Friday, November 11, 2005

Schedules and Routines

An old friend of mine wrote me this morning wanting to know about how our schedule for the day goes, and I thought I'd share my response to her:

You ask about schedules... well we started out with a schedule on paper LOL, and never got around to following it. I would like to get to a schedule one of these days, because I think it will become important for Elizabeth and the kids to develop that virtue of perseverence... you know, doing something even when you don't feel like it... but for kindergarten, what we have is good enough for now.

There's a great book I read called A mother's rule of Life' by Holly Peirlot (sp?)... she describes how she looked at a bunch of the monastic and religious orders (nuns and monks) to see how they scheduled their days and how they seemed so balanced with recreation and work and rest and study... and she tried to develop her own 'rule' or schedule that replicated the spirit of that, but for a homeschooling mom. It was quite interesting and inspiring, but difficult to put into practice in real life. I"m still working on my flylady routines 5 years later LOL, so i'm not sure if i'll ever get
there.

The closest we come to a routine is this (on a good day):

6:00am mommy gets dragged out of a not-deep sleep by assorted children, depending on the day
6:10am mommy tries to go back to sleep, to no avail, and thopes daddy will get up and take the kids to work with him
7:00am breakfast and get dressed etc...
8:00am morning mass at a nearby church
9:00am home and start school for school we tend to do it in this order:
Religion
Math
Writing
and sometimes phonics if we aren't too distracted by then.
11:00 or so, we have lunch, play, read stories etc...
12:30 or so, all three kids still have a NAP!!! this is mommy's brief moment of reprise for the day.

Elizabeth naps for about an hour or so and then she gets up and sometimes we do reading (phonics) or she just plays for a bit with her toys and sets up these elaborate stories they act out (I think of this as part of her 'school' because she is being so creative when she plays with them... it's like creative writing time in her head). Other times, she'll draw some pictures or play with playdough or clay etc... The whole time we are listening to some type of music: either the classical kids series, movie soundtracks (currently, we are listening to Sound of Music and little Elizabeth has memorized the entire cd LOL, raffi, CatChat etc...
With no TV in the house, I find that we are always immersed in an atmosphere of learning because the kids have to find ways to entertain themselves, instead of passively sitting in front of the tv.
3:00 or 4 is when Z gets up and then the kids like to either run around and make a mess either playing with their toys, or helping me in the kitchen making dinner.
One afternoon a week she has a clay class that she takes, and on sundays she goes to children's liturgy at mass.
8:00pm or so: the kids get shuffled off to bath time and bed. They always get two
stories read to them at both nap time and bed time.. right now we are reading a novel: Mr. Popper's Penguins. A very amusing book that they enjoy listening too... and Zach usualy chooses some sort of train book to read (his major obsession in life)... then they read books to themselves until they fall asleep.

So our days are filled with music and reading and creative play... and she loves math and religion too. Our only difficult spot of the day is phonics, but only because mommy needs to work on her patience in listening to the painstakingly slow sounding out of words. LOL.

I started out the year thinking that we would have lots and lots of schedules and organized learning opportunities with Five in a Row, art history, etc... but realized quickly that in Kindergarten, and likely I'll find this for the other grades as well, so much learning happens while you're not officially doing 'school'. I just love homeschooling for that reason. While I still want to follow a classical curiculum, I am not as rigid in my thinking as I was before about how 'school' needs to happen. I'm sure this will change from year to year, especially as I add more children to the mix. (yes, we still want more kids )

1 comment:

Dana said...

I'm enjoying your blog Mel...it's nice to have a homeschooling guinea pig going ahead of me. Check out my ramblings at amommystale.blogspot.com

Dana
PS: Here's to trains and castles!