Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A New Schedule

Monday was a bad day for us. I had wanted to get all of our school work done, not just the basics. I had wanted to get some decluttering and laundry done, not just the bare minimum of cleaning. Neither of those things happened. Not only did they not happen but my kids were griping about having to start school at 10:30am after spending several hours playing and not doing their morning chores. I lost it and we had a bad day. On a good note, we did get some decluttering and general picking up done after I lost it.

I decided it was time to try getting on a real schedule. I hate schedules; I really do. I feel confined by schedules. I feel trapped at home because my schedule says it's time to do this so I can't go do that. In my mind, schedules leave no room for field trips, errands, or enjoying the unexpected sunshine. I could schedule a certain day for field trips but what if a homeschool group plans an awesome field trip that fits perfectly with what we are learning but it is on the wrong day? What if you run out of milk before it is grocery day? What if the sun shines and you know the rain is coming but it isn't time for recess? I have trouble dealing with these things when I'm trying to follow a schedule. If I try to allow for flexibility, I tend to lose the entire day the moment I get off track. It's just something I haven't figured out yet.

So, with all that said, I'm trying again. I came up with a very simple schedule as if we were home for the whole school day which we aren' a long shot. I'm trying to allow for things, like our class schedule, to mess it up. I don't know what to do for those days that we can't follow the schedule because we are gone. Do we just skip what we miss or do we try to cram it into the evenings or weekend? We are not the type to be happy being home 5 days a week; we need to get out!

The good news it that it seems to be working...for two days at least. We are getting our school work done. We are getting our basic chores done. We are getting outside and enjoying the sun shine. I'm even getting some extra done; my laundry is more caught up than it's been for a long time and I've got a good chunk of my flower bed weeded. I'm exhausted though.

The bad news is that I don't have enough work to fill up all the time that I'm called "school time." My kids just zoom through their language arts (spelling, phonics, grammar, reading comprehension) and math in record time. It takes Mika under an hour and Sammy a little longer. Then we start reading our unit study stuff and read aloud. We don't really have any hands on for our current study. Poor Sammy fell asleep on my while we read about animal classification and fish today.

The other good news is that I think our new schedule will work for next year when I'll have our unit studies planned out better. We'll have time to do hands on stuff and I'll (hopefully) be organized and prepared to do them. Plus, we are dropping the YMCA next year which will make it easier to keep a schedule in the first place.

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Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

Jill hates having a schedule too. If I don't start her before the little boys get here, it's hard to settle her down until after lunch. I try to give her a pile of work when she finishes breakfast and tell her that as soon as she's done, she gets to play. She doesn't like it, but it's the only way we seem to get any school work done.

Stephanie said...

I too struggle with this, but I don't have any helpful wisdom for you. This is my fourth year homeschooling Hanna and we still don't have a schedule. We just fit schoolwork in where we can. Some days just are bad days and we don't do any sit down work. I feel bad on those days but I know that even with those days we are still ahead of public school kids. Think of all the hours they sit there doing nothing waiting for the teacher, who is helping someone else. Anyway, sorry for the tangent but really I have the same struggle and can totally relate. One of the blessings of homeschooling is being able to do things differently. Your kids will learn what they need when they need it. Hanna has been sick for this whole week so far and then she was sick two weeks ago for a whole week. It seems there is always something to keep us from staying on a schedule. Oh well, I just try to let it go. I really don't feel like she is falling behind but of course, my own public school mindset tells me she should be doing more. I try not to listen to that voice! I hope you guys are having a great week, I love reading your blog because then I don't feel so alone. I see that other homeschooling families are having the same struggles.

Anonymous said...

I think I have tweeked our schedule three times this year. You just have to find what works.

Pufferfish Mommy said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment on my blog. So you were searching for Plant Classification stuff? Did you find what you needed? We did that Konos unit last spring. It was fun, although I really had to do MY homework! LOL. Let me know if I can help you with any of it!

I really like your blog. :) And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who struggles with the scheduling dilemma. I appreciate what you had to say in your post, and can identify whole-heartedly!

I'm bookmarking your blog. Stop by and see me again sometime at my homeschool blog, and my other blog, Pufferfish Diaries.