Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Schedule, Part 2 (Daily)

Okay, in this post I described how I organize (and I use that term loosely!) our yearly and weekly schedule for school.  Today, I will tell you about how I organize our daily school schedule.

There are certain 'school subjects' that are not part of our scheduled school time.  This is because they are more a part of our everyday life than our 'acadmics'.   We keep doing them even when we don't do school.  But...if I was in a place where I had to track my hours, I would count the time we spent doing these things as school.   These subjects are Bible, Literature, Handicrafts, and Life Skills.  Bible we do as a family at breakfast (hymns and Scripture memory) and at bedtime (Bible reading and devotions.)   Literature is the form of picture book read alouds with the little ones before naptime and a chapter book for the older ones at bedtime.  Michelle also reads indpendently on her own time.  Handicrafts and life skills (chores, safety, hygeine, etc) just sort of happen as they happen and the need arises.

Michelle has gotten to the point that she can do some work indpendently, so she has a daily checklist of things she can work on without my being right next to her.  She starts these things when her chores are done in the morning, and finishes them when I do preschool work with James.  Or sometimes she works through the whole list while I'm at school, so we have less work to do when I get home.  The subjects on this checklist are: copywork, math drill (on the computer), French (on the computer), and read a section from one of her readers to tell me about later (or sometimes she reads the section out loud to one of us).  Her checklist looks like this:

All the rest of our school subjects fit into a "block" type schedule.  I occasionally move the blocks around to suit our needs, but the basic form stays the same.  Sometimes we do this 'school time' in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoon.  Depends on my schedule and what else we have going on that day.  This part of our school day takes 1.5 to 2 hours.  To keep track of it all I have a chart that looks like this.  For most of our resources we just 'read the next chapter', but if I need to I can scribble in notes about what resources we are going to use.

Block #1 Opening Family Work:
1. Calendar + Read a section from God's World News
2. Poetry (read aloud 1 poem, practice reciting the poem we are memorizing)
3. Aesop Fable + narration (for Michelle)
4. French song (action nursery rhymes, so we get some wiggles out) + activity

Block #2 First daily reading:
Day 1 - Character/Personal Development
Days 2 and 4 - History
Days 3 and 5 - Nature

Block #3 Indpendent and Guided Work:
Michelle does with me: Cursive Workbook, All About Spelling, and start Math together. She completes her math worksheet on her own, plus any work from her checklist she didn't get to in the morning while I do 15-20 minutes worth of work with James (letter/sound recognition, nursery rhymes, math games, a wee bit of handwriting).


Block #4 Second Daily Reading
Days 1, 3, and 5 French story (read and talk about it, define words we don't know, etc.)
Day 2 Geography
Day 4 - Composer or Artist Study (we alternate - spend about 6-8 week on a composer, and then switch and do 6-8 weeks on an artist.)

This 'flexible routine' method of scheduling has worked really well for us...hope it gives you some ideas too!

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