I haven’t written much on the blog in the past few years regarding schedules. Don’t misunderstand – I love schedules, but I have found that much like Apple products, they are obsolete as soon as they are released into the wild. With the ever changing development of little ones, it just doesn’t make sense to stick with something that no longer works.
Speaking of things that no longer work, our current school routine is feeling some growing pains. Typically, Alex works in the early morning before I am even out of bed, and then we work together at quiet time when babies are napping. Lately however, Alex’s mommy has been tired (lazy) and has not set out work for him to do in the early morning. This means we get nothing done schoolwise until quiet time. Then Alex has been increasingly tired and uncooperative at quiet time, and that leads to fighting and still no schoolwork. Plus, his workload has increased to the point that we just cannot get it done in an hour at quiet time even if we are both focused and energized.
Luckily, we are wrapping up our first semester next week. This is the perfect opportunity to rethink the game plan.
And here is the new one in all its glory:
(Click here for a larger pdf view)
The goal is to sit down during Josh’s morning nap and work on that day’s FOCUS (the pink blocks). I hope to do this at the dinner table with Ryan and Cooper right there with us. Ryan may work on his own project, or join what Alex and I are doing. Cooper will be properly distracted with snacks, quiet toys, coloring, and board books. I’m sure he will eventually want to get down and play. I imagine this part of the day will take at least an hour if not two. Things always take longer when we are all together, but it is so much better. I hope this cuts down on the TV watching, too.
The blue blocks are where I will schedule work that Alex can do independently or with very little help from me. I haven’t decided yet when this work will happen. I may try the boring stuff in the morning at the table or in his room and leave the stuff he likes for quiet time. My quiet time goal for Alex is to cut back to only 30 minutes of school, 30 minutes of free choice (meaning iPad), and 30 minutes of reading.
I suppose we can repeat the table time in the afternoon if we are still finding it hard to fit in everything that we want to learn, but I would rather just whittle out the busy work. It seems to sneak in when I get tired (lazy) and just follow the lesson plans blindly.
Obviously, the gray blocks mean that we do not cover that subject on that day.
If this plan works, it should set us up nicely for the next couple of years when Ryan begins more formal lessons. I will just add FOCUS subjects in for him and alternate between working with him and working with Alex and eventually combine a few subjects for both of them. I know this is how homeschool moms with large families juggle the teaching duties, but they typically have the added benefit of older children that can play with the younger ones. We aren’t that large…yet.
I’m sure you will be seeing a post in about three months on how this plan isn’t working. That is just the way of things. If anyone has advice on how to handle one student and a bunch of littles, just stick it in the comments. I’ll take anything I can get.