#Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #creating a #Homeschool #Routine

Good evening, my friends! It’s been a day. Not a good day, not a bad day, just…a day.

I made off with several volumes of this series from the library before it was shuttered. The series has a good balance of text and illustration–a little easy for Blondie, a little challenging for the boys. If you have kids in single digits, give Dragonbreath a go!

“Mo-om, Biff whined at me!”

“Mo-om, Bash pulled my hair!”

“Mo-om, Blondie won’t let me watch her play Sonic!”

Insert a few quiet moments here and there thanks to The Lego Movie and books, and that was my day.

As I promised yesterday, I sat down with the kids at breakfast and built a schedule based on their typical school days. Since Blondie’s the most flexible of the three, I primarily used the boys’ order of the day: Reading and Writing in the morning, Math in the afternoon. Because churches are also closed because gatherings cannot exceed ten people, we’ll also have time reading Bible stories every day. Considering Blondie’s love for science–and how often schools ax science for weeks at a time–we’re going to make sure there’s some science/nature time every day, too.

But what about art? Bash loves to draw. I gotta have that.

But what about geography? Biff loves to study maps. I gotta have that.

But what about fun stories? I finally have a captive audience here. Now they’ll have no choice but to experience Diana Wynne Jones! Mwa ha ha ha!

Well who wouldn’t want to imagine life in a moving castle?

And don’t they have to have playtime somewhere in there?

Once again: Uffdah.

On the one hand, I hate overwhelming the kiddos. HOWEVER, there are certain skills we have got to maintain, like math, and others that need to stay stimulated, like writing. And I don’t want these three laying around like sloths just waiting for a movie to come on. No. There is so, so much out there to discover in our yards and on our bookshelves. We just need to be inspired to look!

So I haggled and scribbled and arrowed and switcherooed things until finally, I think, I may have a schedule for us to follow.

6:30-7:00am: Wake up

7:00-8:00am: Breakfast, get dressed

8:00-8:10am: Morning meeting–a review of what the day will hold

8:10-8:30am: Bible study

8:30-9:00am: Quiet reading time

9:00am-9:20am: Reading reflection–draw a picture, write about a favorite scene/character, etc.

9:20-9:50am: Play time

9:50-10:30am: Writing time–use prompts from school and/or encourage them to write about their favorite things. Make sure to practice some penmanship by copying neato things like Weird but True Facts

10:30-11:00am: Art–drawing, coloring, building. Gotta be creative!

11:00am-12:00pm: Lunch & Read Aloud–I’ll read aloud to the kids while we eat together

12:00-12:30pm: Playtime

12:30-1:10pm: Math–work on worksheets from school & math games online

1:10-2:00pm: CLEANING–tackle one part of the house every day

2:00-3:00pm: Outside time–park, drawing on the sidewalk, hiking, something!

3:00-3:30pm: Geography–learn a little about Wisconsin, or a part of the world that sparks their curiosity!

3:30-4:00pm: Odds’n’ends, like piano practice

4:00-5:00pm: Let’em have some screen time while I cook dinner

Bo’s usually home by this point, so all will likely turn chaotic until bedtime at 8:30. πŸ™‚

Basically, it’s like living with a bunch of Curlys every night.

You are more than welcome to make a face at how minute-by-minute this is, but believe me, when it comes to Sensory kids who thrive on routine, having a breakdown like this can make a big difference! A time limit also helps them stay on track, a crucial skill for surviving a school day. Time limits also help me plan out enough activities to realistically fill the periods, whether it’s making a slide show of wolves, drawing Transformers planting flowers, or building spaceships to visit IO. I can’t afford to let the school structure crumble just because the kids are home, especially because there is no certainty as to whether or not schools will re-open.

In other words, we American parents have inadvertently been drafted into homeschooling.

