Tag Archives: planning

Adjusting our schedule…

I should probably say establishing our schedule, because prior to this, we didn’t really have one. And while that was not really a problem, setting up a schedule has really helped our household run smoother, for a few reasons:

1. We (almost) always finish school before lunch now, which leaves the afternoon free for us to do whatever we want.

2. Madison helped me set up the schedule, like the order of subjects, so she no longer complains about what she wants to do next. I think she feels like she has some control over her day now.

3. We added some free computer time to our day when she is allowed to play at Starfall or PBS Kids. This is definitely her favorite time of the day, and my favorite too, since it gives me a chance to do my household chores uninterrupted.

    One thing that I am still working on is getting up when I feel like I need to. I rarely manage to get up that early, but when I do, I feel so much better and the day runs smoother.

    So here is our schedule, at least for now:

    From when ever Madison wakes up until 8:30, she watches PBS. She normally wakes up between 7:45 and 8:15, so she watches Super Why while I shower and get dressed.

    8:30 – Eat Breakfast, Make Beds, Get Dressed, Walk Spencer

    9:00 – Start homeschool:

    • Bible Lesson (15-20 minutes)
    • Headsprout Reading Lesson (15-20 minutes)
    • Read books together on the couch (30 minutes)
    • Math (15-20 minutes)
    • Explode the Code/Letter of the Day (15-20 minutes)
    • Japanese (10 minutes)
    • Art/Science/Violin (1 each day, about 20 minutes)

    12:00 – Lunch

    12:30 – Free computer time if homeschool is done (30 minutes)

    1:00 – Rest time in bedroom; listen to memory CD or watch Leap Frog Video

    2:00 – Free time

    5:30 – Dinner

    7:00 – Bedtime Reading

    7:30 – Lights out with memory CD, violin CD or audio book

    Of course the schedule does not always work out perfectly since we have Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday afternoon, Storytime on Fridays, etc… but overall it is a big success (when we stick to it). The time we are spending on “school” right now is really only about 2 hours, which seems to be the perfect amount of time for us, and I am really happy with the material we are covering.

    Week Seven Report

    Once again, another late report… I did good for a few weeks…

    We had a really excellent week. I got quite a bit of planning accomplished. I think I have pretty much mapped out our 12 year plan, and I have made some definite decisions about Kindergarten.

    We are going to go with Five in a Row for Reading/Science/Social Studies for K. After reviewing the program, I am really optimistic about this. One thing that has been a problem for me with science this year is that it is not planned out in a logical order for me. I have been picking experiments out of the Mudpies to Magnets book, but it is one of the first things that gets shoved to the side, mostly because there is no long term schedule or goal right now. Another perk for FIAR is the social studies – because this is built into the program, I feel comfortable doing this for a year and starting with Tapestry of Grace the following year. I like the “story discs” also – you order them and place them on a map where the story takes place, so it’s like geography is built in as well. And, most importantly, I love the relaxing, fun, cozy approach, tied together with great books. I am really looking forward to Kindergarten. If you are interested in seeing the rest of our kindergarten curriculum, check it out here.

    As far as actual school this week, Madison is blowing me away. It is like something has clicked in her head and now she is moving at lightening speed. She keeps asking for more work and I don’t have any more to give her.

    Language Arts:

    Our letter of the week was supposed to be P, but Madison was working on her ETC book one night while I was fixing dinner and when I turned around, she had worked ahead to the next lesson; she ended up doing S, N, and part of J as well. We made Nibble Sticks for our recipe and I am just going to continue to let her work at what ever speed she wants (as long as we do one letter a week). We will just watch the United Streaming videos as we get to the letters, and she will have to choose one recipe each week.

    Headsprout is also great – she can read three of their books now, and asked to do extra lessons last week. I think she is starting to be a lot more comfortable with her reading, especially the more she reads the books they provide.


    Doing great here as well – we changed to doing one lesson a day, four days a week (we were doing 2 lessons, 2 days a week). We started counting by tens and she has really done well with that, and she can count to thirty correctly now – I want to attribute that to our memory CD.

