Thursday, August 6, 2009

Daily Schedule

Our daily school routine is rarely the same each day, which of course, is one of the perks of being homeschoolers. But, we do have a general schedule we try to follow.

On days that we are home all day, this is our general plan: (I don't keep an eye on the clock most of the time, so these times are just a rough approximation)
  • 7:15 - Breakfast (Nathan, Ryan and myself)
  • 7:30 - Quick logic puzzle (just to wake up the brain)
  • 7:40 - Bible devotion/study
  • 8:00 - Language Arts (alternating with one-on-one time)
  • 9:00 - Math
  • 9:30 - Morning Break (chores and snack) / Meet with David
  • 10:00 - History
  • 10:45 - Languages (Latin -2x/wk & French - 3x/wk)
  • 11:15 - Science
  • 12:00 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - Elective studies, independent reading & project work (Nathan and Ryan)
  • 1:00 - One-on-one time with David
  • 3:00 - Music practice
  • 3:30 - Free play (Nathan and Ryan)
  • 4:30 - David finishes school work, I finish daily grading
  • 6:00 - Dinner

On short days, when we have outside commitments, we focus on the core studies. Everything else still gets done, because I have extra weeks built into my school year.

So, how do I create their schedules? Basically, I divide out their assignments, creating weekly and daily schedules. Although I love to plan, it's not complicated.

First I create an Excel worksheet. This worksheet is a general overview and has tabs labeled for each week of the school year (usually 38-40 tabs or pages, because I tend to "school lite" for a few weeks at the beginning of the school year). Each worksheet page serves as a week at a glance, with projected dates inserted. I have columns for each day of the week and rows listing each subject/book. Next, I look at a calendar and mark off holidays and planned vacations, so I don't try to plan lessons for those days. I also note days that will be short because of Co-op classes, field trips or Dr. appointments that I already have scheduled. This worksheet is just a guide and remains very flexible. I usually print off the current week and keep it in my master work file, just to make sure we are staying somewhere close to my overall plan.

As I purchase curriculum for the upcoming year, I divide the lessons or activities into days and weeks, then enter them into the Excel worksheet. This way I can see how the lessons are matching up with each other (common themes) and how much school work I'm trying to accomplish every day. It also keeps me from trying to schedule too much in any given day, week or month.

6th Grade Curriculum

Once I'm happy with the way the Excel worksheet looks, I input the individual lesson plans into Edu-Track (Nathan and Ryan only). I usually enter their lesson plans in 6-9 week chunks. This makes it easier to make changes as I go. Changes will happen, but I can always look at the Excel worksheet to see if I'm still on track for the year. I also print off daily to-do lists from Edu-Track for Nathan and Ryan. I place these in their weekly notebooks behind the daily tabs.

In addition to the Excel worksheet, I create two Word documents for David. The first contains a course syllabus for each subject/class. The second document outlines his weekly assignments broken down by subject/class. The weekly outline is flexible, so I only print it out one week at a time, making revisions as necessary. I only enter lessons into Edu-Track for him as he completes the assignments, because he lays out his own daily goals.

That's about it. Although I like to use several different mediums for planning and scheduling (Motivated Moms, Excel, Word, Edu-Track), I think they work well together - at least for me :)

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