The Schedule Comes Together!
Last time we left off, you were Adding it Up – listing the activities for each member of the schedule and making sure they don't exceed 24. You were also thinking about how to Redefine your Day. How did you do? Today is the fun part – the day where you schedule starts to take shape!
This schedule is meant to be your "standard schedule". That means, on any average day, this is what your schedule might look like. Some of you might need 2 schedules – maybe one for M,W,F and one for Tues, Thurs. That is up to you, but you don't want to have more than two schedules. Kids thrive on consistency (even teenagers). Your family will have more peace and patience when expectations are consistent. This starts with a consistent schedule. In your schedule, you will have natural "stops" in your day. For us, that is our morning routine (habits, breakfast, devotions), Lunch, Dinner and Bedtime. Try to make these natural stops as consistent as possible even if you have more than one schedule. For example: Our family needs to leave the house by 8am on Tuesdays to get to CC class on time. That means all of our morning routine must be completed by 7:45 on Tuesday to be ready on time. Because of this, our daily schedule (the one we use all week long) has us ready by 7:45. That way, expectations are always the same. This helps eliminate that rushed, frantic feeling on class days. In the same way, our CC class runs from 9-noon. During the rest of the week, the bulk of our schooling also occurs from 9-noon. So although we are out of the house on Tuesdays and our day looks very different, we are essentially following the same schedule.
Begin placing the activities into time slots for each member of the family, using the Free Family Scheduling Template I created for you (or a piece of paper with time blocks broken down into half-hour increments). Here is how I complete it:
1. Place wake-up time, mealtimes, and bedtimes on the schedule. This way I make sure everyone is getting their needed amount of sleep.
2. Place the baby and toddlers nap schedules on their columns in the correct time slots.
3. Next place the next oldest child's activities, then the next oldest's, and repeat… Finish your schedule last.
You will find that as the schedules take shape, you will need to make adjustments, moving things around here and there. Stick with it and it will all come together.
Here are a number of tips to help you fill in your schedule:
1. If an activity only takes 15 minutes, write two on the line (For example, I might write Spelling / Piano Practice on the same line since each takes just 15 minutes.) If it takes more than an hour, just repeat it in each block that it consumes.
2. Alternate the type of activity. This is very important for homeschoolers. Try to alternate the subjects so that the child is changing up the way they think and express themselves. If your child is working on math at the table, let him move to the couch to read, or play the piano next. Then bring him back to the table for his copywork. You may also want to alternate what the child is studying compared to what another child is studying. For example, I teach my daughter spelling (15mins) while the son practices piano (15 minutes). Then we swap. This way, he can work on an independent task and I can instruct the other child. It helps to eliminate "down time" of a child waiting on mom to teach them something.
4. Think about days you have activities, and create a schedule that can for the most part, function well on those days as well.
This is always the most exciting part for me as I see our schedule take shape. I would also encourage you to involve your husband. Show him your schedule and tell him that you are hoping to stick with it. Ask him to help you be consistent. After your schedule comes together, print a couple of copies, post one on the fridge, and pour yourself a good cup of coffee, enjoying your hard work!
Get the FREE FAMILY DAILY SCHEDULE TEMPLATE here!
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