If you’ve followed Bethany’s Scheduling with Purpose, you’ll have a great picture of how to sort subjects and organize your school day. Since we both operate our main framework off Managers of Their Homes, you will quickly see that we BOTH have a similar approach to scheduling. You can read about how I came to Manage My Chaos in the early days of homeschooling. Now I’ve adapted my methods to better fit our needs, but I still build on Managers of Their Homes (I thinks its an invaluabe resource). I additionally keep a Weekly Planner which incorporates household management (cleaning, chores, meal planning) and other projects (finances, gifts, sewing, etc).
Like Bethany, I start with a homeschool assessment:
1-Review each subject for each child (you can see my complete curriculum plan here)
2-Review Week At a Glance: Assess how many times per week you are required to do a particular task. I do an annual curriculum review (for example in K math there were 3 lessons a week and in Saxon1, there are 4 lessons a week). A majority of my assessment comes from the Well-Trained Mind recommendations; you can get an idea of this at the Art of Language, which breaks down our language arts curriculum.
3-Time: How much time does it take for each school subject? (Part of what the Maxwell book helped me to do was to arrange my schedule based on time and not just based on a task list which was a WHOLE new way to think for me).
4-Arrange all these tasks into a daily schedule (you can see my example below). Keep in mind that our schedule is very unique – I am the Unexpected Homeschooler who loves traditional school, so my Monkey (age 4) goes to church preschool, which makes us the exception to just about every homeschool family. Because of the unique element of transporting to/from school, as well as homeschooling, I have different daily schedules (a bit crazy, I know).
Here is an example to help you better understand.
Part of what I’ve learned about myself is that if I ‘feel’ like I’m failing then I’m not going to persevere – I’m going to forfeit. So instead of using this schedule like a to-do list, I really have learned to use it as a general guideline. To practically apply a schedule and meet my goals I have a Weekly Planner. This is a mechanism which sets a schedule yet allows me flexibility. For example, chores – each day my schedule has ‘chores.’ Initially when I started this system, I said ‘fold laundry’ then when I didn’t want to fold laundry I was grumpy pants (as my first grader would say). I found that I just CANNOT be that structured – it makes me CRAZY! So I changed my tasks to generic terms and have a weekly checklist, which allows me to see what else has to be accomplished in the week. So now I note ‘laundry’ on the schedule and checklist: bedding, towels, kids’ laundry, etc. and each day I choose one and check it off. I found this ‘flexible’ schedule has been WAY more successful. Because I have structure, yet I have flexibility and if laundry gets skipped, I can later shift to do the laundry that needs to be done.
To help me stay focused on the TRUTH, I have my Memory Verse, Prayer Requests and a To-Do list for Daily Activities that help me stay grounded in the Word and focus on the Lord’s Purpose and Plan in each day. You’re welcome to use my printable (Weekly Planner) to help you develop your own Weekly Schedule.
Calendar Command Center
So where does it all go? How do I keep track of all this scheduling crazy? I developed what I call my Calendar Command Center (I was able to DIY this for about $10). I got the magnetic board on clearance at Hobby Lobby (mounted with 3M mounting squares from the Dollar Spot at Target). The chalkboard I added with super glue and decorated with Washi Tape – seriously that stuff is awesome). The lower corner is where I hand the kids chore rings, divided out by room I pass them out during our ‘chore’ time. I LOVE the chalk board feature where we write our weekly Awana Scripture Memory Work. At the top I keep my daily schedule – which are on magnets so I can quickly remove and switch them out. Then I have my Plans for the Week with dry erase markers so weekly I can enter in my content and help myself stay focused.
I’m so happy to share our schedule with you! Tomorrow I’m going to give you my BIG Lessons Learned. I hope those will help you identify a few fundamentals to help you successfully develop and implement your own schedule.