The second semester is starting in our homeschool today. I have already decided that it will look different than the last. The changes are coming because we moved away from who we are. I allowed distractions to come in and get us all jumbled up. The activities, subjects, and lessons that my daughters enjoyed were squeezed out of our day. This happened sneakily, really. It wasn't my intention.
Before we went on our break, I began to put some systems into place to help our second semester be better than the first. One system which isn't new is having a real schedule. We actually had a schedule last semester, but it wasn't in a place where we could see it daily.
Our new schedule isn't filled with things I think we should do, but instead it is a true reflection of the lessons, activities, and subjects that we will do because these are the lessons, activities, and subjects that each of my daughters enjoy.
Our homeschool is language-based. My daughters enjoy activities that focus on words such as poetry, learning about language mechanics, and new vocabulary, therefore, our schedule has plenty of time for language-based activities including learning about other languages.
The schedule above was created using Microsoft Word. It's a simple table that I plugged subjects into two main chunks of time. Our lessons are blocked in morning and afternoon chunks. Over the years, I have realized that it is best if we do our group learning first. This gives the girls plenty of time to work through their independent work in the afternoon without an impatient mother hovering over them.
The time labels aren't always exact because the schedule is more of a guide than anything else. It's primary purpose is to remind me to not get distracted by the next shiny curriculum or cool subject but to instead stay focused on the subjects we are learning currently. Some days start earlier while some end later.
Our schedule is truly a guide to help us keep first things first.
Home School Tip of the Week:
It's okay to use a schedule in your homeschool, but make sure it is a schedule that reflects your environment and not someone else's. Each homeschool is unique to each individual family, therefore, each schedule should also be unique.
Using a schedule isn't a prison sentence, but instead it can offer you more freedom by keeping you focused on the task. As we all know, there are times we have to do what need to do before we can do the things that we want to do. This is still a good lesson to be learned even in our homeschool environments.
Do you use a schedule in your homeschool? Tell us about it in the comments.