    In other areas, she has memorized her books of the New Testament to Colossians, we actually did do a science experiment this week (tornado in a jar which was not very successful) and we did some Japanese culture study. I got my First Thousand Words in Japanese book in the mail, so I am hoping to start with some vocabulary this week. Another thing we did this past week is implement a schedule – which works really great when we follow it! I will post a copy of it later this week 🙂

    And two other non-school-related-but-still-exciting events:

    First, Madison had her first sleepover this week. On Wednesday, we went to the mall with some friends, and then on Friday, her friend came over and stayed the night. They had pizza and a movie and made crowns on Friday night,and on Saturday morning we went to the National Cowboy Museum for a puppet/magic show. Madison and her friend got to help with a magic trick, which was pretty neat.

    And second, we got a new camera today! So this will hopefully be the last picture-less weekly report 🙂

    Have a great week!

    Week Six Report

    We had a pretty good week 🙂 A lot of things happened this week that I am really happy about, and a few that I am disappointed about.

    Unfortunately, there won’t be any pictures this week 😦 Our camera is still broken, so until we make a decision to get it fixed or replace it, I guess I am going to be photoless. We do have another camera that works, but the USB cord for it is extremely tempermental, so we may just replace the cord for that and do without a new camera.

    But some good things:

    We finished ETC Book A! Our letter for the week was “R” and the recipe was Raisin Apple Muffins. We don’t actually like raisins, so we made the muffins sans raisins and called them Really Good Muffins – and they were really good! I also found out this week that there is a version of ETC online and decided to look into that for the future.

    I made a memory cd for Madison. This was not something I originally planned to do, or something that I had even thought of until this week when I read about some other homeschooling families had used this successfully. We have been working on memorizing books of the Bible, days of creation, the alphabet, counting, etc. so I made up a CD with these things (plus some more that we are not working on yet but will be sometime soon) and have been playing it for Madison during her rest time and at bedtime. It seems like it might be working – yesterday she could remember two more books of the bible, so that is a start at least 🙂

    We also started using Headsprout this week. If you have been reading this blog, you know that I have really been struggling with how to teach Madison how to read. She claims she wants to learn, but generally complains whenever I try to work with her. For the last couple weeks, she has been spending a lot of time on Starfall, and I remembered hearing about Headsprout before but not being interested because Madison had not mastered using a mouse. So I looked into the program and found three sample lessons online. Madison sat and did them all right in a row (they were about 20 minutes each) and then asked to do more. She said she liked them, so DH and I bought a subscription (which, thankfully, was 1/2 price till February 1) and so far it is working great. She already read one of their “readers” this week, and still likes to do it, so I am extremely optimistic. I have also told her that once she can read, she can stay up a little longer at night and read in bed, so this week, she asked if she could do that and stayed up reading the Bob books she had already learned how to read. That also made me extremely happy, and I finally feel like we are making progress here.

    Math and Bible are both still going great… nothing new to report 🙂

    Planning wise, I mapped out the rest of preschool work that I want to do with Madison. What I am calling “preschool” is about 33 weeks of work, so without any breaks, that would be finishing the end of July. Completely unrealistic. But, since I have no idea when we are moving, how long we will be homeless, etc, I am just going with it. On one hand, I am going to try to be flexible, and on the other hand, I am going to try to take our school where ever we go – Nana’s, the airport, hotels, etc.

    On the disappointing side:

    Of course, there is the broken camera…

    We didn’t do any science or violin lessons this week… or last week… I just didn’t feel like it. I think this is not a good indicator of the future.

    I also started planning out our future plans for homeschooling – a long term K-12 plan, and a more definite Kindergarten plan. I felt rather confident in our K plan at 3 am when I finished the outline, but today I am not so sure. I feel like I need to figure out where I am going to end up before I can start making other plans, and I am terrified that I am going to screw it up somehow. I am waffling between doing Five in a Row for Kindergarten and making up my own similar program. I also considered starting Tapestry of Grace next year at a very slow pace and spending 2 years on year 1, but I just don’t know. I feel like I need to pick a program and stick with it. AHHHHH… I think I am just going to step away for a few days (or longer), pray about it, and then come back with what will hopefully be a clearer mind.

    So that was our week. Everything else was just normal…