Again, I will begin by saying that I am not the most organized person. However, I do like to have at least a little organization throughout our homeschool days. My schedule changes several times throughout the year, but I will share with you one schedule that we have used. (Be aware that I provide childcare in my home, so my schedule also devotes space to this activity – yours will be different.) This was a schedule three years ago, Zowie is now 16, and Skye is 19.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8:00 – 9:00 AM:
Get up, get dressed, and make bed. Wake up girls and begin making breakfast, while they get dressed and do morning chores. Finish getting ready for my day, wipe down bathroom and sweep floor, start laundry and load dishwasher.
(The girls morning chores: Make bed, pick up room, sweep porch, feed cats, scoop litter boxes, put away clean dishes.)
9:00 – 10:00 AM:
Go over schoolwork that the girls are doing today with them. Have them do school work that they need me for.
10:00 – 11:30 AM:
Give children quick snack when they get here. Girls do independent studies during this time. They come to me to discuss each subject briefly as they finish each.
(10:15: I read aloud to the daycare children, then they have free play while I start lunch for everyone.)
Daycare children clean up for lunch, everyone eats lunch and talks.
12:00 – 2:00 PM:
I load the dishwasher and do any dishes by hand that need to be done.
Girls first do afternoon chores then they do independent studies if they are not finished, again discussing each subject with me as they finish.
(Afternoon chores are: Run the dishwasher, scoop litter boxes, feed cats and bring me dirty laundry from rooms.)
Daycare children either play outside or do a craft or cooking project with me inside. Then they have free play: Lego’s, coloring, or whatever they like. At this time, I may do a couple of chores where I can see them, check email quickly, check in on the girls, etc. Then I may read to the children again, if there is time, or we may play outside again.
I prepare for snack.
2:00 – 2:15:
Snack and talking time.
I pick up from snack, loading dishwasher again.
2:15 – 4:30:
The girls are usually done with school by now, and are likely done with school a while before 2:00 even rolls around. However, if they have research to do online then they will do this, supervised, now. When done, they are free to have supervised time online, or to go hang out with friends. (They usually do the latter.)
Daycare children and I will likely go to the playground, coming home before their parents get back, or meeting their parents at the playground.
The children are too old for me to play with really, so I sit at a picnic table near the play area where I can keep a good eye and ear on them. I can read the mail, correct the girls schoolwork, make lesson plans, create schedules for the daycare children, work on menus, read, write or any number of other activities, while watching over the children.
The playground has a play area, ans well as a water play area right near the picnic tables, so they can play and socialize, and I can get things done while watching them.
4:30 – 5:00:
Daycare children are picked up. I have downtime.
5:00 – 6:00:
I may take a walk, then shower. I turn on the computer and work while making dinner.
6:00 – 6:30:
Girls arrive home, sometimes with friends. We eat dinner.
Evening chore time. We all take part: Rooms are cleaned, dirty clothes are put on the washer for morning, dishwasher is run and dry dishes are put away, floors swept, rugs vacuumed, bathroom cleaned (heavy duty cleaning takes place on Saturday or Sunday.)
As soon as the girls are done cleaning, they are free to hang out with friends again. Skye’s curfew at 16 was 9:30, Zowie’s was at 8:30, unless we agreed that I would pick them up at their friends.
I worked online until finished. Walked to get the girls if need be.
Family night. No company. No phone calls. We played games, then watched a movie or something. Talked about our lives.
Tuesday and Thursday:
7:30 -9:00 AM:
Get up and get ready for my day as I do M W F, and get the girls going as well. The only difference being that we eat 30 minutes earlier, and I pack picnic snacks and lunches for us and whichever daycare children will be arriving for the day. Everyone loads on the sunblock.
9:00 AM until arriving back home:
We all walk, helping each other to carry the picnic packs and carrying our own totes/bags of school and other books, towels, changes of clothes, etc.
We walk to the playground in the next town. It has play equipment, a gazeebo, a water play area, a field for playing tag or whatever, and places to sit near the river.
