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Our Homeschool Life Schedule with Free Downloads

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Our Homeschool Life Schedule with Free Downloads

Update 2017: I wrote this post five years ago back in 2012. At that time we had two middle size kids, a little girl and two little boys ages 11, 8, 4, 2, and 1. Fast forward through these past five years, and we now have seven kiddos with baby #8 on the way. The kids are now 16, 13, 10, 7, 6, 4, and 2. We have a lot of different dynamics in the mix. All that to say, this post is not what our daily rhythm looks like any longer.

We’ve grown into being outside and exploring our wilderness in the mornings, having family lunch, and homeschooling heavy in the afternoons and even into the early evening. It works for us, and that’s a huge piece of the homeschooling puzzle, finding what works for you. I’ll share more about our updated schedule in an upcoming post. In the meantime, this post with our current homeschool routines and curriculum plans for 2016-2017 shines more light on our present adventures.  I hope all of this schedule sharing encourages you to enjoy the freedom to find your family’s unique path. xoxo 

To see more our 2017 homeschool life you might enjoy: Large Family Homeschooling Day in the Life | Explore the Forest with Us! and HOMESCHOOLING MOM OF SEVEN | Day in the Life

First, let me say that I’m always multitasking.  It’s just the reality of homemaking/homeschooling life with a growing family.  I don’t look at this season as one to rush through because these little years will not last forever.  That being said, I usually line up my little boys and change two diapers at a time.  I start cooking dinner in the morning.  And for the most part, I consider our homeschool life to model fairly close to the one room schoolhouse.  I teach our children based on their ability level, not grade level.  Our children take part in most activities regardless of age, and we try to do as many things as a family that we possibly can.

Here is our daily routine:  We crave structure in our homeschool day. However, we don’t function well-having life mapped out in 15-minute increments.  Maybe I can coin the phrase “structured flexibility.” 😉   Please do whatever works for you.  This is unique to our family, but hopefully, it gives you a glimpse in how we make it work.

7:30-8:30 = Good Morning List:  Jadin and Zion have a Good Morning List that hangs on their door for their morning routine.  They have developed good morning habits including making their bed, getting dressed, shower/brush teeth, morning job, exercise and reading their Bible.

For Jadin, his morning job is to shuffle the laundry (that is “Stewart-speak” for putting a wet load in the dryer and starting a new load to wash.)  Zion puts away the dishes from the night before.   Jadin took the initiative to add exercising to his Good Morning List.  Both boys work with weights,  pull-ups, and/or stretches.

While Jadin and Zion work on their morning list, I nurse the baby, get the two little boys ready for the day, pull myself together, and do Naomi’s hair.

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8:30-9:30 = Breakfast / Jesus:  Breakfast is usually oatmeal and fruit unless daddy is home in which case he makes a fabulous breakfast.  We listen to the audio Bible while we eat our meal.  Once the dishes are cleared everyone pulls out their Bible, and we have family bible reading time. Our goal is to read one Bible chapter per meal. We also pray and read several stories from our Voice of the Martyrs devotional, Jesus Freaks.  Of course, there are also the wonderful mornings when the Holy Spirit takes over our homeschool, and we end up reading the Word for hours.  Believe me; I don’t mind those days!

9:30-10 = Kids run!  Weather permitting, or bundled up, the 5, 8 and 11-year old run through the field, jump on the trampoline, climb trees, zip-line or tire swings for about 30-minutes to get all the giggles out before family table work time.

During this time I do any school prep on my end, make a phone call if needed, or dare I say…wave “HI!” to my online friends.

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10-12 = Table Work:  What we’ve come to call “table work” at our house is just that, the time when the books are spread out, and we dig into our lessons.  I have more posts in the works with additional detail on how preschool, kindergarten and older years work in our house.  Short version for today: Naomi (5) and Gabriel (2) spread out at the kitchen table with their workboxes.   I focus the 30-45 minutes working directly with Naomi and Gabriel, while Jadin (11) and Zion (8) start on their workboxes at our schoolroom table independently. Liam (1) is either riding on my back or sitting in his seat chewing on a puzzle.  Here you can read more about our early years of homeschool.

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Next, I move my focus onto Zion and Jadin.   Unless it’s a new concept, they work well on their own with their work already being set up in workboxes.  At this point, I work on Language Arts with them.  We rotate days using Rod & Staff, Sequential Spelling, and we’re starting to mix in WriteShop as well.

Our schoolroom is right beside our kitchen (which I like to call our “living homeschool room“), so I end up walking in a circle around the kitchen table and school room table.  I encourage this child, redirect another, and offer praises to that one.

PLAY  is a big learning activity around our house too!

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12-1 = Lunch / Jesus: With my meal planning, Lunch is usually left overs from the night before or sandwich/fruit.  I like to have egg salad, chicken salad, or tuna salad ready to whip up quick sandwiches.  Again, we listen to Bible, or watch teachings from the Answers in Genesis website, while we eat.  Then we go around the table again with more Bible time.

1-3:00 = Read Alouds or Special Project {Little’s Nap-time from 1-4}: This is one of our favorite times of day.  Lately, we’ve been staying at the kitchen table for reading aloud time.  During this particular time we dive deep in our favorite literature.  You can read more about what read aloud time looks like at our house.  We’ve been slacking on our lap books lately but in times past we also use this time to work on lapbooks or science projects.

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3:00-4:00 = Read or Rest: This goes for Mom too.  Naomi and I snuggle up while reading some of her hand-picked “girl stories.”  Zion and Jadin read from their chapter books and rest.

4:00-5:00 = Afternoon Jobs:  During this time we tackle the majority of our housework.  Last year I gleaned from Kim Brenneman of Large Family Logistics, that in her family they do the large portion of their housework in the afternoons. After reading her suggestions, I’ve adopted this idea in our household.  Most days for us this takes an hour of family team work.  There are certain days when it takes a little longer depending on what we’re tackling. The idea is we clean up from our full learning day in the afternoon, tidy as we go for the evening, and wake-up to a clean house the next morning.  I find this works very well for us.  You can also read here how we train young children in chores.

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5-6 = Family Dinner / Jesus:  By this point, we’re plowing into daddy and bombarding him with stories of our day.  We have our family dinner and hopefully a little more Bible reading.

6-8 =  Time with Dad: Family reading, possibly a game…little kids to bed by 8.

8-9:30 = Freetime: Older boys may do anything constructive such as Lego’s, Kinex, artwork, reading (one of our boys reads a chapter book per day).  Chess, Uno, and Rummy are favorite bedtime games as well.  Starting at 8 p.m.,   I begin my “office hours.”  For awhile I worked well on an extremely early morning schedule.  Since this fall I’ve merged into an evening /night schedule.  I’m all for whatever works!  Big kids are in bed by 9:30, unless it’s a holiday, weekend or trip.

Spring, Summer, Fall, most of our afternoon reading time is outside on a quilt.  We also have fellowship days when we get together with friends, field trip days, shopping days, daddy-is-home-lets-go-for-a-hike-days, mental health days, and cookie baking days.  For u, our schedule is a nice mix between over strenuously scheduled and too relaxed.  That’s just us.

Question:  How do you schedule your homeschool life?

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