A Glimpse into Our Day

This is part two of my post from yesterday about how to homeschool with a large family/baby/toddler/pregnancy or other challenge. If you didn’t read that post you may want to read it first.

I’m going to share our schedule but keep a few things in mind: This is more of a loose framework for our day that changes as needed. It is also a picture of an ideal day when we have nothing to do outside the house. Of course, when we have outside activities the schedule must be adjusted. Having this basic framework gives us enough structure for our days to keep us on track while still being flexible for spontaneous field trips, meetings with friends, or general errands that need to be run.

Our daily homeschool schedule/routine

6 am (ok this is really just a goal of mine that I have yet to achieve!) Mom gets up, showers and has tea and quiet time.

7 am Kids wake up, get dressed, do morning chores and eat breakfast.

Morning chores include making beds, brushing teeth, feeding animals, cleaning up after breakfast and washing dishes.

8 am We start our school day.

First, circle time with everyone which includes:

Devotional and/or character study- we have been using We Choose Virtues up until a couple weeks ago. Currently, we are doing Our 24 Family Ways for both devotion and character study.

Reviewing Classical Conversations memory work

Poetry Study (we are using Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization from IEW)

Next, the children start their table work and I help them one-on-one as needed.

I start with my kindergartener. We do phonograms and AWANA then I help him get started with Explode the Code and leave him to finish his table work by himself. He also draws a map for geography and works on handwriting.

Next, I help my 2nd grader. We do AWANA and Language Arts. Then she continues her individual work which includes map drawing, handwriting and Explode the Code. She also works on Math-U-See; she watches the video herself and does the worksheets. I help if she needs it but she usually doesn’t.

Finally, I will check with my 6th grader and see if she needs anything. We will go over her AWANA verses but she does most of her work by herself. Her work includes an IEW assignment from a History-Based Writing Lesson book, geography mapping, handwriting, an Essentials of the English Language lesson (which includes copying grammar charts and diagramming sentences), a Fix-It Grammar lesson, and a Teaching Textbooks math lesson.

Everyone but my oldest usually finishes their school before 11. When they are finished they are allowed to play quietly in another room.

11 am Baton Twirling lesson

This is when we take a break. The little boys play outside while I give the girls a baton lesson (sometimes the boys participate in the lesson).

11:30 am Afternoon chores.

Clean up school stuff that is still out. Fold laundry. Prepare lunch. Do animal chores.

12 pm Lunch then lunch clean up (clean table and floors and wash dishes).

There is usually a little free time after lunch before the toddler starts his nap.

1 pm nap for littles. (This is when I usually start working)

During nap time the older three kids do science projects, history notebooking, art, and/or language studies. These are all things that work best when there is no chance of a toddler getting into their space. I have science, history, and art on a loop schedule.

When they have finished their project for the day they choose a quiet activity. Sometimes my oldest still has other assignments to finish. They can read, nap, or do something else quietly.

3 pm (this is when most of my work gets done) Free play time until….

5 pm Evening chores: Pick up toys, shoes, etc from all rooms, sweep mudroom, feed animals and wash up for dinner.

6 pm Supper and family time. (I’m working on adding read-aloud time in here)

7 pm Baths

7:30-8:30pm Bedtimes (staggered)

Our daily homeschool schedule/routine

That is a basic idea of how our days look – or at least how I try to make them look! We don’t usually manage to do everything every day. In fact, no two days look the same but having a schedule helps us get some things done. Through all of this the baby is napping or being held and the toddler is playing or coloring or doing whatever the rest of us are doing.

This post is long enough so I will save explaining our curriculum and how I keep most of my kids doing the same or very similar things for another post in the next couple of weeks!

Do you have a daily schedule or routine that works well for oyur family? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

This post is part of the Homeschool Review Crew’s Many Ways to Homeschool Many round up!

Many Ways to Homeschool Many

Resolutions vs. Goals

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Judging by all of the blog posts I’ve read the last couple weeks it seems like most people have given up on resolutions. I’ve seen all sorts of alternatives:


Word or phrase of the year

New Year Intention

Bible Verse of the year

Goals

and more….

Some people have given up on doing anything even remotely like a resolution. I think the above ideas can be great – I chose a word for the year myself – but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath.

While I agree that the traditional “resolution” is generally ineffective, the beginning of the year is an excellent time to set GOALS. Goals and resolutions are NOT the same, here are some of the differences:

  • Goals (SMART goals) are specific and measurable. You will break them down into small steps to achieve them. They have a built in action plan.
  • Goals are evaluated at regular intervals and adjusted as needed.
  • Goals can be set at any time – the beginning of the year is a great time but it isn’t the ONLY time. You can and should set and adjust goals throughout the year.
  • Goals are not all or nothing, even if you don’t quite meet your goal by your deadline chances are you have made progress.

Your goals should always be SMART goals-SMART goals are much more likely to get accomplished than general goals. Smart goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time Sensitive

So, you are going to make your goal as specific as possible, with very specific numbers (measurable) and deadlines (time sensitive). Attainable and realistic are almost the same but I like to think of attainable as something that is humanly possible and realistic as something that is possible in my specific situation and life right now. Can I realistically accomplish it while still keeping up with my other responsibilities?

