Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scheduling the Day

Establishing a homeschool routine is important, even for those who advocate the unschool approach.  Children seem to thrive when they have routine and structure in their lives.  It can be relaxed and informal, but they find security in knowing what comes next.  Routine helps them to plan their day.  They know that after work comes play, or that lunch comes at a specific time.  If children know what the schedule is and that it is followed daily, they are less likely to balk at quiet time, piano practice, or math drills.  A routine makes life easier for both the child and the teacher-parent.

Let's take a look at a simple daily schedule.  Of course yours may be different, as it should be, since it will reflect your needs and unique family structure.  A schedule should be adapted to fit your specific needs.  This will give you a general idea of what a daily schedule can be for elementary age children:

7:00 am - wake up, get dressed, tidy room

7:30 am - breakfast

8:00 am - morning chores (dishes, feed pets, empty waste baskets, sweep floor, clear table, fold laundry and put away, etc.)

9:00 am - worship time (Bible story, character development lessons, thankfulness chart, prayer requests, prayer, song and praise)

9:30 am - daily school routines (pledge of allegiance, days of the week, months of the year, alphabet or counting reviews, weather chart; journaling)

10:00 am - Bible class (study Bible lesson, scripture memorization)

10:30 am - Language Arts (phonograms, handwriting, reading, composition, spelling)

11:00 am - Math (number charts, math games, math manipulative's, applied math, practice sheets, drills)

11:30 am - History/Social Studies (read biographies of famous people, learn about history of the country you live, learn about traditions and holidays of children in other countries, etc.)

Noon - lunch time and clean-up chores, rest or quiet time

1:00 pm - Science (take a nature walk, work on nature journal, use guide books to help identify birds, animals, plants, and trees)

2:00 pm - PE time (planned physical exercise like jump rope, kick ball, soccer, jogging on track, etc.)

3:00 - 5:00 pm - individual responsibilities (music practice, playtime, service projects, family business opportunities; applied arts projects like cooking, woodworking, sewing, gardening)

5:30 pm - suppertime and clean-up

6:00 pm - time with dad and family activities

8:00 pm - prepare for bedtime, allowing at least 30 minutes for parent to read to child, then tuck-in time

9:00 pm - good night!

Comments and questions are welcome!  What does your homeschool schedule look like?  Please share, as your ideas will help others.

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