of the day, I record what we did in a small planner (which is acting like a diary and not a planner). It's easy to see if I ignored someone too much.

6. Remember that your oldest guy is still quite young and it will be a while before you can juggle all of them with ease. That's fine. God wasn't surprised by the fact you're here homeschooling a bunch of very young active boys! He's fine with it!

7. When doing two programs, don't feel like you have to do it all! Do just some of it. Pick what will benefit your boys most. That's what we did with combining K and ECC. We did the science and art from ECC and rarely added science and art activities from K. That's fine.

I'm looking forward to reading the other posts. Hang in there.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by Tina »

Dear Wendy: Multi-level teaching, its fun, isn't it?! I have a 9 yo dd and 7 yo ds and a 1 yo ds. Our house is a lot like yours, 1 level and never quiet. I myself am doing ECC with my dd and ds. We just started and I can see where adjustments will need to be made in scheduling. Kelly had some good ideas with keeping younger ones occupied while teaching the older.

Your children are still so young, please, don't stress over every piece of material not done. See what you can combine for art, science, etc. Both are rich in activities and plenty to choose from. Concentrate on what you CAN do and make it what your can for your family. If one child can wait until the afternoon, and you stagger them, one in morn. one in afternoon, do it, if it works. If and when you youngest goes for a nap, make that the time you sit with your middle son. You may have to divide your time, and keeping a diary is a great idea, as kelly added, because then you can see on paper who needs more teaching time. The funny part about keeping a schedule is, once you adjust to it and feel happy about it, your children are sure to change it again! The beauty of homeschooling--that's okay. My ds needs frequent breaks, this will be the time that I do math or language with my dd, who doesn't need as many breaks. Keep doing your best, your doing great, and have fun with MFW.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
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ECC, 1st, and Preschool

Unread post by jennygarcia »

ddroberts4 wrote:Hi. This is my first year to homeschool my 4 kids. I am using ECC with 4th and 2nd graders, MFW1 with my 1st grader, and preschool.

My question is how do I schedule the morning so I can teach both curriculums plus my 3 year old preschooler? I have figured this much out: I'm going to do MFW1 Bible, reading and math with my 1st grader, but have him join in ECC for everything else.

Thanks, Dianna
Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:37 am

I'm in a very similar boat! I have 4 with a 1st grader and preschooler too. I feel for you and go through this a lot too. So here's how I do it.

My kids have a morning wake up schedule. They're all expected to dress, brush their teeth, brush their hair, make their beds, and clean their rooms before breakfast at 8 am. If I going get my day going well it really makes a difference!

The next thing I've learned is follow the suggested schedule. I know it sometimes seems more difficult to do it the way it is written but truth be told they've put a lot of thought into it and I when I gave in and just did it, it was the best thing I ever did. I to have my daughters follow along for as much as I can the elders curriculum and I did ECC last year. They enjoyed the books and the artsy stuff so why not, they're still learning. (Greatest trick I've learned: Teach to the elder kids and it trickles down for the younger. I don't force the younger ones to be a part, they hang around 'til they've had their fill then they play quietly in the area.)

If I follow the schedule when the time comes for math, english and reading I can usually get the boys going and then I have time for one on one with my first grader for her math and hooked on phonics. We usually get done before the boys so we make a snack, wait for everyone to be on the same page and have a snack themselves before we start in on group time again.

Use book basket and 30 minutes of self read to fill the gaps if you need to and give yourself lots of grace! Truth is if the younger ones are struggling to learn something it's ok even at 1st grade to put it down for a time. Or even if you're struggling to fit it all in pick out the priorities and then do the other stuff around them.

Be encouraged today! You can do this!

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Unread post by peavey »

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:31 pm

I am in almost the exact situation you are, also. We have a 3rd grader doing ECC, twins doing MFW1, and a preschooler. We are in our 3rd week. I am really hoping the suggested schedule will work eventually.

However, this is our "back-up" schedule which is very similar to last year when we did Adv & K together:

During Breakfast I do the daily read alouds

8:30 - 9:00 Preschooler time (alone with preschooler)

9:00 - 10:00 MFW 1st phonics, math (alone with twins)

10:00 - 11:30 ECC:Bible, Geography, Science, Music, Art
MFW 1st Science, Bible (with all 4)

11:00 - 1:00 - eat lunch and play outside

1:00 - 3:00 ECC with 3rd grader : Spelling, English, Spanish, etc (alone)

I am trying to incorporate the 3rd grader doing his math and maybe english during the preschooler and 1st grade time, but haven't quite figured that out, yet.

I have TRIED getting one child going on one thing and then helping another child, but my children are SO easily distracted and like to talk to me while they are doing their work (commenting on their page or book or asking questions) so it leaves my mind spinning!

Please don't feel like you are alone!!! Blessings to you as God helps you schedule your day.
MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:38 pm

I did the ECC and 1st combo last year with 6th, 3rd, 1st graders and a 2 year old so I can relate. I did want to share a tip I got from _Managers of Their Homes_ that has saved my sanity.

