I am busily preparing for our new home school year. I am putting a new system into place this year, and therefore I have a bit more work ahead of me to get things set up! One of my friends did a post recently about the system she uses at home, Workboxes and I'm going to give it a go. I am VERY excited about this. It is super-organized, works well with large families, and students of all ages.
This last year was a organizational nightmare because Daddy was laid off and Mommy had to work. I have been homeschooling for 14 years, I have one entering into her second year of college and 5 still at home. What sold me on the workbox system is the fact that it teaches independence, has self-motivators built right in, and works even if Mommy has to leave the house for a 3-hour shift at the library! Of course, library time can be built in, and I suspect I can load a few workboxes into my car and let my students continue to work there!
Typically, our days run like this (this includes some modification for workbox plans):
Everyone up at 7:00 a.m.
Personal hygiene, make beds, morning chores, breakfast, breakfast clean-up.
Last call for finishing up chores, inspection of chores, final clean-up of breakfast dishes.
Clock into school and begin with morning meeting/prayers/group activity.
Depending upon the group activity, individual work begins during this 15 minute time period.
Each child begins their own daily schedule, as laid out in the workboxes by mom the night before. If Mommy gets it right, she will have strategically organized the work-with-mommy classes for each child in a realistic schedule. I expect some tweaking to occur the first couple of weeks. I also expect Daddy will be around some days, and I have a high-schooler and middle-schooler to assist with the youngers as needed.
10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
This is almost a sacred time in our homeschool. The kids look forward to this, I wouldn't dream of messing with it in the 14 years of homeschooling it has always been consistent. Snack time!! Their little tummies are pre-programmed. We started with a regimented and scheduled snack time because The Oldest is a carefully controlled hypoglycemic. But, it is a nice 15-minute break where they nourish their bodies, and if they are wiggly and restless, Mommy has been known to send them running laps around the perimeter of our two-acre property to burn up some excess energy before settling back into the morning routine.
10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Resume individual work boxes. Some of the youngers will finish during this time. Although, this year I am adding some physical activities, crafts, and typing into the schedule in a more formal way, therefore, I expect that there will longer days for the littles, but with "fun" activities that promote learning. We were too serious last year, because Mommy was too stressed. We are going to lighten up and put some fun back into our day.
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Various phases of lunch and recess. Each student is guaranteed a half hour for lunch, but will likely end up with nearly an hour. They also have lunchtime chores such as cleaning their lunch dishes, and maybe hanging laundry on the line, or bringing some in.
1:30 until ??
Finish up their workboxes. When done they have free time except for chores.
How do the chores work around here? I did a post on that a few months ago.
What curriculum do I use?
It depends. For reluctant readers the cure is The Prairie Primer or one of their other book-based curriculum choices. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and it is so easy to implement. It is also a low-cost option.
All of my children use Saxon Math.
For my other children I use a combination of Catholic Heritage Curricula and Mother of Divine Grace. I also look to see what Alexandra puts up, as she has numerous free resources she finds!
And for my high schooler, we use Oak Meadow.
This post is linked to Heart of the Matter. Join in the fun!