The children walk around the park area with me a few times before we begin our day.
The daycare children love these days. They get to have a snack, then play with area children until lunch time while I teach Skye and Zowie. We do our together work until lunch.
12:00 – 12:30 PM:
Skye and Zowie help me to prepare for lunch, then we all eat. The children are all very excited, discussing what they have done so far.
Sunblock is reapplied and everyone uses the bathroom.
12:30 until parents come to the playground to pick up children:
Skye and Zowie do their independent work, then play with the daycare children for a bit before going to hang out with friends until around 4:00.
The daycare children, still playing and having fun, usually meet at least one new person while we are at the playground. This person is usually introduced to me during a snack period at around 2:00 (usually the girls will be finished with their school work by now.)
I am parked at a convenient picnic table so that I can monitor the girls and the day care children. The girls go over lessons with me as they finish them. I work on whatever I can do at the picnic table while watching the children.
Children are usually being picked up, and are very excited to tell their parents about their days. I talk with each parent for a few minutes.
The girls meet me back at the playground and help me to carry the much lightened lunch packs and such back home.
Pretty much the same as Monday and Tuesday, except I have already walked about 5 1/2 miles today, at least, so I jump in the shower instead of exercise. I then begin work while the girls hang out with friends.
Saturday and Sunday:
There is no school work otherwise Saturday is either a day to relax at my house, even for the daycare children. Or sometimes we will have another long playground day.
Skye and Zowie will either have spent the night at friends, or their friends will have spent the night here. So we would either be bringing along their friends or the girls won’t be with us.
Of course, I will let the girls sleep and we won’t leave until just before lunch.
If the girls are coming home from friends, they will meet me at the playground.
Sunday is a free day.
However, we do the deeper cleaning projects on the weekends: Tub, washing floors, changing bedding, etc.
During the summer, I also make time every day to work in the vegetable garden. Usually while the daycare children are playing in the yard, or before they get to my house in the morning. Also for at least 20 minutes each evening.
As you can see, things are usually pretty busy here. The daycare children and I do many different things while at my house: Gardening, composting, building raised beds, painting, crafting, coloring, playing with Lego’s and such. We also cook together and make gifts together. We are never bored.
The trick, I have found, is in how you organize your time. Here are some tips that I would like to share with you:
- When your children are young, and your daycare children are young, you can combine learning. Reading aloud to them all from age appropriate books, for instance. When my daughters were doing grades 2 and 4 work, I was babysitting two of my nieces (ages 1 1/2 and 5) and two of my nephews (ages 2 and 5). I would read aloud from children’s books for my daughters that the younger children also enjoyed, Like Little House in the Big Woods, Thanksgiving books, etc. We all discussed what we were reading, made easier by the fact that I had educational magazines dealing with the same subjects for the younger children. Also, all of the children helped me with cooking lessons from the books/magazines, as well as the crafts. Skye and Zowie could work on independent studies while the daycare children were napping.
- We would all do physical activities together as well: Walking, going to the playground, snowball fight, Frisbee, baseball, etc.
- Skye and Zowie were also famous for putting on shows, which the daycare children also participated in.
- My daughter are only 2 1/2 years apart in age, so many of their subjects they learned together from the same books. Only math and language arts, as well as each child’s chosen independent study, were taught separately. This saved us a huge amount of time.
- I was able to clean the kitchen when they were younger while teaching the, This also saved a huge amount of time.
- And If I had Skye read aloud to her sister for history, I was also able to clean the living room.
One thing that I would like to note is that I have never had a schedule that was set in stone. Things came up. I had to work later than expected, errands had to be run, daycare children may have to be here unexpectedly, the girls were asked to join in on activities. We would often have to catch up on things in the evenings or on weekends, in order to be able to accomplish things, go to appointments, and do exciting things. This was perfectly okay.
P.S. If you have any questions, or any time-saving tips, please feel free to post them in the comments below.