Here is an example:

You could say “my New Year’s resolution is to write a book.”

But it would be better to say, “My goal for 2017 is to write a book by the end of the year.” You have now made it more specific, measurable and time sensitive (by the end of the year). You would have to determine for yourself if this is attainable and realistic.

To make this an even stronger goal and increase your chances of achieving it take the next step and figure out how many pages you plan to write every week and/or month, what your book will be about, when you plan to write, and for how long.

This might sound like: “I will write for 1 hour every morning, Monday -Friday from 5am-6am with a goal of 500 words per day. I plan to complete a minimum of 2000 words per week and 8000 words per month after editing.” This will actually get you a complete novel-length manuscript before the end of the year but for the sake of being realistic, I like to build in a bit of time for the unexpected.

The next step would be to decide how often you will evaluate this goal. Keeping up with daily, weekly, and monthly word count is easy but perhaps you want to evaluate your overall progress on a quarterly basis and adjust your goal as needed (more or less words per day, set aside editing time, move your deadline sooner or later etc) based on the progress so far.

That is how I go about setting my goals, making sure they are “SMART,” breaking them into smaller steps, and planning to evaluate them. At a minimum, I evaluate all of my goals in the summer – half-way through the year. I also generally set “school-year” goals at that time.

One other thing I do to streamline my goal setting is to break them down by category.

It helps me to think through them and make sure my goals are balanced in all areas of my life. My categories this year were:

  • Faith
  • Family/Home (includes parenting, marriage, and homemaking)
  • Farm
  • Health (for the whole family)
  • Creativity
  • Business

I could also include a personal development/education section but this year I rolled it into my business goals.

Your categories may look different but think through the major areas of your life that are important and where you want to grow and set goals for each.

I hope these tips can help you set goals for the year. Let me know in the comments if you plan to set goals, resolutions, or do something else completely. 

Want to see more about goal setting and planning? Click the links below to see other posts and resources that may help!

Free social media planner

Social Media Checklist for Bloggers – FREE!

One of my goals for 2017 is to be more intentional with my blogging. Over the last week I have been preparing by putting together a blog planner. The main part of my planner was given to me for participating in a specific project so, unfortunately, I can’t share that with you. If you are looking for one The Well Planned Gal has a really awesome looking blog planner that I would have purchased had I not received this other one.

I am also using some pages from the free blog planner at Elite Blog Academy.

Another awesome resource I am excited about using this year is this free Pinterest planner. It has monthly checklists, tips, and suggestions on board arrangement.

One thing I really wanted but couldn’t find was a good way to plan and track my daily social media posts. I want to be more consistent and engaging on social media but really need a checklist to keep me on track! Since I couldn’t find one I decided to make my own. Then I decided I might as well share it with you all! It is very simple but I think will be useful for staying engaged on the various social media platforms.

Free social media planner

To get access to this resource simply subscribe to my blog using the form below. You will also get access to other freebies and any future freebies I may offer! Once you fill out the form you will get a confirmation email, the link in that email will take you to my freebie page with the social media checklist and other goodies.

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A New Approach to Spring Cleaning

The last few months have been quite a whirlwind for my family. We have been involved in many activities outside of the house (several of which I had leadership roles in). We took a spur of the moment trip back to the U.S., with the jet lag and recovery that follows traveling several thousand miles and 7 time zones with four kids. Then we spent weeks fighting and passing around a minor but annoying winter illnesses. It has been challenging to say the least.

I have not been on top of guiding, training, and correcting my kids lately. In addition, my own attitude and motivation has been seriously struggling. We have all slipped into some pretty bad habits and behaviors. The kids are fighting with one another non-stop, the tones of voices heard in our house are rude or angry more often than not, chores are not getting done when they are supposed to, and parental direction is met with resistance.

As spring approaches I think it is time for some spring cleaning!

Spring

I’m not talking about dusting and cleaning out the drawers (although we need to do that too). I’m talking about cleaning up attitudes, behaviors, and habits.

Many times in my parenting journey I have thought, “if I could just take a couple weeks to really focus on this specific behavior or problem I could get everyone into a better routine and eliminate the issue.” The problem is I never follow through. I think it is time to finally put that plan into action.

It is going to take hard work, dedication, and determination on my part but I think in the long run it will make our family function better. Perhaps this sort of “spring cleaning” will become a regular family tradition.

In the next few months many of our regular outside of the house activities will be wrapping up. As things wind down I will be making a focused effort to work on the following areas in my family (adults are not exempt from this process):

  1. Organizing and decluttering

  2. Attitudes and Behavior

  3. Routines and Schedule

  4. Chores

  5. Reviewing and renewing goals and vision

In the coming weeks I will post more details about each area and how I plan to work on it. Later in the summer I will post a follow up for each category and let you know how it went, what worked and what didn’t.

Make sure you join me on Periscope (@sabrinascheerer) where I’ll share how things are going as we are working on it.

Do you have any areas that need “spring cleaning?” Share in the comments what you are going to be working on this spring. Remember to check back to see how I plan to address each individual area or subscribe to this blog to get the new posts in your inbox!