Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Schedule 2011/2012

Figuring out how to schedule 6 children in grades 5th, 3rd, 2nd, K/1st, K and pre-K was making my head spin just a bit.  It never feels like it will all come together until I finally sit down with paper and pencil.  At that point things slowly start to take shape and it all doesn't feel quite so overwhelming.

Not Back to School - My very favorite students

We have been using this schedule for a couple of weeks now, and I'm really happy with it.  We're busy all day, but a good busy, not a frantic busy.  We have plenty of room in the "margins" of the day.  Our one hour blocks are working well.  In the past I tried using 30 minute increments for our schedule, and it just leaves me looking at my watch and trying to shuffle kids around.

It works well for us that a bulk of our work is in the morning.  Right now we are enjoying our quiet time outside.  When the weather turns cold and snowy we will have ample opportunity for quiet indoor play.

Here is a printable version of our schedule with more detail as to what we are doing during each block of time.

5:00-6:00 Prayer/Computer

6:00-6:30 Exercise

6:30-7:00 Shower/Dressed

7:00-7:30 Kids up/Smoothies

7:30-8:30 Breakfast/Kitchen Clean-up/Chores

8:30-9:00 Rosary/Bible/Devotional

9:00-10:00 Math Block

10:00-11:00 Paths of Exploration Block

11:00-11:30 Reading Block

11:30-12:00 Homekeeping Block

12:00-1:00 Lunch/Kitchen Clean-up

1:00-2:00 Quiet Time

2:00-3:00 Language Arts Block/Unfinished Work Completed

3:00-4:00 Divine Mercy Chaplet/House Tidy

4:00-9:00 Free Time/Dinner/Evening Activities/Bed

Here is the link to our curriculum for the year and our school room.  Hope you have a blessed 2011-2012 school year!

I'm linking up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop


Jessy Gaffen said...

I love the idea of having blocks! What if a student finishes early? Do they get to play while the others finish up?

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Yes! if they finish early and I check their work they are free to go play, go outside. It's a good motivator.

Lisa said...

Jen, I am right with you! My head is spinning thinking about doing all of the subjects for 4 children in different grades! I am going to combine for the first time this year.

Your schedule looks great!

God bless,

Samantha Kelley said...

Have a wonderful year!

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Lisa, I think combining as much as possible is key!! I will be anxious to hear how you like Sonlight.

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Thank you!

Dawn said...

Great schedule. I hope you have a blessed year.

Fullovnrg said...

I like the idea of BLOCKS with one subject in each block... I'll have to keep that in mind when my youngest is a little more STILL!!

ANd I am right there with you about trying to figure out how to do it all in ONE day... seems like it all comes together when there is a PLAN:)

Lynn B said...

I love the "blocks" because they are a little more flexible. Seeing it on paper, though, it looks like you really have your kids quiet/schooling/working from 8:30 - 4:00!!!! I'm guessing it's not really like that in real life. :) Or...? How do you handle play time with the different ages?

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Thank you Dawn!

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Lynn, we are definitely not quiet! I like to leave room in the day between subjects so we aren't running around looking at the clock. If the kids are done with their math at 9:30, then they are free to go play until 10:00 when we start our next block. I have the housekeeping block in there to break up the sitting, we all work together on whatever is our designated area. Then we really have a two hour break for lunch/Quiet time. LA doesn't usually take the whole hour, we say the Divine Mercy, do a quick whole house tidy, and then were are done.

Mary said...

It looks so well thought out, Jen. I admire that you get up at 5 each morning!! :-)

Jen4Ever4Always said...

I'm more of a morning person, but 5:00 is still early! However, I've found that they day goes so much smoother if I have some quiet in the morning and am ready to go when they get up!

Live, Love, Educate said...

Your schedule looks great. Funny how quick a day goes once you start planning. I get up at 4 a.m. with my husband, but after he leaves I have been doing my Bible reading for an hour and then falling back to sleep. I need to get out of that habit and into yours of working out.

Love your students :)

Jen4Ever4Always said...

okay, 4:00am is way early!! But I would imagine you get a lot done before your neighbors are even out of bed :)

Theresa said...