I rotate the older children through a time with my youngest. This year, they have 20 min (1/2 hour with clean up) time slot with her to play.

Last year we had trouble with this lengthening out too long with different children...or a video with just "a few more minutes." Now, I am directing the activity choice. I listed activities and let the boys choose between 2 I give them. My dd is doing a craft with her. So far...3 weeks is going much better this year! This gives me individual time with each child and a time for independent work...I do need to use my timer though!

What I did this year was to pick the 4 rooms I wanted them in (kitchen, playroom, office and her room) and then chose 4 or 5 activities for each room. So..for example, in the kitchen-magnets on fridge, cooking, playdoh, water in the sink or rice (that one I save for when she is with me making lunch!); other activities are a preschool box I made for another child with tracing, bead activities, felts,etc.; MFW Lauri toys; Little People; books/music on tape; play kitchen; puzzles...

My "new system," (BTW, I love making new systems and struggle in implementation...but this is really working!) is to look at my list, assign a room and give the boys a choice of 2 activities (in the office-math manipulatives or geosafari.) I am happy because they don't always choose a video and are playing with toys they haven't had out for awhile. Clean-up is our biggest issue now...with toys and dd3's clothes. When I don't have her occupied, her favorite activity is to get all her dresses down and play princess!

This is how I work the scheduling school part-my table didn't transfer but time is down the side. We have done spelling and handwriting just before this.
dd12---- ds10---- ds7
with Mom---- independent---- with dd3
independent---- with dd3---- with Mom
with dd3---- with Mom---- independent

My 2nd grader has always been done by lunch--we do have book basket after lunch and sometimes science or art. The 4th grader has some (usually LA...his tougher area) and my older daughter always has more to do...but she works mostly independently on what is left. I don't expect her to be done by lunch though.

In Christ-Molly
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Unread post by kfrench »

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:25 pm

I am doing adventures and first and have a 2 year old boy.

I start school as soon as everyone one sits down to breakfast. We do the read aloud, bible, memory verse, history reading.

Then I have one daughter do handwriting and I do phonics with the other one. I cover everything she needs me for and then I send her off to finish. Then I start LA with my daughter and cover what she needs help with in this, then she goes off on her own.

Then we grab our math books and go to take my son to JR High. Both girls do all the math they can figure out by themselves while we drive there. I help them with any questions while we wait for my son to get out of School and then they work on math until we get home.

Then they both go over the things they need help with I kind of have one on each side and go back and forth. Confusing but it works for short periods of time.

While my girls are working we give The 2 year old his special box of toys it has semi trucks and little car wash, police cars an airplane. He likes to sit in the living room bay window and play cars on the window sill and watch the traffic. This will usually keep him busy for a while.

When we finish math I send my younger daughter downstairs to do her spanish cd and I do spelling, and writing and listen to my daughter read. We usually sit on the floor in the living room and I hold my 2 year old and he looks at his own book usually about cars.

Then we will usually get all together and do any science or history projects and the art book. Sometimes it takes until noon and other days until 2:30 (but not without lots of breaks). We usually break for lunch and if there is any reading left I do it while they eat. So teaching 2 kids different things at the same time is possible but no optimal. I try to do as many subjects together as possible. I am not doing much of the first grade stuff because we did it last year so my first grader is doing everything Adventures. plus the phonics.

I also usually have one child work on what ever they can do them selves while I teach the other child. Hopefully by next year I will not have to read directions to my older daughter and she will be more independent. We are almost there.

Just experiment with schedules until you find what works for you. It was much easier when my youngest took a morning nap but he is really use to us doing school and is happy to play cars all morning. If he wants attention he just climbs in my lap and I give him a crayon or something and then a few minutes later he wanders off to play with his cars again.

Give the younger ones lots of breaks if they know that they can have a break as soon as they are done they work much faster and it takes less time to get it done then not taking the breaks. At least for my kids.

ECC and K

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

JanineP. wrote:Hello,
Please be patient with me as I am new to homeschooling and want to start next year. I am doing my homework studying so many sites and My Fathers World seems to fit my own philosophy.

However...I have no idea what my day will look like next year and am trying to figure out how I will get everything in. I would have a boy in kindergarten, and two children, 2nd and 4th, in the geography program.

Can I do both programs without schooling for 8 hours a day, and going nuts? I would love to see your daily schedule if you have a similar set up as this. It all seems a bit overwhelming...but I am trusting God to provide me with right now I lack that:)
Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:22 pm

First off, take a deep breath. If God has called you to this, He will certainly take you by the hand & lead you as you walk it out. He's awesome like that! Every year, at the start of the year, I get this panicky feeling in my chest. It sounds a bit like how you're feeling - How am I ever going to do this?!
Well, He's a big, BIG God & this is a very flexible program! ;)

I am currently using Adventures (ADV - for 1st-born second graders) and MFWK. I tend to do Bible time from ADV at breakfast. We feed our bodies & our spirits that way.

