Disclaimer-I am a work in progress, I have failed multiple times, I am not perfect, my house is not perfect, my kids are not perfect…but I am trying and pushing through with the Lord’s help and grace to be a godly wife and mother! I also think its way more about being on a schedule and setting up routines that then gives you the time and opportunity to homeschool. This is all a work in progress and depends on the ages of your children – take it and tweak it!!
Brief History of my homeschool Journey (if I can be brief )
Isabella started asking us to read & write at age four. She was very interested in learning. We got Hooked on Phonics for preschool and Danny went through it with her. I talked to a friend who was a 4th grade teacher asking what curriculum she was going to use and she said My Father’s World and Math U See. I totally trust her so I went with that. Bella started Kindergarten Fall of 2009 at 5yrs (b-day in Oct). All I did that year was My Father’s World no extra Math. We spent 20mins per day doing calendar time, weather watching, singing songs, Bible memory, and potty / snack break. We then spent 30-40 mins. on our lesson. During that time Anna was at preschool for her speech issues, Moses and Judah would play or watch movies. There was not a lot of good structure at that time.
Next year Isabella started 1st grade My Father’s World and Math U See. We would drop Anna off at her school, boys would go to my parent’s house to play, and Bella and I would go home to do school. We would do Math first (cause it takes a lot of brain work) then our My Father’s World Lesson which all together would take anywhere from an hour to hour and a half. If the boys or Anna were home I found it difficult for Bella to concentrate and found activities for the others to do – lived and learned and that is why we are now on way different schedules, which I will explain further.
My Father’s World – super easy to follow, not a lot of prep, and Biblically based. Example: the 1st grade reader is amazing. They’re learning grammar in one book and the grammar rules are reinforced in the Bible reader.
Math U See –hands on math learning with blocks. You as the teacher watch a DVD, so it’s easy to teach. Multiple worksheets and on line help if needed. This curriculum is also biblically based which is really cool for math!
I made each child their own bin that has activities they can do either on their own or with mama. These bins have special games, coloring pages, puzzles, and flash cards – things that will occupy them and that are only taken out for special learning times.
This coming year
Isabella will be starting 2nd grade My Father’s World and Math U See.
Anna will be starting Kindergarten My Father’s World and Math U See. She has tested out of all her speech classes PRAISE GOD!
Moses will be going to the same school as Anna did for his speech issues.
Judah will be doing some preschool activities in the morning with me and his schedule.
Baby due in 7 days
How this coming year will look
I spent a lot of time going over schedules, making plans, changing everything 100 times! I think we have a schedule that will work (although having a newborn could change many things-we’ll see)
I worked through a book called Managers of Their Homes by Steven and Teri Maxwell. The whole book is about setting a schedule. I made a list of everything I need to get done in a day (examples-cleaning, cooking, homeschool, devo time) and a list for each person in the family. Then I blocked their times and mine. I made everything in 30 min increments long enough to get something done short enough to keep everyone’s attention. I think morning routines and before bed routines are essential to a schedule. I use a ton of info from www.flylady.net.
Here is the Master Schedule – our starting point for the year.
On the master schedule, when it says preschool time for Anna and Judah, I will be singing songs, going over Bible verses, teaching the calendar, then quiet play time while Bella is sitting at the table doing her Bible and Spelling. Then you can see where I have individual play time, play time with only one sibling, alone time with mama, chores, and night routines.
Struggles for me:
Being missionaries and taking week long (or longer) breaks to support raise or travel in general
Trying to stick to a set schedule
Having little ones trying to keep them occupied
We are moms of young kids the schedule will change, shift, or be thrown out the window at any point BUT (as you already know) it is so important to have a schedule for yourself and your kids. True confession I LOVE SCHEDULES I don't always follow them or follow through, but the more kids we have the more we need structure to our days. They do better and we do better :)
This is a starting point. Hope it helps and please feel free to ask questions.