Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Daily Homeschool Schedule, Winter 2011

Making designs out of leftover dough while
helping make dinner

Our schedule has changed a lot over the past few months, not only as life circumstances have changed - deployments, work schedules, pregnancy, health, etc. - but, more importantly, as Hunter has changed.

But then again, this is always the case. It seems like he changes so rapidly even every few weeks, as does, but to a lesser extent, life. I've found that usually I don't post about our schedule because of this. But I figure that I probably should post about it anyway, so I can have a keepsake of what life was like at a particular period in our life.

I am sure this is going to change a lot once the baby is born, and probably before that too, but this is what is working for us right now, mid "kindergarten" year:

Early Morning

6:00-8:15  For the first time in his life, Hunter has become an early riser. This a fairly new thing, but it has actually been working amazingly well for both of us and Hunter loves it. I have been waking him up as I'm going downstairs, usually just a little before 6:00, and he comes down in his pajamas and starts working on his independent work until breakfast.

Right now, this includes
  • reading (one chapter from the KJV Bible and one chapter of a middle- to late-elementary chapter book)
  • math worksheets (Facts Masters [timed], word problems, and one or two other math worksheets, generally in the 2nd - 4th grade level [I know it's a lot, but the kid loves math!])
  • building thinking skills (2 pages a day from level 1)
  • penmanship (I make my own practice sheets from this site, right now he does an upper- and lowercase letter a day of both cursive and D'Nealian print
  • spelling (using the same site as above, he practices tracing and then copying related spelling words, right now I just use common words, such as number words, color words, etc.)
Amazingly, he seems to accomplish more in this two-hour time block than he often would in a six-hour time block before! I think that he is more alert, focused, motivated, and free from distractions at this time,  and am really glad we went out and tried something different!

It is also amazing how much he can do independently now. Six months ago I had to sit next to him and hold his hand through virtually everything. It is nice seeing him blossom into a self-motivated, independent learner.

A recent morning Hunter chose to build a park of "sculptures" out
Jenga pieces

8:15-9:15 - Breakfast  At about 8:15 I usually send him upstairs to get dressed, and we have breakfast at 8:30 or a little after with the daycare kids. Mealtimes with daycare kids are somewhat of a drawn-out process, so even a simple meal, setup and cleanup takes at least an hour. I try to read him the Proverb of the day during breakfast from the KJV. After breakfast cleanup I review Hunter's memory work (bits) with him.

9:15-9:45 Circle Time  At about 9:15, I sit down with the daycare kids to do a circle time and Hunter usually participates. We say the pledge of allegiance, sing the national anthem, sing one or two children's songs that usually involve actions or hand motions, do calendar and weather time, read one or two short stories, and then do our Jones Geniuses Early Learning work for a few minutes - right now my daycare kids are all still working on their letter sounds and counting forwards and backwards, and a little arithmetic. Hunter generally sits in on all this, or sometimes he will choose an activity from his workboxes to do during this time.

Writing a story and learning about word processing in his free time

9:45-11:15 - Free Choice  Hunter doesn't really have a "schedule" for a lot of the day. Once he has completed his independent work, he can choose to do, for the most part, whatever he wants. I put different activities in his bottom workboxes, and encourage him to choose at least some of those each day, but sometimes if he asks to do something else, he can.

He will often choose to draw (this is a favorite of his), write a story on the computer, play a board game by himself, or build something. I usually send him outside to exercise for at least fifteen minutes to a half hour during this time.

11:30-12:30 - Lunch  I start making lunch around 11:00 while Hunter continues to do whatever he's doing, and we will eat around 11:30. He is in charge of the cleanup for both breakfast and lunch, and is usually done with lunch cleanup by about 12:30. I try to read him a chapter of whatever part of the Bible we're currently on during lunch, and review memory work (bits).

Singing hymns

12:30-1:00  By the time he's done with cleanup I usually have all the kids laid down for their naps. At this point I like to sing our hymns that we're working on. Right now we read the actual sheet music out of a hymn book while the instrumental music to the song plays off of a youtube video. I find that this really helps me relax and unwind after a long morning, refocus, and put my mind in a peaceful state.

