Thursday, July 11, 2013

Homeschooling Year One - Kindergarten / Pre-Kindergarten: Daily Schedule and Routine

When I started to think about homeschooling, I wanted to know what a typical day was like and so I asked google. Doesn't everyone ask the collective wisdom of the internet for answers to their questions these days? I was frustrated that I couldn't seem to get a satisfactory answer. I think it is because every family that homeschools finds their own routine. Each family has a blend of unique personalities and ages. The number of children differs. The ages of those children differ. The discrepancy in ages differs. The style of homeschooling differs as does geography, physical space, family obligations, extracurricular activities, and so on. And, from day to day, week to week, and season to season, schedules morph and change as well.

"Fine, fine..." I grumbled to myself. I understood all that, but I still wanted to read some examples. And so, in our homeschooling infancy, this is how the rhythm of our days has been running.

My children wake up at the crack of dawn. I used to set my alarm for the dark and wake with them, but as they grew and became more independent I abandoned that. Now we set out a simple breakfasty snack for them to serve themselves and allow them their daily phone time in the wee hours of the morning. (They play on outdated iphones repurposed for their use and filled with mostly educational content.) I come downstairs sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 am at which point the children have been on their own for about an hour. 8:00 is my self-imposed hard limit.

I spend the next 30-45 minutes feeding the children a more nutritious second round of breakfast, fixing Ava's hair, drinking some tea, etc. Our homeschooling day begins at approximately 8:30 am.

Disclaimer: These times are approximate.

8:30-8:50 am: Circle Time. Welcome song, calendar work, weather graphing, and the song, word and poem of the day...

8:50-9:00 am: PE Break. We do something active to shake out the wiggles from sitting through circle and help get ready for the next chunk of sitting we'll be doing shortly. Lately we've been getting to know our bodies. We discussed all the major muscle groups of our legs and stretched each area followed by exercises that work those muscles. Then we did a similar group of activities for the arms. Next we'll move to the core. We talked about how muscles get stronger when you use them. Other times we'll explore movement types like running, skipping, jumping, leaping, galloping, etc. We might play a quick beanbag game or have an indoor race. I plan this activity in the PE Break section of the planner.

9:00-10:30 am: Writing journals followed by RightStart Math Level A lesson. I teach these to both children together expecting slightly more of Michael and slightly less of Ava due to the one year age difference.

10:30-11:00 am: Light healthy snack break accompanied by discussion of the nutrition components of our breakfast and snack. I'm pushing nutrition right now in the hope that it will help a little with the picky eating that runs rampant in our household. I'd say it is actually helping and so we will push on...

11:00 am-12:30 pm: Now the children alternate. First Ava does All About Reading: Pre-Reading with me while Michael chooses an activity box to play with on the nearby circle. He knows he needs to play independently and quietly while I work with Ava. He'll often sneak over and listen while we sing our letter of the day song and read the letter of the day poems from the reader simply because he enjoys those parts of her lesson. Then Ava plays quietly nearby while we do Michael's All About Spelling Level One lesson and All About Reading Level 2 lesson. He has chosen to do his spelling on the computer because his spelling skills far outstrip his ability to actually write the letters.

12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch/television/free time break.

2:00 - 4:30 pm: This time varies depending on the day. Some days we have a play date with friends. Other days we'll do another lesson (arts/crafts; science; social studies; music; etc). Sometimes they simply have free choice time and play.

That is our "typical" schedule. Of course, things vary. Monday mornings we have gymnastics at 9:30 and so we do that and then shift the rest of the schedule backwards once we get home. Wednesday mornings my amazing mother takes the children to Story Hour at the library and keeps them through lunch. Then we do some lessons when I pick them up after lunch. So although we have a routine for "home days", there is a lot of variation during the week.

But, that gives you an idea of how things are structured at the moment. I'm positive it will all continue to morph and change over time.

1 comment:

  1. This is very helpful as I'm preparing for my first year. Thanks!


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