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

2017 Goals – Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of my goals for the year make sure you also read part 1!

(Copied from yesterday in case you missed it.) At the beginning of the year I set goals rather than resolutions. More specifically I set “S.M.A.R.T.” goals; they must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive. Normally, I spend time working out my goals for the next year in December so they are ready for the new year, including due dates and smaller steps to take throughout the year to attain them. With our recent move, I have not had as much time as normal to work on my goals so I’m still working out the details on several of them. Because of that, and the fact that goals are personal, I will just share my general goals here. Perhaps they will give you some ideas of your own.

Since I’m having a baby very soon, I’m trying to keep my goals realistic and not too demanding. Especially for the first half of the year.

Now for the rest of my goals:

 

Creativity

Do something creative at least 3 times per week. This can be any sort of craft or an artistic pursuit. I have many interests to choose from but my goal is to spend at least 30-60 minutes 3 days per week doing something creative to feed my soul.

Complete at least one creative project per month.

Start my historical craft blog. I especially love “old fashioned” crafts including learning how they were done in the past, where and when they started, and other interesting things about how my ancestors created things. By this summer, I plan to start a separate blog where I will research and complete crafts from various time periods and share what I learned and how I completed the project. 

 

Business

Grow this blog by:

  • Posting 3x/week and establishing a schedule of topics/themes.
  • Post regularly on social media (using this checklist).
  • Grow my social media followings by 500 (10/week)
  • Learn to better utilize Pinterest and Instagram
  • Improve SEO
  • Increase mailing list to 250 (5 per week)
  • Increase traffic to average 50 daily pageviews/1500 monthly page views

These goals are pretty modest but I feel like this falls into the category of Achievable and Realistic. 

Start/complete blog projects. I mentioned some of my specific blog projects when I came back from my hiatus. I am still working out details and due dates but plan to at least start all of these and finish most of them sometime this year.

Exchange program – I recently took a position placing foreign exchange students in local high schools. My goal is to place 7 students for 2017-2018 year.

Re-launch my Usborne business. I am not planning to do home parties but will focus on fundraisers and bookfairs, vendor events, and online promotions through youtube videos and website sales. My goal is 2-4 videos per month and 4-6 vendor events or book fairs this year.

Farmer’s Market – Brainstorm, create, and test a few products for the farmer’s market or similar venues. These will likely focus on crafts or value added items. I will need to research cottage industry and food handling laws for my area as well. I do not expect to have extra food products from my homesteading this year but would like to establish a booth of other items at the farmer’s market by the fall.

Education/Training – One of my longer term goals is to work towards becoming a midwife and/or a natural health coach. I plan to enroll in at least one certification/training program this year (in the summer or later) that will move me toward this goal. I have not yet decided on the specific program or subject.

 

There you have it! My goals for 2017 (make sure you read part 1 to see all of them).

I review my goals in June or July and will post an update with how I’m doing. It is a good idea to review goals midway through your time frame if not more often!

How do you start off a new year? Do you make goals, resolutions, pick a word, or verse for the year? Let me know in the comments! 

This post is linked-up to the Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Head linkup.

Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Ahead {Link Up}

My 2017 Goals – Part 1 of 2

At the beginning of the year I set goals rather than resolutions. More specifically, I set “S.M.A.R.T.” goals; they must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive. Normally, I spend time working out my goals for the next year in December so they are ready for the new year, including due dates and smaller steps to take throughout the year to attain them. With our recent move, I have not had as much time as normal to work on my goals so I’m still working out the details on several of them. Because of that, and the fact that goals are personal I will just share my general goals here. Perhaps they will give you some ideas of your own.

Since I’m having a baby very soon, I’m trying to keep my goals realistic and not too demanding. Especially for the first half of the year.

I have divided my goals by the life areas they pertain to.

Faith

Read the Bible Daily – I did not do a very good job of this last year so I am going back to my method of reading through the Bible chronologically in a year.

Weekly Bible Art-Journaling – this gives me an opportunity to express myself creatively while also meditating on Scripture. I am using the One Year Chronological Expressions Bible for my daily reading which also includes space for journaling as well as pre-printed coloring throughout.

Find a church and get involved. Since we just moved we do not have a church home. My goal is to find a church to call home by mid-March.

Join the local Operation Christmas Child team. I love OCC and was active on an area team before we moved to Germany. I have already started the ball rolling on this goal and hope to be fully signed up as a volunteer by May.


Family/Home

Set up the house and re-establish routines (school, chores, daily rhythms). Have everything unpacked and organized and the kids in a good daily rhythm with chores and school by April 1.

Set Accountable Kids system back up as soon as possible. This is part of achieving the above goal.

Implement at least one suggestion a month from the Life Giving Home book.

The Life Giving Home

Maintain an attitude of Joy. This is harder to measure and will be a daily challenge.

Find ways to be more present in the moment with my kids. I am going to establish “work hours” for my blog and other endeavors so that at other hours of the day I can focus on my family. We will do at least one special family activity per month.

Implement new grocery system and cooking routines. I will explain this more later.

Farm

I have already shared some of our plans for our little homestead. We are still figuring out realistic goals for this year. This spring may include bees, chickens, ducks, and/or a rabbit.

Health

Start an exercise routine after postpartum recovery. By the end of April I should be doing some sort of exercise three times a week. I am still figuring out what, when, and how.

Improve my family’s diet. I generally follow a gluten free Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions style of feeding my family. With all the chaos and stress of the last year, we have let quite a bit of processed foods slip back into our diet. I am not going for a 100% unprocessed diet – I feel like an 80/20 plan is more realistic but I do want to cut back on the cereals and crackers and other processed things that have become more common in our house. I also want to improve our breakfast and lunch menus. This goal ties back to my goal of implementing a new grocery system and cooking routines.

My list of goals got a bit long be sure to check out Part 2 to see my business and creativity goals in Part 2. 

 

 

How do you start off a new year? Do you make goals, resolutions, pick a word, or verse for the year?

This post is linked-up to the Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Head linkup.

Homeschool Review Crew Goals for the Year Ahead {Link Up}