Saturday, August 22, 2015

Our Daily Homeschool Routine

This post contains affiliate links. 

We finished up Week 2 of our new homeschool year using various curriculum that I pieced together over the summer.  When I linked my 2015-2016 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum post onto the "Catholic Homeschool Moms" Facebook page, Lisa M. commented that she is interested in what my daily routine looks like since both she and I have similar ages that we homeschool.

I've never written a post on what my day looks like (or hopes to look like) during our homeschool hours and to be honest it scares me to write such a post.  Mainly because I sometimes don't even know my daily routine because the only thing that I have found to be consistent during my days is  inconsistency!  (Not exactly the place I want to be at and something I'm trying to change always)

I also have skipped over writing daily routine posts because I don't want anyone to think I have my days all put together and things always flow so wonderfully during our school days.  I have good moments, bad moments, sometimes very bad moments, constant interruptions, struggles, challenges, and joyful triumphs! 

So with all that being said, I wanted to make this homeschool year different and a little less stressful, if at all possible.  When I stumbled upon how to follow a routine vs. a schedule as described in this YouTube video by Julie Bogart at Brave Writer, I thought this may be how I have to think of my days...focus on routine vs. a schedule.  Thank you Jennifer at Forever For Always, No Matter What for sharing the video on your Facebook page!

I wanted to incorporate more prayer time throughout our day and make this the most consistent parts of our day.  Events that happen in between our prayer times is what is most inconsistent, but at least the prayers scattered throughout our days would help me feel more focused on leaning on God's help and it's my hope that my children will get in a good habit of praying often. 

So here's the routine we have been doing for the past couple of weeks so I know and my kids know what to expect, but at the same time leave room for unexpected fun, learning opportunities, and interruptions. (Disclaimer: the exact times don't mean we always do things at that exact time. In fact, they rarely get done "on time".   Maybe I should call them my "target times", which means they are my goal times.  But we still follow the same routine each day, whether we hit our "target time" or not.  Hope I'm making sense.  :) 

5:30 AM:  alarm goes off, but I'm in a bad habit of putting it on snooze and not jumping out of bed right away.  And I wonder where my kids get the sleep past my alarm syndrome?    :)

6:00 AM - 6:30 AM:  Exercise with my 2 older daughters using the 21 Day Fix Beachbody DVDs.

6:30 AM - 7:00 AM:  Morning prayers by myself (if our 2 year old isn't up yet, but she usually is awake already so my solo prayer time is cut short often.  I must stop snoozing at the 5:30 alarm to make more time in the morning!)

7:00 AM - 7:30 AM: I shower, get dressed, tend to my 2 year old's needs

7:30 AM: Kids wake up (or not! Mostly not! Grrrr....)

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM: Breakfast, kids get ready for day, kitchen chores

8:30 AM: We try to get to Friday morning Mass and adoration and Mass starts at 8:30 AM. The days we don't go to daily Mass, we gather on our living room couches and start our Couch Catechism time, which includes morning prayers, scripture readings, daily Saint reading, and we are reading one Friendly Defenders card a day.

We will also use this time after morning prayers to review our Classically Catholic Memory (CCM) work for CCM co-op.

9:00 AM:  we go upstairs to the our homeschool room and begin lessons.  We start with the Pledge of Allegiance (when I remember) and then the kids start working on their lessons as noted in their spiral  notebooks.

More about the spiral notebook lesson planning:

For the past few years I have typed up lesson plans on the computer and each week and subject box looked the same almost from one week to the next.  I would run off copies of the lesson plan template each week, fill in with pen which lesson # they were on, but found it was a waste of paper since my kids never really looked at the plans because most boxes were vague on what to do and I got lost on where they were in each subject.

So when I read Sarah's post at Amongst Lovely Things about her spiral notebook lesson planning, I thought I would give it a try this year and see how it goes.  So far so good.

On the cover of these notebooks is the All About Me! sheets each child filled out on our first day of school and that is part of our new homeschool year traditions.  I taped these sheets down with clear packaging tape. 

On the inside of the notebooks are the daily lesson plans that I write the night before and a check box that each child will check off as they finish each subject.

Here's an example of my oldest daughter's daily lesson plan. She's in 10th grade and keep in mind this was Day 4 of the first week so we were still easing into lessons and curriculum and her online writing course hadn't started yet.   We do a very "soft start" the first week of each homeschool year to ease into things and get used to our routine.