I like how you block out time. That morning time alone is so important for me to get myself focused for the day!

Tifflynene said...

Wonderful schedule, Jen! We are FINALLY using this block time schedule after 8 years of homeschooling. I am loving it. For my older kids, I am learning that I may even need to stretch the hour on some time consuming subjects. I hope to post mine soon, just to share. It's so great so get new ideas. Thanks again and God Bless your new school year!

Lori_KeepingItSimple said...

I have never had to coordinate so many students so close in age at the same time! My family is much more spread out age wise. Great job! I can imagine your head was spinning. We have not officially started the new school year, but I am trying to come to grips with how it is all going to work as well.

I'll pass your sentiments on to Erin. Thanks for your kind comments. :)

Savannah said...

Hi, I just found your blog from the blog hop. That's great that your schedule is working so well for you. You have a beautiful family!

Four Little Penguins said...

Soooo, when you say "math block", you mean everyone is doing math at the same time, no matter what level? How does that look, practically?
I have a 4th, 3rd, two 1sts, a K, and a PreK. We are combining history, science, geography, etc, but I'm struggling with teaching all the math, phonics/reading, etc, at so many different levels while keeping everyone engaged and with me. I have some kids that HAVE to finish before they go play because it's terribly difficult getting them to refocus. Unfortunately, these are my "middle" kids who aren't finished first, nor able to do much "independent" work. So I am interested in how your blocks work... :)

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Math is definitely the most challenging block. With Monday being the most challenging day as they are usually starting a new math topic. This is what has worked out fairly well so far. I have my 5th, 3rd, and 2nd grader sit at the table with me. My 3rd & 2nd do Math U See so I watch the video with each one and then answer any questions. The other 3 (1st/K,K, & PrekK) kids are doing a quiet activity such as pattern blocks, dominos, etc in the adjoining family room. Then I will go do an activity with them for about 15-20 minutes. The other days I usually start with the younger kids b/c the older kids are more comfortable with the material. When I'm done with the younger kids then I join the older kids again to check their work etc. If the older kids are done early I do let them go play.

During reading time my 5th & 2nd grader go off to do 30 min quiet reading. I work for about 15 minutes with my 3rd grader, who still struggles a bit with reading, we work on sight words and he reads to me. He also has other opportunities to work on reading throughout the day. Then I spend about 15 minutes with the others kids on phonics, letter recognition, letter writing. Does that help at all?

Dawne Shelton said...

Thanks for sharing your day! I love reading others' schedules to help me get new ideas for my own. :)

Gardenia said...

what a great schedule. I ike that you put exercise in there!! the photo is great too! all those eager minds ready for their learning!

moziesme said...

Love the "block" idea! It seems that would give you a little flexibility within the block, but still allow you to cover the basics every day.

Rcroix said...

I'm inspired by the blocks reserved for the rosary and Chaplet. It would be so helpful to set aside solid times to do them every day with the kids. Thanks!

Jen4Ever4Always said...

We only do a decade of the rosary, during Advent and Lent we do two, that's about all squirmy bodies can handle right now!

A Slice of Smith Life said...

Hi Jen!
Love this picture of your students! So cute! Your post inspires me to keep plugging along to find the right fit and schedule with my 4. My head seems to be spinning more often than I would like as my 3 year old wonders around while I try to juggle my school aged children. Part of the problem is the 3 year distracts the 11 year and then the 11 year old makes a big fuss which then sets off the other two. This is by far my biggest struggle with homeschooling my crew. I'm trying to keep them all engaged and have them complete their work when so many times they all need me at once. So this year I have dropped some very teacher intensive curriculum (Shirley English, All About Spelling) to help free up my time for my 7 year old who is still trying to get reading and try to keep my 3 year old busy too.

Holly@ThreeSidedWheel said...

I love that you plan for 'margins' in your day! I try to remember to tell discouraged friends that they have to allow for LIFE to happen in their days-- it can't always be black in white when it is He who is in control! Thank you for sharing!

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