Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting Our Days in Order...Finally!

We're finally getting back on a schedule for our school week. Yay! I had been putting it off in the interest of getting more sleep in the morning, since that was when Joanna slept best, but the daily chaos was definitely getting to me! We were getting everything done each day, but I felt like I was constantly running in circles because we weren't very organized, and any time the boys aren't working on a specific task, order tends to disappear quickly!

Last week I finally decided enough was enough...I was going to start our day much earlier and schedule our school subjects at the very least. So this is what I started last week:

6:30 I wake up and feed Joanna
7:30 Boys get up and do morning chores
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Table chores (Josh, Jon, and Jordan)
8:45-10:00 School at the dining table for everybody--Josh and Jon do math and grammar,
Jordan does math, grammar, and phonics, Joey and Josiah do preschool activities
10:00 Jordan and Josiah play together, Joey stays with me, Josh does piano practice, Jon does
10:30 Jordan and Joseph play together, Josiah stays with me, Josh does writing, Jon does piano
11:00 Josh and Jon do spelling or Latin/Greek root words (depending on the day) with me while
the 3 younger boys watch a 30-minute educational show or video
11:30 Josh and Jon do Latin while I read to the 3 younger boys
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Table chores
1:00-3:30 Naps for Joseph, Josiah, and Joanna
1:00-2:00 History or Science for older 3

That's pretty much as far as we've gotten so far. Of course this past week and this week we're replacing some of those subjects with our Olympics unit study. Next week I need to work our last few subjects into the schedule, as well as afternoon chores. And I'm still trying to figure out how best to work Joanna into the mix. Some of our activities are easier to do with a nursing baby than others, so getting her on a fairly predictable time table will be helpful.

As we've gone through this schedule, I'm noticing a few little glitches. My plan is to keep it up until the end of next week, so that I can see how it works once we're done with our unit study and back to just our regular work. At the end of that time, I will begin the tweaking process. I'm thinking I will eventually want to back everything up half an hour and start at 6:00 am--once I'm getting a little bit more sleep!

In case you're interested, I'm using a program called Managers of Their Homes to create my schedule. I had bought this book a few months before Josiah was born, and implemented a schedule shortly after he was born. However, since our lives soon became crazy with preparing to move and then moving, it was soon abandoned. I've been meaning to come back to this resource for quite some time, so I'm pleased that the time has finally come! I've been feeling so much more on top of things now that our time is neatly ordered, and the boys are so much less likely to go crazy if they don't have to wait for me to tell them what to do next! I just love a calm, smoothly running household and school, and I know we are getting closer and closer to accomplishing that goal! :)

I've also been working on time-saving techniques for meals and on activities for my preschoolers to do at the table while my older children do school. More on those later...

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