After breakfast & our "first fives (a fancy name for our morning routine)," we gather back at the table. After I get my son set up doing his spelling lesson, I do the math portion of K with my daughter. When we're finished, she is allowed to color or do some other activity I have for her at the table (usually I can find something w/in the lesson where my assistance is minimal).

Next, we usually read our history together from ADV. Then I get Max going with his math and Halle I do the reading plan portion of K. All science, music & art we do together. Sometimes this falls after lunch, but typically only on days we start at/after 10am).

Any time I need additional time with Max, Halle is able to choose a coloring book or an educational computer game to do (occasionally I dismiss her to play in her room). Often times we pick and choose from the activities, depending on our preferences or our schedule for the day. Halle gets so much from Max's program that I don't feel obligated to do every activity from K. It really is super-flexible.

I realize that Exploring Countries & Cultures (ECC) has more time involvement than ADV, but the set-up is basically the same. You will be able to tweak it to suit your family. You can go in the order the grid suggests, or you can mix it up. Nice thing though, you will have a thorough, complete program in your hands. How you choose to use it for your family is up to you. Have fun with it!! :)

I hope this helps & I hope we'll be seeing you around!
Paige in NC

PS - I forgot to mention, we usually have a snack/break between 10 & 11 for about fifteen minutes. It helps get the "squirmmies" out.
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Unread post by rachel »

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:22 pm

I have had my first year of trying to work this out.... I have posted many pleas for help! What I have found that works best for us (all young children)- is this schedule:

me shower and qt BEFORE they get up(- doesn't always happen but sure does help if it does!)
Room-Time (they have time in their rooms playing, picking up and getting dressed while I get some things done/take a morning breather)
"Free-time"/Housework- they pick something to do while I finish getting my house in order
snack/"table-time"- anything we can do together, we do at the table after or before a snack
Outside/Lunch/Errands or a trip
book time- any read alouds/let them pick
Nap-Time/"Quiet=Time"/finish school- older kids look at books/younger sleep; then I finish school with the older kids- anything that requires more focus.

After nap time, it is usually around 4pm so we try to do baths and a video before dinner- at their ages, this seems to work better than waiting till after dinner....

Before bed- we usually have reading time- could be book basket or read-alouds of mine or their choice.

What really helps me is if our children get to bed on time so that the evening is some good "down time" for me/hubby (or "out time"!)

Like Kelly, my youngest are "dismantlers" amoung other things (like escape artists.... ) - and this is my biggest challenge- especially since they are twin BOYS.... But, I have found that the ease and flexibility of the tm really helps get school done even on those crazy days...

Please keep asking if you have more questions. I know it seems like a mountain ahead of you but the more you just jump in and kind of find your "groove", the easier and more fun it will become.
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Unread post by tiffany »

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:53 pm

We are doing K and CTG this year.

We try to start our school day by 8:30 but usually it is 9:00. With the ages of your kids, it might be easier to get off to an early start.

The kids do their morning chores before school: rooms, getting dressed and groomed, bible reading. Whatever isn't done before, is supposed to be done later (we could do better with that). I am taking my shower during this time and playing the role of ambassador during the morning squabbles.

We start with prayer and bible reading, then move on to any bible memory work or copying that is scheduled. After that I rotate the kids through math and language arts - sending some off for daily reading, chore completion, or playing with the younger ones while I work with others. We try to do all math and language arts in the morning. Usually while the older 3 are finishing up their last assignment, I do the reading portion of K with my 5 year old. As the children finish their work they are free to play until lunch time. We eat around 11:30.

After lunch, we have a break. I take a bit of time for me and some time for my chores, usually laundry and maybe starting on my daily household tasks. I have the house divided into areas to work on daily. If this is a room that the kids can help me with, I call it family chore and they pitch in.

We start school back up at 1:00, doing the remainder of our MFW studies and the K activity for the day. We are usually done by 2:30, sometimes 3:00.

Dad does do the science projects and I do the science readings. However, we have the luxury of him being home at 3:00 everyday. So he is able to help with a number things that other Dads may not be able to. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask him where he might like to get involved, either with school or household items. Last year in ECC, he helped with science, bible and read alouds.
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Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:09 pm

My situation isn't quite the same as yours, as we're only using 1 program, but here's how our basic day goes:

Breakfast (7 or 7:30 am)
Morning Chores
Bible (everyone together)
Pre-K with my 2 yr old while my older ones do Handwriting
MFW K Reading with my 5 year old, while the others play
R&S English 2 with my 6.5 year old, while the others play
MFW K Unit Activities, all together
We're usually done by 11 or so, so its free time until lunch.
After lunch we do read-alouds to wind down for naptime.
While my 2 yr old is napping, I do math and science with the older two. Afterwards we have another snack, and do afternoon chores, and then more free time until dinner.

