I’ve often wondered what other parents do with their kids for a homeschooling schedule. As a part of local homeschooling communities, I see activities posted often. Storytelling at the library, Christmas crafts, Spanish & French classes. Heck, we even have a Medieval Swordfighting class for ages 5-95. (Haven’t checked that one out yet.)
We are very fortunate that there are so many opportunities.
If homeschooling ever meant staying at home and working at a desk for 5 hours a day – it doesn’t anymore.
It’s true that the idea of homeschooling can be daunting, and I get that. For our family have chosen to take things on a year by year approach. For now, my son is too young for kindergarten. He missed the age cut-off by a couple of weeks, and we are totally fine with that.
Homeschooling and Montessori
I’ve been doing Montessori type activities and other basic skills work (with tons of reading and extracurricular activities) since he was tiny.
Here’s a video him doing a pouring task designed for toddlers. Precious times, dear to my heart.
I love Montessori because it is simple, structured and naturally designed (rather than bells & whistles and electronics). It focuses on beauty, nature and natural life. But that’s a conversation for another day. We don’t do Montessori exclusively.
When I was a full time mom with no other jobs, projects or classes, we worked at our leisure. 2 and 3 year olds need lots of play time and we had that too.
Now that he is newly 5 (he still loves to work), combined with the fact that I own and operate multiple online businesses, I have felt an increased need for a schedule. My husband resigned from his job about a year ago, which has been a tremendous blessing.
Now, my son gets more time with his dad. And, instead of my having to put in all of my works hours between 8pm – 2am, I work days. I also get to maintain a greater degree of sanity from better hours. 🙂 And yet I still get plenty of time to be a mom.
Homeschooling Calendars for elementary age kids
I think he’s also old enough now to appreciate a calendar, and know what to look forward to. We have some pretty consistent days, along with some inconsistent ones. We try to roll with it. Dr. appts, colds, holidays, family travel, etc. or a perfectly gorgeous 72 degree day will throw a day’s schedule out of whack in no time. We’re ok with that.
Overwhelmingly though I try to stick to my Monday and Tuesday work hours most fiercely because with those done, I know I can enjoy down time with the family. Those are the two days I work with the most focus, the most intensity and the least distractions.
Keep in mind too, that I have often worked at night to add additional work hours in. Once the kiddo is asleep, work time usually ensued. However — During this pregnancy I’ve spent a ton of time nauseous or fatigued and have typically been in bed by 8 at night. Ha! And who can say when this new little fella comes along what will happen to our beloved schedule!
But for now, it works. We’ll change it when it needs to change.
Other activities that go on are also important – but we add them in as we like, rather than keeping them on a strict schedule.
Things such as my husband’s gym time or tennis games, movie with a friend, frequent walks, meditation time and bike rides on our neighborhood trail, beach days and pool days in the summer, play dates, library days, the kids’ symphony and a myriad of other wonderful things that are important to us. We just fit them in the big gaps of ‘free space’ we have managed to carve into our day.
It’s a thing of beauty some days. Other days, I feel once again, very humbled by this responsibility and wonder how I could ever do this motherhood role justice.
Some days it’s zen parenting and other days I just try to ‘keep it in the road’ and put one foot in front of the other. All in all, it’s a beautiful life filled with tons of hugs, teaching my son patience, him teaching me patience and falling into bed at night with a certain sense of, “Wow, we get to do this every single day. How awesome.”
(Side note: The foundation of this blog is about sculpting your life in ways you may not have previously imagined. Many friends of mine are truly happy with 8-5 careers and kids who attend regular school. However, if there’s any part of you that feels unhappy with what is, that you’d like to step outside of the ‘norm’ and have a more unusual schedule, an more flexible lifestyle, a non-traditional path – this blog is most definitely meant to inspire you.)
I wrote this sample schedule in late December 2016. More items will get added as the month goes on, but I try to emphasis creating unscheduled time during our days and weeks because I know it will fill up with walks, playing, dinner, reading, wrestling, and Target runs.
Multiple children, different ages, etc. could very easily fill up a daily or weekly calendar in no time, but I would invite you to consider making gaps of free space in your calendar if at all possible.
There is a fine art to doing nothing, and it’s been said that children need to be allowed the feeling of boredom/nothing to do. I’d have to agree.
Keep in mind also that for a 5 year old, I very much consider learning how to do laundry and help in the kitchen part of his homeschooling education. I would imagine teaching responsibilities of home life to be important at any age, but of course, laundry takes 3 times as long with a helper. 🙂 Other items are valuable as well – giving/being charitable, time in nature, exercise, etc.
You can read more about the 6 Tenets of Quality Homeschooling that I created here. We may not hit on each of these 6 daily, but we endeavor to make them a part of our weekly lives.
Here’s our January 2017 Sample Homeschooling Schedule for a Mom who Works from Home
If you’d like to download this sample schedule, you can grab it here and adjust it as you like.
With everyone using the calendars on their phones primarily, you may prefer to have the schedule there. However, I just find that having something tangible, printable and viewable for my child makes the most sense for now.
If you’re just starting out with a homeschooling schedule, OR if you’re feeling the need to refresh and regroup, something I’d recommend doing so once every few months, I’d take a moment to ask yourself these questions before you start putting pen to paper, or start typing out a schedule:
- What are the 5 most important elements you wish to create and nurture in your homeschooling/unschooling environment? (Choose 5 words that come to mind. Here are my five: loving, mindful, freedom, growth, experiences)
- How much do I know about the 6 tenets of solid homeschooling and which of those are most important to my family?
- Which tenets are showing up on my calendar? Which ones are missing and why? Is there a way to add them?
If you’d like to download the sample schedule template, I’ll shoot it over to your inbox.
If you’d like to share your homeschooling schedule, I would love to see it. Head to the comments section of this article and post away!
While you’re here… 🙂 Have iTunes? You may like The Truth About Living Podcast – dedicated to creating a life you truly love. Inspiration. Mindfulness. Spirituality. Real Life. Online Entrepreneurship. Gratitude. Check it out on iTunes here: The Truth About Living podcast