Those who already homeschool, if you have any tips to share, PLEASE share! In the meantime, I’m going to work on compiling creative activities, books, and videos that can/will appeal to kiddos…and then maybe figure out when I’m going to get my own teaching’n’writing done…

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

27 thoughts on “#Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #creating a #Homeschool #Routine

  1. You have done a FABULOUS job of setting up what looks like a manageable schedule, with lots of kid-directed but still valuable stuff. It’s also fabulous that you have them helping out around the house, AND playing, which is so, so important. GREAT work!

    If you want, I will pass along good websites/materials as I find them. (A couple that my kids use at school which I THINK have free versions if you want to look into them: Epic (reading), Freckle (Reading and Math) and Prodigy (kind of a kids D and D that practices Math Skills)

    If you’re having any difficulty fitting things in, one thing that works well in a traditional school schedule that might also work for you is alternating classes- like Science M,W, Geography Tues, Thurs, Art Friday- stuff like that. If you ever need “filler,” Board games are also EXCELLENT learning tools, if you have some. Great for counting, social skills like taking turns, following directions etc.

    I have some super fun art projects and easy to play math games, as well as some good “discrepant events” science projects to pass along if you ever need ideas- and if you feel like sharing any, I’ll happily take them, too! (And Sorry for the super long post- getting crazy here. I’m not great at structuring my own fam, but I LOVE lesson planning πŸ˜€ Did my first pre-recorded lesson today and came to the conclusion that I talk too much!!! Not a huge shock, I guess.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, please share whatever and whenever, Friend! I’m also thinking of utilizing some Monopoly and other games into the day to break things up. Changing up the schedule with different classes is also a good idea–I have a feeling I’ll do that depending on weather and what we can do for learning fun outside.
      Hey, managing one’s own kids is TOUGH–plus you’ve got a big age range on your hands. and hey–I bet your students will be thankful to hear your voice for however long you teach just for the sake of something different! xxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great schedule. I may adopt it! Also, Shonda Rhimes who had been homeschooling her 6 and 8-year olds for “one hour and 11 minutes” said teachers should make a billion dollars a week. She then corrected that to an hour. :0)
    Good luck in there, Jean! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA! Yeah, there’s a reason I consider teachers to be fearless fighters πŸ™‚ Biff’s already giving some pushback because “we don’t do school things at home!” It’s such a shake-up for him, and meanwhile Bash and Blondie start fighting over stuff as piddly as a silly face. UGH. So here’s praying that come Monday we can settle into this schedule…and learn of terrific improvements happening around us!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to teach children organic gardening skills. Perhaps they would enjoy planting some seeds and watching them grow. This is an ideal time to sow sunflowers which could become a “see whose sunflower grows the tallest competition.” One of the schools I used to visit did this every year and the children loved it. Nasturtiums are another great climber that is cheerful and easy to grow. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you! I was thinking of starting a garden with them for a teaching opportunity. Granted, the current snowfall outside isn’t too inspiring for gardens (lol) but this is Wisconsin–tomorrow it’ll be almost 60 degrees. Go fig πŸ™‚ Thanks again for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That schedule looks great. Lots of variety and plenty of fun. Tell Biff I love maps too!
    Maybe you could come around and organize my husband’s days from next week. His organizational skills suck.
    Fist bumps to you all xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I trust you have a suitable bell ringing or buzzer sounding when the next scheduled period starts? Did you have a time when teacher’s pet used to be allowed to ring a handbell for change of lesson? I can imagine a competition between Biff and Bash as to who’s going to be the favoured one on account of their good behaviour!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LMAO! Those two and bells. Oh heavens, those little counter dinger things just attract them like bees to lemonade! Those guys cannot help but ding them as much as humanly possible ;-P

      I could have one of them make a dinging sound, though. They’re brilliant at that! xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: #Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: balancing #screentime and #handsonactivities | Jean Lee's World

  7. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. Fascinating and beautiful. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: #Lifeathome with #children during #SelfQuarantine: #revising #homeschool expectations so a #parent can #workathome and #write | Jean Lee's World

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