I know it doesn't demonstrate how to do two programs, but maybe it will help some. :-)

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:05 pm

Remember, as you get started homeschooling, there is a learning curve for everyone. Some days are going to be great and other days, well.... we all have those days in homeschooling. You'll develop your own style and adjust as you go along. And remember to laugh. You need a good sense of humor when homeschooling. It helps.

In the MFW teacher's manuals there is a list called, "Help! How do I fit it all in!" That section has ideas that worked for the author of MFW and their 6 children. If you are able to go to a convention where MFW will be, you can look through the manuals. ECC takes about 3-4 hours if you do everything. The K program is about 1 hour. MFW designed its programs to still let families enjoy time in the afternoons.

I've found that we go down the grid on most days with some variations over the years. So routines can change. Here's how it changed a bit in my family as they got older.

What I did when I had one in an upper program and one in K (or 1st) and a special needs preschooler

* I tried to give my preschooler about 15 minutes each morning. I think that helped her to be ready to be on her own for a little while before causing too much trouble.

*My K kid (and then she became a 1st grader eventually) started her day. She's a morning gal. Since MFW K and 1st grade don't take a lot of time, I finished her program.

*Then we started with oldest child and did her individual lessons in language arts, math, etc.
*dealt with life
*invited middle child to join in for fun things and science
*she still picked up a lot just from being in the room with us even if she was quietly playing.

We just checked off the boxes as we went. I found it great to use MFW's suggestions for language arts and math so that we didn't get bogged down in those areas.

When I had 2 children in the 5 year cycle and a special needs preschooler (who was attending outside therapy based schools) it was a bit different, but just a twist on the routine a bit.

I found it easiest to work completely with my 3rd grader in the morning to cover a bunch of individual lessons. She starts around 7:30 in the morning.

On days with science lessons, we do science "last with her" and first with 6th grader.

While 3rd grader is getting individual time, oldest either tries to watch youngest or does book basket or something that she doesn't want much interference with (like crocheting a baby bib for a friend of mine).

Then, we switch around and 2nd child (3rd grader) gets to run around a bit -- book basket, just playing. I work with oldest on what ever part of Intermediate Language Lessons and spelling require my attention and then move on to the history read alouds.

Call the 2nd child back into the school room. Finish up what needs to be done. My head is spinning just trying to describe it. It really isn't all that bad --- it just types that way. Now to complicate this, the 5 y.o attends outside special ed preschools. So we have to break up the day to deal with that.

Because of that, the Hands on stuff from history gets pushed to later -- when 6th grader has done all of table work and 3rd grader is ready to play with 6th grader.

We've been doing read alouds and Bible at night so dad can participate too.

It's not as bad as it sounds in writing. ;)

I really do go through the grid in order as much as possible with my 3rd grader. And then work with the 6th grader. Breaks happen due to outside appointments. Fun stuff in the afternoon. We certainly do not get it all done by noon. That might happen next year when everyone is home??? But that's the ideal, and I school in my real world. But we get it done. Light and independent Friday can become Make Up the missing lesson Friday.


Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:02 pm

Plans for next year when I will have a 7th grader, 4th grader and my youngest (who is autistic) will be in K????
Still the same kind of routine.
*Start part of K with youngest
*Get 7th grader working on her independent stuff (Apologia General Science, Saxon Math, language arts --- but not all at one stretch of time. She's not ready for that)
*While 7th grade in working on more independent stuff, I can work with 4th grader on individual subjects (math, lang. arts, spelling)
*find the youngest and see if she'll play in the room while we do group lessons
*then we'll all work with youngest on her fun stuff in K

It was fun to sketch out a rough idea for the beginning of the year. I'm sure it will be fun to have a reality check later on.

Essentially, your 7th grader will have lots of independent work that she's already doing. Group lesson time will be in history, Bible/read alouds. Some families it works to let dad do the Bible/read alouds in the evening before school (on Sunday night do Monday's Bible). The changes will happened gradually from year to year and I think you'll be fine and I'll be fine too, right????? ((((hugs))))
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Mississippi Jenni wrote: Can someone give me a link to other posts about how to schedule?
Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:36 pm

Hi Jenni,
Here are a few, and there are probably more if you hunt around. It also would help to know what levels you're looking at. For instance, if you have little ones, I would definitely look at the posts in the Preschool, K, and 1 Archives, especially those that start with "combining."

Combining - When are all my children in the same program?

Schedule - Teaching (& modeling) time mgmt (whiteboard pic)

Schedule - Do you follow MFW grid? How do you teach several?
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:24 am

Unread post by Jenneve »

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:41 am

Thank you for the quick replies! It looks as though it shouldn't be too difficult to school 3 at once...I hope.

Here's a little breakdown of what I *think* we'll end up doing:

*together work with younger 2 while older is doing independent work
*together work with oldest while younger 2 play
*crafts/activities all together

I know I'll be able to better refine that once we get our books in and can actually see what we'll be doing (ordered, but hasn't arrived yet). I'm excited to get everything in and really look through it all. Thanks again for your input, ladies.