As Sarah mentioned in her post about spiral notebook lesson planning, both my kids and myself are getting through the subjects and if we don't get to a subject, I'm really trying hard to not stress over it.  I will just sit down at night and evaluate what got done for the day and rewrite what wasn't done  or write new assignments for the next day.  At first this entire process took much longer than 10 minutes, as Sarah suggests it will take,  because I'm still trying to get used to new curriculum, but I've been getting gradually quicker with planning and it doesn't seem as daunting.

I do like the "checking in on my kids' daily completed work" aspect of the spiral notebook planning. The notebooks hold me accountable because if I neglect to write in lessons for a day, my kids aren't sure what to do so the spiral notebook lesson planning forces me to stay on top of not only planning, but what each child is doing in each subject.

9:00 AM - Noon: Ok, so these hours of schooling and the routine are a bit crazy and inconsistent since the 2 year old is pulling books off shelves usually and getting into things while I try to work with my 7 year old and 11 year old on math and literature.  As one of my children finishes some of their work, I get them to watch my little one so I can focus on finishing up with another child.  My 10th grade daughter and 8th grade son are very independent and only come to me when they have questions so they are on their own for the most part.  This is a huge advantage of homeschooling older kids...they eventually become independent learners who can get work done without me hovering over them.

I do need to find more focused activities for my 2 year old, I admit, because things get a bit hectic with her.

11:45 - Noon: Everyone works together to clean up the homeschool room before lunch because if I don't stay on top of the homeschool room it can look like this playroom. As you can see below this is what is very typical in the Smith household.  My 7 year old and 2 year old were playing in the bedroom my 2 year old will move in to eventually and things get messy quickly.  

Noon - 1:00 PM:  We break for lunch.  Before lunch we say the Angelus prayer and Grace Before Meals prayer.    I try to catch up on any phone calls, emails, texts during this time.

1:00 -1:30 PM: Read to my 2 year old before her nap time and put her to down for nap.  The older kids use this time to catch up on any work or read from a book of their choosing.

1:30 - 3:00 PM:  Do History, Science and Writing lessons during this time.

3:00 PM:  We pray a Divine Mercy chaplet at the hour of Jesus's Passion and Death on the cross.

3:15 PM and on: free time, snack, and prepare for afternoon/evening activities.  In the late afternoon/early evening we get ready for various activities Monday through Thursday:  soccer practices, girls' church choir practice, piano lessons for my 2 oldest, 4H meetings, gymnastics class.

So far our routine has been going well.  This isn't a complete list since I didn't mention that on Tuesdays we have our CCM co-op and Thursdays we try to get to the library story time for my 2 year old and my 15 year old daughter volunteers for an hour during story time to shelve books.  But, on the days that we are home all day, the above routine is what usually happens.

What does your day's schedule or routine look like?  Is is similar/different than mine?

Have a blessed weekend!



Chris said...

Hey Tracy~
Love this...great insight into your schedule. This is what i need to do this week...... we begin the year on Tue 9/1!
I've been using spiral notebooks for each of my kids as "assignment books" and one for me, as well, as a "planner." I've tried all sorts of fancy planners, but a regular n\b for me, works the best.

Take care Tra....looking fwd to getting caught up after our trip!

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Subscribe and never miss an update and post!

Hello! Thank you for your Visit!

Hello!  Thank you for your Visit!
I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

Looking for Something? Search My Blog

Follow Me


Please Visit My Sponsor

Amazon Affiliate Search Box

You can support my blog and my family by purchasing through my Amazon affiliate link by using this Amazon Search Box to find products and I will receive a small percentage from your order at no cost to you!

Visit My Friends and Affiliate Links!

I get a small percentage from your purchases!
Thank you!

CCC of America

Brita Baby Boutique

Brita Baby Boutique

Follow Me on Pinterest!

Member of Catholic Bloggers Network

Saintnook: Check It Out!

Saintnook: The Saints are Always Online

Curious about the Catholic faith? Click Below

My Blog is Listed at Blog Mommas

My Blog is Listed at Catholic Mommy Blogs

Healthy Moms Magazine Recognition

100 Top Homeschooling Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine

Blog Post Categories

Blog Archive

Design by My Heart's Desire Creations Copyright © A Slice of Smith Life. Powered by Blogger.

Grab My Button

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Copyright © [2010 and forward]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.