So, I have my list of ALL the things I want to fit in our school day. I KNOW from painful and repeated experience that it isn’t possible.
‘All’ may be possible for someone else, but the truth is I’m undisciplined. I know this about myself. I HATE this about myself. Every few weeks I am determined to CHANGE this about myself. And then I don’t have the self-discipline to change.
But that NEVER stops me from making awesome plans for fitting it all in. And then sharing it here. Because it makes me look so productive. Ha!
Without further ado, the routine I will never stick to:
- 6 AM Wake up. Shower. Devotions. Put in a load of laundry. Check email.
- 7 AM Wake the boys. Put in a classical music CD.
Morning tasks: get dressed, make beds, empty dishwasher, help make breakfast.
- 7:30 Breakfast. Latin prayer. Clean up kitchen. Brush teeth.
- 8 AM Levi and Luke alternate piano and math.
Leif reads aloud to me for a few minutes and then plays with Lola while I prep for our day.
- 9 AM Sing hymn together. Bible memory work (CC and God Our Provider CD).
Telling God’s Story (1x week). Hymns For a Kid’s Heart (1x week). Children’s Illustrated Bible (2x week).
- 9:20 Head down to studio.
Review memory work (CC and IEW Poetry) (with games and mini trampoline).
Work on logic puzzles if we have extra time.
- 10 AM Spelling with Levi and Luke.
Leif works on Spanish independently. (Lola in play pen with toys.)
- 10:15 Spelling with Leif.
Levi and Luke work independently on Spanish or typing.
- 10:25 Geography (CC: 3x week, workbooks: 1x week).
- 10:40 Break (run around, veggie snack).
- 11 AM Latin (Leif does math independently.)
- 11:30 Grammar (Leif plays with Lola.)
- 12 PM Lunch (play educational music CD), everyone helps with clean-up, and then recess.
I put Lola down for a nap and switch the laundry.
- 1 PM Back down to the studio.
Writing (I work with Leif first and then he watches a show in the house.)
Levi and Luke work on Spanish or typing while waiting for writing instruction.
- 2 PM Science (1x week). History (3x week).
- 3:15 Snack.
- 3:30 Wed/Fri: Levi and Luke go to swim practice with Russ.
(They swim back-to-back hours, so I’ll send assigned reading for their non-swim time and CDs for the car ride.)
I do chores/errands/grocery shopping/lesson planning.
Tues/Thurs: Possible history activity or science lab, then free time for boys.
- 5:30 Dinner prep. Leif sets table.
- 6:30 (Boys home.) Dinner. Family devotions. Everyone helps with clean-up.
- 7:30 Bed prep/baths.
- 8 PM Read-aloud.
- 8:30 Silent reading or audio CD. Lola in bed. Check email.
- 9 PM Lights out for kids. Exercise for me.
- 9:45 In bed and reading for me.
Monday is our day for Classical Conversations classes. Our early morning routine will look similar. We need to leave the house by 8:45, so we’ll skip math/piano and have a few extra minutes for lunch-packing, stuff-gathering, and presentation-reviewing.
The Foundations classes for all three boys (and Lola in the nursery) are from 9 AM until noon. Then we’ll eat lunch with the other families and the kids will have gym time. At 1 PM Levi and I will head to the Essentials class while Luke and Leif go to play class. (I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with Lola. If possible, I might have her take a nap during that time.)
Essentials finishes up at 3 PM. We’ll try to get out of there quickly so we can be home in time for the boys to grab a snack and leave for swim practice at 3:30. Evening routine will be the same.
Now that I think about it, ‘ALL’ isn’t an accurate term for this schedule. Notably, I see no time for blogging. Or Spanish. Or typing. Or staring at a wall in happy silence and inactivity. Or watching White Collar or Drop Dead Diva. Or hiding in the bathroom with chocolate. This is not good.
ETA: I added in typing and Spanish thanks to the great advice from a reader in the comments!
We’ll have to mesh our CC presentations with our other lessons to maximize our time. I’ll have a shelf filled with books for the boys to choose from when I’m occupied and they don’t have a task or are waiting for help. This will include picture books for history, science, art, poetry, math, etc.
I MUST work on a meal plan.
Play time will happen on weekends. A few school days will be interrupted with field trips or other activities. Sunday afternoons are for family Costco and library outings when we aren’t busy with a swim meet or other activity.
I was hoping to have the boys do Lego League and an art class, but I don’t know if our schedule (particularly swim team) will allow for that.
We are going to go somewhere fun September 4th or 5th for a not-back-to-school ‘party’ (that is when local schools begin), spend the 6th cleaning house and getting organized, and practice our routine on the 7th (with a yummy breakfast and pictures). Then it is off to our favorite Renaissance Faire and my niece’s birthday on Saturday the 8th. Sunday we’ll get our stuff together for our first day of CC on the 10th. Tuesday the 11th will be our first official day of school at home. (The boys will have a break from swim team practice the first couple weeks of September, which will help us ease into our routine.)
I’m planning 13 weeks of lessons for our first trimester. We have 12 weeks of CC with a week break half-way. That will give us 4 weeks (December 10—January 6th) for a Christmas break with light lessons and Christmas reading/activities. We’ll resume our full load on January 7th.
I’ve spent some time deciding how to integrate our Classical Conversations memory work topics with our weekly studies, particularly in history and science.
After looking through the CC history sentences, I’ve decided to simply make our way through The Story of the World: Ancient Times without any manipulation to fit with the memory work. I’ve scheduled our first 13 weeks to cover chapters 1-17, which means we’ll finish up with ancient Egypt before Christmas and begin with ancient Greece in January.
We are creating a master timeline (we’ll have one nice history timeline for the family, and the boys will each make their own paper timeline) where we’ll enter all our history sentences and CC timeline card titles as well as other information from our studies in all subjects so that we’ll have a big picture idea of how people, events, ideas, and cultures unfold and interact through time. And, as usual, the boys will break into song whenever a chapter from The Story of the World brings to mind a history sentence or timeline card.
Science will be much easier to integrate. There are 10 lessons in Real Science 4 Kids Biology, and we will rearrange them to correspond with the CC science memory work topics, spending an extra week on ecosystems and the natural cycles. I’ll be supplementing with Christian Kids Explore Biology, and, of course, extra books and videos. (We won’t be doing a huge amount since the boys will have a science experiment or project every week with CC and a friend is putting on a 3-day biology science camp this month.) I’m up in the air about how to proceed with science studies in January.
Geography studies will consist of mostly CC work, with a day of working through The Complete Book of Maps & Geography. I haven’t decided whether we’ll add in the history maps from The Story of the World Activity Guide. I will probably pick out a few key maps and do those during history time.
Math and Latin memory work will just serve to solidify what we are learning in those subjects. Speaking of math, the boys will do an independent math lesson over the weekend.
Grammar will be work from Classical Conversations Essentials. I plan on having Luke work through the material at home as much as possible even though he won’t be in class on Mondays. Leif will only work on the CC grammar memory work. Writing for Levi will be ancient history-themed IEW assignments through Essentials while CC is in session. Otherwise he’ll be working on Writing With Ease with the other two boys. I have some outlining workbooks that we might work on during history so that they can start outlining from the history encyclopedias. (Leif will just do copywork for history.)
The boys will have fine arts at CC, so during the week we will listen to CDs, read picture books, memorize poetry, and practice the piano.
What am I forgetting? (Other than my sanity?)