Jenn in TX
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:25 am

Unread post by michelleinpa »

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:48 am

Hi, I am new to MFW and have been trying to figure out how to order our days next year. I think I have a workable plan here, but I'd like to get feedback from you experienced MFW users. Thanks for looking it over!

Background: My children will be 9, 7, 5, 3, 2, and we will have a new baby as well (Due any day now!!!) My older 2 will be doing ECC.

For my 5 yo, I am planning to use the same mateirals I did w/my older 2. She'll listen in on readalouds w/olders whenever interested, and probably enjoy some of the preschool activities as well. (Generally, I'm referring her as a "little" in the morning routine, and an "older" in the afternoon routine.)

The 3 and 2 yo activities referred to below are things like books, activity bags, coloring pages, DVDs (Signing Time, Leapfrog, etc). I plan to keep the newborn baby w/me in a sling most of the time, nursing whenever needed, etc.

Here is my plan for a schedule:
8:00 – 9:45 Breakfast: Bible during or after (I don't eat breakfast myself, so this is actually a great time to read to the kids while they are all busy... and quiet!)
Cleanup, Chores, then free time

9:50-10:05: Mom w/Littles: Preschool
Olders: Task 1

10:05-10:30 Littles settled at table activity
Mom w/Grace: Reading & Handwriting
Hannah and Nathan: Reading assignment

10:30-11:00 Mom w/Hannah: Math, English, Spelling, Look over work
Littles play
Nathan: Piano

11:00-11:30 Littles: Change activity
Mom w/Nathan: Math, English, Spelling, Look over work
Hannah: Independent Spelling, English, Math, then start other indep tasks

11:30-12:00 Littles clean up & then w/Mom
Mom make lunch
Hannah: Piano
Nathan: Independent Spelling, English, Math, then start other indep tasks

12:00-1:45 Lunch
Play outside or free time

1:45-4:00 Littles Nap
Mom & Olders: Geography, Science, Art/Music
Then: Olders finish indep work
Free time

Evenings: Readalouds
Science Experiments if app
Order any library books

Weekends: Library Trips, Hannah's reports, Field trips
Wife to Michael, Mommy to Hannah (9), Nathan (7), Grace (5), Joshua (3), Emma (2) and Baby due July/August 07
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Unread post by Homeschooling6 »

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:39 pm

What we do is try to get all the 3R's & Bible out of the way by 1:00pm. This is with me schooling a 4th, 2nd/3rd, 1st with a 4yr, 3yr and I babysit a 9month old (very loud baby). Sometimes it takes a little bit longer.

We are currently using ECC and we do this more in the evening (it's fun enough not to count as school to the kiddos) a couple of times a week and if we don't finish then we will do this on Saturday too, but again, it's because my kiddos don't really count this as "School"

I don't really like the kids to have breaks, but because of the younger ones I will let them play with legos or something until I could get back to the school kids.

Sometimes we will take school outside. I yell out a math problem and one yells back the answer while climbing, shooting or jumping. I will do Bible outside too, hymn, etc. For some reason being out of the house helps.

Not sure if you have preschoolers. If you do you might want to purchase the Hazell's cd of "Occupying Preschoolers while Teaching Older Children".

I would love to be a fly on the wall to see how others homeschool with 6 or more kiddos ;) Our house just seems so loud and hectic. I sometimes wonder if we are normal =)
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Unread post by Ariasarias »

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:17 pm

We do take a break during the day. My ideal is to get it all done by lunch, but that is not reality at our house. We are only in ADV and I really only have one that has to do the 3R's.

We try to get the 3R's done before lunch and I have my 4yo dd do a little workbook with me too. I may let them watch a video for a break in the middle of the 3R's. My 7 yo is very distractable, so she needs breaks.

Then we go outside or run an errand or I just send them out to play and I gather myself and lunch. I do have a 2yo that takes a nap, so we do ADV when she is sleeping. That's what we do this week, it may change next week.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:32 pm

Oh, the more kids you add to the mix, the slower it all goes. At least at my house where all four kids are officially students. Perhaps it's NOT the number of kids but the age of the mom. Oh, never mind.

The kids get their own simple breakfasts on most mornings. Some days I'll make muffins, eggs, or waffles, but for the most part it's cold or hot cereal.

At 8:15 they have to be working on school. I am for doing Bible but my aim is often off. I often have them work on their independent work instead. The older three do math, LA, "quiet time," music practice, a chore and book basket on their own (with a little help here and there of course) each day. They can sort of pick the order to do these things. I encourage them to "do the hard stuff first."

Then, around 9:30 we all get together to pray and read the Bible if we didn't at 8:15. After this, we do art, music, history, and read-alouds. It takes over an hour.

The kids often will fiddle with geo-mags or doodle with markers as I read. Sometimes, I ask them to draw pictures and take notes so that they can tell me the story back. Sometimes we'll also play a short game. We will often have a snack then.

