Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

School time, Chores and Schedules, OH MY! Part 1

on May 13, 2010

Some people think that I’m fairly structured with how our day goes in this house, other people think I’m pretty fly by the seat of my pants. I’ve been floundering a bit lately, so a good friend and I have been hashing out how we can make our days run a little more smoothly.

The main problem that we were finding we were having was that we weren’t getting to the fun stuff… the stuff that you tend to really want to do, but feel it has to wait until the “must do” stuff is finished with.  We were also having a hard time keeping up with chores…  laundry mountain was threatening to take over my life.  (it’s still threatening, but the whips and chains seem to be helping keep it at bay.)

I had worked out a schedule where we were doing a different “fun” topic each day of the week.  It wasn’t working…  I felt like we were jumping all over the place, never able to stick with one thing for long enough to make it worthwhile.  Not to mention that I was still only hitting those subjects about half the time…  and, if it was a rotten day, that we all have, then it would be a good long time before we hit that subject again.

But, that’s the beauty of homeschooling, right?  That we can tweak and nudge however we need to… and keep on tweaking until it fits.  Until, of course, some dynamic changes and the routine needs to be tweaked again.

That being said, here’s the new schedule that we are just trying this week.  I think some things are going to need to be moved around and tweaked, and I have already had to realize NOT to be too attached to the time.  I’ve also gotten some fabulous advice from the woman who suggested homeschooling to me in the first place, Heather, at OMSH.

I think that the idea of teaching our children to teach themselves is something that we want to aim to as well.  Which means that Zi now has a chart put in her box with the list of her readings for the week on it.  She gets to choose what she reads when, and she is going to have to learn to factor in that we are NOT at home all the time.  Good time management lessons that I’m still learning as well.

The first thing I did was waste an hour looking for a ready made template on the web that I could just fill in.  sigh.  Will I never learn?  Then I jumped into the spreadsheet program and made my own!

homeschool 013

I wanted one that went in half hour increments, even though I didn’t want to be crazily tied to times.  And really, like Ja said, this is pretty much the order we tend to do things anyway, but I wanted to make sure that we got all the extra things in there as well.

We just started the routine on Monday, and Monday went really well.  Tuesday, I kind of crashed and burned, and we didn’t follow too much of it.  Wednesday we had some people over, and I was babysitting, so I need to rework it a little bit so that I have a different one for when I’m babysitting.

What’s interesting is that the kids LOVE having the schedule up where they can see it.  They like to know what’s coming next in the day.  I’ve always known that about Ephraim, but I’ve been surprised by how often Zi refers to it.  It takes out (some) of the wishy washy nature of our days.

I’ve also been making a real attempt at menu planning again too.  When I did it before, I had all the meals on magnets, and could just move them around on the fridge.  I, of course, lost those magnets, and have not gotten around to making more, so I’ve just been printing them out off the web, and filling them in (although, I really think that I’m going to make my own template for this too…  I would like a two week template that starts on a Saturday, to go along with our grocery day.).

homeschool 014

So, that’s part one of our scheduling post…  part two, when I get around to it, will be about how we’ve changed the schooling rotation.

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