Many will ask, “How do you juggle everything? How do you structure your homeschool day?” For our family, a routine is key to a successful homeschool experience.
Before I launch into what we do with our homeschool day, let me describe the constants – the routines around which we plan our week.
The kids have always participated in an ‘after-school’ sport in the evenings, first Taekwondo and now Swim Team. The other constants that have always been in place are private lessons for Mandarin and Music (piano and violin) as well as Roots & Shoots and Sons of Norway (Barnesklubb).
Last year, I started STEM Club and Literature Circle which have both been a great benefit to our homeschool. Planning hands-on science labs takes a lot of planning and preparation time. As I am accountable to others, I follow through rather than put it off for another day. Literature Circle, while significantly less planning time, provides the opportunity for the kids to have an audience for their writing as well as talk about literature with their peers.
Finding Our Groove
This year, there are significant changes to our homeschool schedule and routines. The biggest change is Mandarin. In the past, we have met their teacher at his home for one-on-one lessons on Monday and Thursday mornings. But, a las no longer.
He and his wife have welcomed their first child just two week ago. As she will now be staying home with the baby, and he recently completed his doctorate, he accepted a full-time teaching position at Marshall University. He is an incredible teacher and thus we have committed to continue working with him.
Marshall is in West Virginia, however, and we live in California. Thus, we will no longer meet at his home but via Skype. To further complicate matters, with the time difference and his course load, our lessons are now in the evenings.
We have also added Youth Symphony and River Oaks (a retirement home where my son volunteers weekly). I never anticipated that music would account for such a large part of our lifestyle. I love it – I am just surprised.
As before, during the school year swim team is in the evening (whereas in the summer it is early morning). Significant this year, however, is that my kids will be swimming in different age groups. Our evenings are now more intense than ever.
It has been a struggle to balance everything. We had to make tough decisions. Last week, I had signed the kids up for 4H and we were excited to bring archery back into our routines. When the dust settled, however, we realized we would have to let 4H go. Our mornings are free – we can still incorporate archery. It just won’t be in conjunction with 4H.
Our evenings our chaotic. We cherished our family meal times but I don’t know how to make that happen consistently anymore. We are even discussing adopting almuerzo estilo mexicano, with our mid-day meal as the large, family meal. Patrick’s work schedule is demanding, however, so it is not likely he will be able to come home consistently.
Our new schedule, which begins in September, will take some time for us to become adjusted. Until then, a day in the life of our family is anything but predictable.
Looking for more ideas for scheduling and planning your day? Check out the Big Book of Homeschool Ideas where you will find tips for:
- Managing Your Home While Homeschooling
- Managing Multiple Ages
- Homeschool Time Management
You can take a peak into the routines of other homeschool families by visiting the Not Back To School Blog Hop from the iHomeschool Network.
This is the last week of the 2014″Not Back-to-School Blog Hop“. Check back again to see the newly linked posts and grab a button so your bloggy friends can share their hard work, too.