At 11:00 or so, I send them out for 20 minutes in the backyard or if the weather is rotten, in the basement. They need to "wake up." I found that this little break helps them a lot. Sometimes, when it is NOT recess time, I'll have them all get up and run across the basement five times. It takes just a minute and gets them all lit up again.

Then, usually they work alone for an hour or so, but sometimes I spend some of this after-recess time on science, etc.

We eat lunch about 12:30 with one kid each day helping cook and serve (except Friday when I am on my own). The kids choose the lunch menu a week in advance (it's probably the part of our homeschool that works best!).

At 1:15 or so, it's back to the books. The oldest dd takes a while to get things done as her classes are more demanding.

I work with my first grader after lunch, unless I found enough time before lunch to get things done with her.

All together, school, lunch, chores, and music practice run from about 8 AM to 2 or 3 PM in our house, often less. Without the music practice and chores, we'd be done right after lunch. Plus, two of my kids are really slow and pokey.

Also, if you see a "for all ages" program, beware. Some programs you can do a lot for K's and 1st graders, but they will (in all programs) need some one-on-one time with you as they learn to read, write, and do simple math.

Anyway, it's totally doable...
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Unread post by LSH in MS »

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:40 pm

I'm not going to put times because it is different every day. This is the order I try to do things in

Breakfast and a few chores
Do Reading and Math with 8 and 6 yr old (older ones are supposed to be doing independant reading, spelling, and Math and taking turns watching 19 month old)
Do Bible, History, and Science with everyone

Lunch Break (everyone fixes their own except baby, I only cook dinner)

Help older ones with English and writing assignments.
Complete Science projects, book basket, finish whatever they didn't complete while I was teaching younger ones (sometimes this lasts a long time if they were lazy in the morning).

2 days we have Spanish class at 1:30 and Friday is piano from 1:00-2:30.
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:24 pm

Our day:
7-8 - Personal QT
8-9:30 - the kids do personal care and make breakfast and we eat and clean up
9:30- weekly chore
10 - Bible (pray, read, narrate and study it, dramatize it), on short passage days we do catechism and work on our yearly passage or if we are finished - we review all the last year's. We learned Ps.23 this year and are now reviewing:1Cor. 13, The Lord's Prayer, Beatitudes and Ps. 91
10:30 - drawing or nature study/writing
11:30 - math - we use singapore (somewhere around now we get snacks)
12:30 - English (PLL, spell and copywork)
1:00 - reading and vocabulary
2:00 - Piano and Russian
2:30-4 - We make and eat our dinner
4 - we are done with all school and meals and have choir, free time, ballet, baseball, Awana, etc.
7 - Snack/desert
8 - evening chores

My streamline of what we call English or language arts:
My children can not do more than one writing assignment in a day as would be required if we did WS and did all the writing exercises in PLL plus all the copywork that was required in ECC for geography vocabulary, Matthew and then science. They simply could not handle all this writing even if we all loved ECC and be done in a reasonable amount of time. I had to streamline it for my kids.

1) For overall language arts - PLL done orally, only takes us 10 minutes at most

2) For practicing correct writing daily in small doses - a copywork workbook, only takes them 15 minutes at most

3) For oral narration, comprehension and practice for expression and memory- a) Bible: daily we read the next section in the Bible, go over the who, what, where, when and why's via narration, then we dramatize it (we did Mattw 21:18-22 today), we spend 30 minutes on this including prayer, 1-3 new from the shorter catechism book for children each week and we work on one passage each year (through a musical tape and coloring book) as our first subject; b) McGuffey's original readers (also is great for extra vocabulary), takes 15 minutes at most

4) For reading at grade level - We check out books using several book lists: MFW's TM, Books Children love, Robinson's list, etc. They read for 60 minutes each day. Right they are both reading Grimm and Andersons Fairy tales, Aesop Fables, ds (11)- Captain Courageous and dd (8)-Black Beauty.

5) For writing - my kids love nature study and drawing so I alternate having them do HGTA one day and give them various and differing types of writing assignments according to their nature study the next day . For example: Right now, we are raising catepillars. Writing assignments range from making a daily log of the growth, drawing and labeling all the inside and outside parts of a catepillar and butterfly (my son found this in one of the book basket books!), listing all the vocabulary words from the instructions and each day writing one more definition, writing a story about a butterfly, and eventually putting together our science celebration display and preparing to speak about it to our homeschool support group. We set aside 60 minutes each day for this.

6) extra vocabulary that my kids need - takes 5 minutes

7) spelling - takes 10 minutes. They were not ready for spelling power - and I tried. Next year, we will try again.
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Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP »

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:27 pm

Here is our schedule requested above by previous posters. I hope it is helpful to you in some way. Remember, each family is different, and if you have less or younger children, school will take less time (ideally). I have children all over the page (7 for now).