After hymns, we will read a little poetry, and then read a chapter of whatever chapter book we're on at the moment. These are generally pieces of literature that are slightly above Hunter's reading level, and we really enjoy the stories together. Then we review our memory work (bits) for the third and final time.

1:00-3:00  From 1-3 is mom and Hunter teaching time while the daycare kids nap and listen to classical music. This is when I will sit down with him, maybe read from a history or science book and have a discussion, help him with a project, craft, or experiment, or introduce a new concept in math or language arts. 

Often we finish early and he goes up into his room to play. I also try to send him outside for another set of fun exercises.

Afternoon keyboarding time
Late Afternoon

3:00-3:15 - Chores  When the kids wake up, Hunter does his "after daycare chores" and vacuums, cleans the bathroom, empties the trash, and straightens shelves.

3:15-3:30 Piano  At 3:15 or 3:30, Hunter has a short piano (keyboard) lesson. He works on fingering, perfect pitch, music theory, and a song.

3:30  Hunter usually goes outside and plays with his friends until dinner time or some other event, such as going on errands, basketball practice, or doing something with Brandon.


Our evenings vary quite a bit. We eat dinner at some point, often play board games together, try and go for a daily walk/run, sometimes watch a movie. In slightly warmer weather we usually swim every night. On Tuesdays we are running errands most of the evening, Mondays are often a big cleaning day. Fridays we usually go out.

7:00-8:00  Hunter usually starts getting ready for bed at 7:00. He showers, lays out his clothes and anything else he needs for tomorrow, and writes in his calendar and day planner (this part he does with me).  At bedtime Brandon or I will usually read him a story, and find flags/countries/landmarks with him on his bedside geography display. He is in bed by 8:00 and falls asleep with a recording of the New Testament (KJV) on his mp3 player.

For now, this is the general outline of our days...

Well, most of the time. I hope this was helpful!

"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." 
Psalm 118:24

Hunter is 5 years, 11 months old


  1. Thanks for sharing your day. I look forward to my son doing things more independantly like Hunter. For now, just about every single thing has to be accompanied by me or his dad. Oh and were moving to Hawaii this summer! YAAAY. RaisingEthan's mom

  2. I love seeing how your days are laid out and how much you guys do actually accomplish! Makes me feel like my own dreams are not only doable but that I could be a success at them!

    Hunter is a very blessed young man to have such a devoted and capable mother. You're such a blessed woman to have such a devoted and capable son. You're both inspirational!

    I've been meaning to ask.
    if you guys are still working on Spanish this year? I have a TON of childrens Spanish books and recently began a formal Spanish program (this is day 3) with a very motivated 9yo. But its a crude start. However I have a book by Opal Dunn, "How to Help Your Child With a Foreign Language" and I think that it would be a good fit for your family. It suggests different activities and such that you can use to teach a language, even if you're not fluent.

    I'm not trying to say anything snide or sneaky or imply that you dont do enough. I just thought you'd like the book. Please don't be offended.

    I've read the book earlier this year and I'm going to try and use as many of the ideas from this book as possible to make language learning fun and keep it interesting for my student and build my own fluency! I think it'd be a great fit for you, since you're so resourceful and creative, I think it'd be a success for you.

  3. Thanks for your question, and of course I wouldn't be offended by it! To be honest, unfortunately, foreign languages have been off of the radar for a while now, although not exactly by intention. Life has just been hectic and there was a while where we weren't getting much done beyond reading, a little bit of math, and some handwriting each day on a good day. But we are starting to get back in the swing of things, Hunter has become a lot more independent which has helped since I am working all day, and as a result we are starting to add back many of the topics we have been missing.

    I actually have the book you mentioned, it is very good! I also recently got my old Spanish texts from high school out of storage and have been trying to relearn it myself, as it is something that I definitely want to pursue with him.

    Hopefully soon we will be able to get back into the swing of things, I think that I am too much of a perfectionist sometimes and want everything to be "just so" - I really need to just jump back in and do a little at a time.

    Thanks again for your comment, and good luck with your son!

  4. Lovin' the schedule. It's always cool to know what other mom's are doing on the daily especially when said mom is a few steps ahead of you. Thanks for all the great help you willingly share. :)


Thank you for your comments!