The two older boys and I go to the gym from 6:30-7:15. My husband is watching the youngers. Then I start breakfast (muffins, pancakes, eggs, etc., but not all on the same day) and do math with the older two until 8:15. Sometimes we have to do it in the kitchen while I am flipping pancakes. The 7 year old can do part of his math by himself at this time.
The 4th grader is often making bread (bread machine) or cookies or something else at this time to help me (and feeding her pet). Youngers are playing.

8:15-9:30 is breakfast, Bible and chores for everyone My husband does not eat breakfast so he makes a great Bible reader at this time.
9:30 I teach the 4th, 2nd and K math. The baby and the three year old are generally playing on the floor in the same room. Yes, this can get interesting. I start the 4th and 2nd grader (who already has some of his done) first. The K is playing with the three year old. Then when they are going well I call the K in. I used to do everyone separately, but I ran out of time. Older boys (6th and 8th) have a list they work from. If they are not specifically listed below, they are completing their schoolwork independently.

10:15 6th grader plays with K and under (1/2 hour) while I help 4th grader (all subjects). Then she will not need me except for quick questions.

10:45 2nd grader--phonics/spelling, reading, MFW summary, journal--anything not math 4th grader is playing with K and under. Sometimes the baby is with her, sometimes me, occasionally on one of the older's laps while they read or do Rosetta Stone. She is a little flexible in the schedule. Anytime she is not mentioned she is on my lap or next to me on the floor or playing on the floor in the living room next to one of the older boys reading.

11:15 K phonics. 3 year old thinks she is involved too. 4th and up--seatwork

11:35-12:05 or 12:15 MFW together work This is where the Story of the World CDs and coloring pages come in. I just look at the page from the MFW teacher's manual, look that up in my hard copy to see the chapter number, and then look that chapter up on the CD and in the activity book.

Then it is a video and play for the little ones until lunch at 1:00. I help the older boys at this time. I check to make sure they have read their English and do class practice with them. I try to get their math checked so they can do corrections. I answer questions. Yes, we eat late. We have a big breakfast, and this gets everyone except the oldest two done before lunch. Occasionally the 4th grader will have a touch left to do after lunch (plus her violin). I also read any MFW that we did not get done earlier at this time. Almost always this will be when I do the read aloud. I eat earlier or later or just grab a few bites and then start.

1:45 Everyone has cleaned up from lunch and done a small chore. The older three finish up cleaning while I take the youngers to do their read aloud or a special project, etc. until 2:05. Then it is rest time for 4th and under. Only the three year old and infant actually sleep, but everyone must remain in their room or area until 3:15 or 3:30. The 8th grader listens to the 2nd grader read from 2:05-2:20. From 2:30 to 3:00 I am available for the olders again to quiz vocab, Apologia science. etc. During rest time I catch up and try to take a 20 minute nap some days. I am trying to add some Rosetta Stone time for me here. And I usually drink a diet Pepsi, fold laundry, and see my husband for a few minutes. He works next door.

3:30 This is time with my youngers again--helping them put away laundry, reading, or a game. The older boys are finishing up, as you can see they have a few diversions helping with youngers. Older might play guitar now.

4:00 The youngers can start cycling through computer time. 15-20 min. each K-4th. If if is not their turn they are playing. It is fun when they play things we have learned in MFW. They also like to paint. When weather allows, outdoors is great! The schedule gets looser here. I need to make supper, etc. The older ones have 1/2 hour computer time most days when we can fit it in after 5.

5:30 EAT, Family Time
Between here and bedtime we get into ballet, basketball, AWANA, violin, guitar practices, chess club, etc.
7:45 Prayers, Bed Preparations for youngers
Older ones read for 1/2 hour and talk with us or play a game before bed.
We try to have them upstair by 9:30 so my husband and I can have a little time together. I usually play on the computer and he works for 1/2 hour and then we meet up.

This is the ideal. It never happens quite like this. Dad always trumps the schedule. The oldest helps him with some work, so he gets called out sometimes and has to work later in the day. Friends need help or meals, etc. It is a framework that helps me get more done than I would otherwise. It helps me make sure everyone is getting mom's attention. I hope this will help you in some way.
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

Creating a schedule template for kids

Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:24 am

I use the TM for my master check off list.

When my husband noticed the kids needed their own check off list I had to think about this one too. I did not want extra work - so I came up with the following idea.

I made my own template on MSWord. I used the header space to put one line at the top for their name and date - for them to fill in.

Then I used the table setting to make what I call the student planner of columns and rows. For my columns I have 5:
- time,
- subject,
- assignment space,
- their check off space,
- my check of space.

The number of rows will depend upon your personal home schedule. I happened to include a row for each block of time throughout the whole day as I decided to use this to teach them how to read and follow a schedule as well as be a check off list.

I am right brain so I could not see easily each block of time and thus would have color coded each - but, for printing practicalities here's how I made it easy to read.
- I put a dark gray shaded unused row between each major part of the day.
For example: I have one between QT and beginning morning chores (we do chores in the am), one between morning chores and the start of school, one between the end of school and afternoon activities, then one between afternoon and evening stuff. Then I alternated white and light gray rows for everything else.

Once I did the above template - I simply
- type in the times, subject,
- for the assignment block I only make blank underlines or leave it open to fill in so this is very flexible.
- I copied the whole thing and made a second page the same so that when I print it double sided I end up with two days.
- I then print out two and 3 whole punch and staple it. Now I had an easy to use template to simply write in their individual assignments -very flexible.
- Also, I only print them out once a week (I could do several weeks at once - but, I have learned one week at a time is flexible enough for us).

Yes, this took a week or two tweaking. Yes, when our schedule changes the times and subjects get shifted around - but not the template. Yes, I ended up making a separate template for the weekend because this system worked so well for us. I have even made a holiday template version.

I do not know if this makes any sense at all. But, it has helped my special needs kids to track and be more independent.
Michele in WA
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:40 pm

Helpful book? And routines vs. schedules

Unread post by Michele in WA »

lisaha wrote:I don't think my time management is bad, I get my housework relatively done, dole out chores to the children throughout the day, spend time cuddling with the toddler and babies while the children are doing some school independently, throw in laundry when I have 5 minutes! ;) I've made it clear that all of the children must help out to make a household run smoothly. ;) I'm just very curious on how helpful books are as I do have 5 little ones 8 too 13 months and we are hoping to homeschool for as long as God guilds us and we are hoping he will bless us with more, right now we are enjoying school and the children so much!

I have heard some about "Managers of their Homes", and I also saw "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit" and "Manager's of their Schools". The quiet and meek spirit is appealing bc I struggle sometimes with this during tough homeschool days (which are fewer when using MFW this year! ;))
A vote for Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit. Good book, and there is a study guide to go along with it, to purchase separately. MOTH is very good for giving ideas on how to organize and plan your day. A lot of helpful information. The actual schedule, though is hard for a lot of people to stick to.

I have 7 kids, and there are way too many "unknowns" for me to stick to a schedule where everything is planned into 30 minute increments. However, I do see a benefit for a routine that can be flexible. Kids then know what they are supposed to be doing "next", even if it doesn't happen right at the exact scheduled time. It sounds like you are on the right track. May the Lord bless you as you seek to raise your little ones!!
Married to my best friend, Mom to 7 great kids
MFW since 2001
2010/2011~ 1st grade and ECC
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Location: South Carolina

Re: Helpful book? And routines vs. schedules

Unread post by baileymom »

What works best for us, is to have a Routine posted on the fridge, just in order - no times listed. With just that, we are basically doing the same things at the same time every day. Michele, with 7 children, it is easy to get off track :)

We do almost everything together: school, chores, meals, naptime, etc. - so the idea of all the children being off doing their own thing (or watching a younger sibling) just doesn't work in our family. We have MOTH too, and it probably would work great with a more textbooky homeschool.

I, however, would start missing the closeness we have now in our chaos :)
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Re: Helpful book? And routines vs. schedules

Unread post by wisdomschool »

This is what we do also--do the next thing! We don't run by the clock (though we do usually think of "noon" as lunch time--not that it actually happens every day at noon) And we are on time(if not early) to appointments, dance class, guitar lessons, church.....but at home we have a basic routine--the order most(but not all--have to have flexibility!)things get done.

I worked really hard during the last couple of months of my pregnancy to teach my children "what comes next" so that they could do as much as possible on their own--while I directed from the couch(or computer chair:) while nursing the baby.

A timed schedule just would not work for "our" family as we have learned that daddy could walk in the door at any time and change the schedule (he's self employed and often comes to take a child with him to work or to run an errand etc....) or a couple of years ago my mom was very sick and we had to literally "stop" whatever we were doing and go help grandma--take grandma to the dr. or grocery shopping etc....

I will say that this type of schedule really does work for some(I have a friend right now that just read those books and for the first time ever feels like they are getting anything done!) So, remember everyone that everything won't work for every family, but it is okay to try and see if you're wanting to! I'm so glad we are not all the same, but I'm glad we're not alone either! Blessings, as we each find what does work for our families & pleases The Lord in the process

Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.
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Re: Helpful book? And routines vs. schedules

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I'm not doing the strict scheduling these days - just more of a routine. I have an order to the day, and we just do those in order. We do stop for lunch at noon-ish. I did make chore-packs for my kids to help them get going in the morning, but now those are mostly habit, too, so we don't need them as much anymore (though, if I see a child consistently forgetting something, I'll find the chore pack and go through it with them again, and make them wear it for a couple of days again).

But, when my boys were little, and I was trying to do K with my dd, MOTH was a huge help to getting through my days. (Before the boys, I was naturally a scheduler/routine type person anyway. Having twins just kind of threw my world into chaos and I couldn't see how to get out of it.)

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
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